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SoW solutions - the low-touch vs. high-touch debate

How organisations can improve their SOW management maturity by leaning on the expertise of an MSP.

Episode highlights


How does an MSP SOW service affect in-house procurement roles?
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The different service levels in managing SOW spend
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The second level of maturity in SOW management
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The third level of service maturity
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First-generation vs second-generation maturity
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Posted by: ZivioReading time: 109 minutes

With Sana Ali, Services Procurement SME, TAPFIN

00;11;16;07 - The different service levels in managing SOW spend
00;23;28;13 - The second level of maturity in SOW management
00;28;39;03 - The third level of service maturity
00;36;11;06 - First-generation vs second-generation maturity
00;48;57;02 - How does an MSP SOW service affect in-house procurement roles?

Transcript - Auto-generated. Please excuse any minor errors.

00;00;00;00 - 00;00;09;22
Jonny Dunning
right. So it's a rainy Monday morning in December and I'm very pleased to welcome Sana Ali from TAPFIN. Back to the podcast. How are you, Sana?

00;00;09;24 - 00;00;15;26
Sana Ali
Very well, thank you. And like you said, enjoying this miserable rainy weather in the UK.

00;00;15;28 - 00;00;27;13
Jonny Dunning
Exactly. Making the most of it. I'm so we've had a great conversation. I really enjoyed our previous conversation on the podcast. Can you remember or what do you how long ago do you think that was.

00;00;28;17 - 00;00;37;09
Sana Ali
yeah, I want to say about a year ago, although it could have been less because this industry moves so fast and so quickly.

00;00;37;11 - 00;00;44;06
Jonny Dunning
It was actually and I was really surprised when I checked this this morning. It was September 2021.

00;00;44;09 - 00;00;47;20
Sana Ali
Wow. Okay. So two years then.

00;00;47;26 - 00;01;28;07
Jonny Dunning
Time has absolutely flown by. But I'm delight delighted to have you back on the podcast. And today we're going to be we're going to be talking about looking at SOW solutions in a little bit more detail just in terms of the different levels of solution that are available on the market that people are considering, that people are utilizing what's appropriate for you and kind of looking at this low touch versus high touch debate, which I think is a really interesting one, especially as since the last time we spoke, the market has progressed in some areas and it has certainly progressed with the way that certain companies and MSP providers and tech providers are offering their

00;01;28;11 - 00;01;44;20
Jonny Dunning
their services. And so before we dive into it, you gave a brilliant introduction to yourself in our last podcast. For those who haven't listened to it, would you just be able to just do a super quick recap of just who you are, what you're doing at the moment and a brief background?

00;01;44;23 - 00;02;16;14
Sana Ali
Absolutely. And hopefully I can do it justice again. So I am my official title is the Global SOW Delivery Director or SME. When it comes to Statement of work, I work for Talent Solutions TAPFIN, which is an MSP or managed service provider. And ultimately what my role is, is as I come from an operational background, I've kind of delivered a number of different SOW management solutions on the MSP front for different organizations within different industries.

00;02;16;17 - 00;02;41;29
Sana Ali
My role is ultimately to ensure that actually any solutions that we are selling are operationally viable and making sure that any implementations, expansions and anything related to SOW on the ground is kind of there to support the client. We've got the right level of strategy, right level of conversations, right level intellect and guidance and education that is being provided.

00;02;42;02 - 00;02;59;18
Sana Ali
But then also working a little bit behind the scenes to ensure that our overall organizational strategy when it comes to SOW management of services procurement is up to par and is fit for purpose and aligned with the ever moving and evolving market industry. Today.

00;02;59;20 - 00;03;05;20
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, brilliant. Thank you very much for that. It's it's hugely important to make it work in the real world, isn't it?

00;03;05;20 - 00;03;18;26
Sana Ali
It's exactly, exactly. And there's a number of horror stories that we can certainly talk about online, which I know you and I have already touched on to an extent as well. If it's not done effectively.

00;03;18;29 - 00;03;49;04
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, you know, all things sound great in principle, but in the devil is in the detail. In the real world, things are generally a little bit more complicated. Funnily enough, I sometimes find that in emerging spaces like this, sometimes actually people will think it's more complicated than it necessarily needs to be, which can lead to it becoming more complicated, which I think is, you know, it's certainly something that I've seen.

00;03;49;06 - 00;04;21;03
Jonny Dunning
But these are emerging solutions, really. It's not something that's like everybody's adopted, it's completely mainstream. It's still fairly nascent in the market, really cool. So in terms of looking at the service that is provided to an organization, the basis of it is that an organization has an issue with services, procurement, the management of that that spend or as some would term it statement of work, managing statements of work.

00;04;21;08 - 00;04;49;19
Jonny Dunning
How do they deliver statements? What how do they manage it? How do they measure it? What systems as this information captured in, is there any information in who's controlling it? And it's a massive area of spend for most organizations. You know, we're talking about 20 trillion global annual spend, something along those lines, a big in some organizations banks, for example, it could be 90% of their spend in actually good services manufacturing.

00;04;49;19 - 00;05;10;05
Jonny Dunning
It may still you know, even in a heavy manufacturing industry, it may still be, you know, 30 to 50% of their total overall spend. And so it's important. And when I talk about services, when you talk about services procurement, because we're kind of like industry insiders and we're like really in the zone with this, we might use that phrase.

00;05;10;08 - 00;05;27;19
Jonny Dunning
Whereas for some organizations, you know, they'll just look at indirect categories that are relevant to complex services. So we sometimes talk about complex services categories, but although statement of work is it kind of like a bit of a boring phrase in some ways it's a bit.

00;05;27;19 - 00;05;29;15
Sana Ali
Of an all encompassing time as well.

00;05;29;15 - 00;06;10;24
Jonny Dunning
I think it is because at the center of these transactions or these engagements is the statement of work and the fundamental things that make that different from the way that you would procure goods and goods and materials from from a third party, make it make it important, make the statement work important, how it operates, how it needs to function, and also the way that it's different from buying contingent labor, from, you know, contracting and individuals time, you know, all the essential factors that always interestingly make the statement of work just so important, just the idea of managing.

00;06;10;27 - 00;06;18;28
Jonny Dunning
SOW spend it spend that that's moving through a process contracted in a certain way that needs a specific piece of attention.

00;06;19;03 - 00;06;45;13
Sana Ali
And I think you've mentioned something really, really important there as well, because when you look at the statement of work spend or portfolio ultimately or category, whatever you want to call it, I think there are sometimes some misconceptions as part of that. So you mentioned contingent. There's completely different processes, completely different approaches to manage you as an organization, your contingent spend or your contingent work consultant.

00;06;45;16 - 00;07;30;19
Sana Ali
A And albeit there are parallels between the world of contingent workers and statement of work, there are some really, really fundamental differences and I think going back to the point that you raised, that sometimes sometimes organizations can make it a slightly more complex piece of work than it needs to be. And I think that's where sometimes maybe the lack of understanding or awareness with what those fundamental differences are between managing or contingent spend and your statement of work spend, even though they both fall within that nonpermanent workforce category, they are very, very different areas of spend and different approaches, change management, adoption and all of those fund sort of buzzwords that you want to throw

00;07;30;19 - 00;07;36;20
Sana Ali
out there that really, truly go into the management of each of those pots, so to speak.

00;07;36;23 - 00;08;02;08
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, absolutely. And the way that organizations will define or bracket this spend can completely vary by some organizations that procurement sets out might be very much direct versus indirect, but even that even that could be complicated because you could be dealing with a manufacturing organization where all of the kind of state and work type spend services procurement will sit within indirect spend or within indirect categories.

00;08;02;11 - 00;08;27;16
Jonny Dunning
But you could be looking at, you know, a building construction consultancy firm when, you know, 99% of that direct spend is actually consultancy and and professional services. That's what they're selling through third party. So even that set up can vary. But but but if you're talking about statement work spend it could sit within various different categories within an organization.

00;08;27;19 - 00;08;46;18
Sana Ali
And sometimes a geographical market also is what kind of indicates where that SOW sort of term or SOW spend sits within the different categories internally. So you know, not to go in, go down a little bit of a rabbit hole here. This is a little bit away from the conversation that we're having.

00;08;46;18 - 00;09;08;19
Sana Ali
But, you know, there are there are elements that if you look at the European markets, there are a lot of European like locations within that AMEA EMEA market that will dictate actually whether or not that definition of an SOW is indeed an SOW as we would see it say perhaps in the UK versus the US in other locations across the globe.

00;09;08;22 - 00;09;46;07
Sana Ali
But there might be certain nuances or legislative elements that actually direct what and SOW and where it needs to sit within an organization and how it is categorized. So I think if we if we kind of add that as a slight caveat because albeit we're saying sometimes organizations can make this topic a little bit more complex than it needs to be, I think there is an element there to acknowledge that there are some complex complexities that really need to be simplified, but it's what is the right time and what is the right area to focus on, to try and simplify some of those those processes?

00;09;46;09 - 00;10;07;19
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, exactly. I mean, ultimately if you're buying contingent labor, you're buying an individual's time. If you're buying goods and materials, you're buying a thing, materials. If you're buying services, you are outsourcing some work to an external organization that will deliver that work for you based on some sort of output.

00;10;07;21 - 00;10;08;08
Sana Ali
Exactly.

00;10;08;11 - 00;10;38;12
Jonny Dunning
And that's where it comes back to. That central point of that is a statement of work contract on. There are going to be and there will be deliverables within that contract, whether they're pure milestones, whether they are KPIs, whether they're sprints in an agile process, whether they're blocs of consulting or whatever it might be. So there's there's nuances within it, but it's a great central point on a night we kind of dived into this fairly deeply at the start of this conversation, but I think it is relevant because that's what it comes down to.

00;10;38;12 - 00;10;55;28
Jonny Dunning
We're dealing with a type of spend here that needs to be dealt with specifically to get the most out of it and to make sure you compliant and to actually drive value from it, which is which is, you know, I think it's quite often been seen as something within some organizations that they don't necessarily realize there's a solution out there.

00;10;56;00 - 00;10;56;23
Sana Ali
Absolutely.

00;10;56;27 - 00;11;16;07
Jonny Dunning
And they might just think it's just too difficult because it is a big area of spend. It goes across categories. But fundamentally, there are solutions out there to make this much more effective. And that's where you see the great success stories. So, so so diving back into the kind of first area I wanted to cover, which is just looking at those service levels.

00;11;16;07 - 00;11;38;10
Jonny Dunning
So when an organization, when an outsourced organization, a third party is providing a service to look after, to help an organization, to look after this spend, manage that spend for them, there are various different ways in which that can be done. Would you be able to just outline, as you say, in the market, the kind of different service levels that that really exist at the moment?

00;11;38;12 - 00;11;47;04
Sana Ali
Yeah, absolutely. So I would say this three fundamental service levels, but I am going to throw in a cheeky fourth one.

00;11;47;04 - 00;11;48;13
Jonny Dunning
It's Christmas bonus fourth.

00;11;48;15 - 00;12;24;06
Sana Ali
And that's their Christmas bonus indeed, which I'll talk about and explain why I'm sort of defining that. But if we take this sort of fundamental three different service levels that we're talking about, so I'd say I don't want to use the term basic, but I would say the slightly more simplistic time and material term type arrangements that you would have and what that ultimately means is where you are still looking to procure a service from a third party outsource supplier to deliver something specific.

00;12;24;06 - 00;12;49;15
Sana Ali
But in terms of the commercial construct that you have, it's based off of man hours ultimately. Now I know within the industry today there is a little bit of a gray area with what truly falls within that. Is that right? Is that should, should tier and really be associated with the statement of what spend but we'll park that maybe for another conversation.

00;12;49;17 - 00;13;18;02
Jonny Dunning
And just just to dive in very briefly, if you will, if if this scenario is saying it's Sana working five days a week for me, that's contingent labor, if it's the supplier, is going to deliver ten days of consultancy I'm not worrying about. It's not my business. Who's going to deliver that consultancy. Exactly. If it's structured in the right way, that's different to saying it's a specific individual doing X amount of hours and there's no outputs.

00;13;18;03 - 00;13;46;11
Sana Ali
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that's the key thing with TNM really is is for it to be true and valid and right when it comes to statement of workers that it's it's purely in, as I mentioned, it's purely the commercial construct that that is dictating. It's not dictating who is doing it. Or as an organization, if I'm the buyer, I should not be concerned in any way, shape or form which individual bodies are going to be delivering that work for me.

00;13;46;11 - 00;14;13;08
Sana Ali
And how many and how for for that matter, it's for me, it's I'm going to receive this specific deliverable, this specific outcome that is to be achieved. And for you, supply is your responsibility to provide for resources against it, to deliver to your resources against it, to do the work. However, many whomever you want to align. But that commercial construct is what's baked in based off of that resourcing arrangement.

00;14;13;15 - 00;14;34;26
Sana Ali
But again, the firm is from a buyer perspective, your focus should not be on, I want to get involved and sort of dictate the day to day goings on or how these individual resources are going to be providing those outputs. So you as a as a buyer, it should just purely be this is the commercial construct that I'm going to be paying for.

00;14;34;26 - 00;15;00;08
Sana Ali
It's driven and led by the resource arrangement. But what I am focusing on is has the outcome been achieved? Does it matter who's achieving it, how it's being achieved? I say within what time frames, but that does play a little bit of a factor regardless. But who and by how many individuals it's being done that should absolutely not be a concern whatsoever.

00;15;00;10 - 00;15;22;03
Jonny Dunning
I love the fact you've dived into the stickiest most thorny topics straight away. Yeah, you know, I appreciate what you're saying. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, ultimately, as I say, I always come back to the thing of if you're if you're procuring a service, you're you're looking for an output from a third party and they're going to deliver some sort of result for you.

00;15;22;08 - 00;15;42;07
Jonny Dunning
You are pre determining and you're building the contract around that. And ultimately, you know, you see contracts where there may be some some of the some of the deliverables are pure milestone or some of the milestones are pure deliverables. And within that there might be chunks of consulting spend, for example, or SMEs coming in to do various bits and pieces.

00;15;42;10 - 00;16;18;21
Jonny Dunning
But ultimately it's outsourcing the problem to that organization to say you are delivering me a result. How you deliver that is kind of up to you. Yeah, you will get paid for delivering the results and but you know, it's it's a it's a fair point to dive into the kind of the fact that there are some kind of gray areas in it and you know, it's where organizations should be is doing this properly and making sure that they are compliant and that the contractors structured in the right way and that they're approaching it in the right way.

00;16;18;23 - 00;16;28;08
Jonny Dunning
Whereas I feel like after IR35, the reforms go into the public sector. There were some organizations that just sort of thought, the contractors, we can just put on a statement of work. But it's not.

00;16;28;10 - 00;16;35;04
Sana Ali
Exactly. It was sort of you squeeze one pot. we’ll expand the other. But yeah, that's not that's not quite the way.

00;16;35;07 - 00;16;49;28
Jonny Dunning
Well, I imagine that must be one of the big drivers or over the last few years that must be one of the agreements. Certainly if you look at the UK, that must have been one of the quite big remits where organizations were saying, okay, right, we need to bring in some external expertise because this has got out of hand.

00;16;50;00 - 00;16;58;12
Jonny Dunning
There's been pressure on this contracting stuff and this is other stuff over here that there's some gray areas, some funny business may be going on that we need to get on top of it.

00;16;58;14 - 00;17;24;09
Sana Ali
That's it. And I think that has been particularly from the UK market, that has been a huge sort of explosion as part of that IR35 conversation because it's legislation, it's it's it's not a choice that organizations any longer have. If they've got SOW spend services, procurement spend within the UK, it's no longer, well if we've got the time or it's part of our strategy and priorities, we'll tackle it.

00;17;24;11 - 00;17;48;22
Sana Ali
Otherwise, if it's not broken, why fix it kind of thing? It again, it's legislation that's come into play is it's a legal requirement for you as the organization, the buyers of these services to ensure that you have the right protocols and the right level of governance and control in place to ensure that whatever is funneling through that particular category of spend is right and true within itself.

00;17;48;22 - 00;18;11;18
Sana Ali
So that, you know, somewhat biased from an MSP perspective, that's been wonderful because that's meant that a lot of organizations have said and there's levels to it. You know, we've had a number of organizations that have said, actually, we want a little bit of guidance and recommendation, but only within this area. We've got a good, good handle, a good level of maturity within area.

00;18;11;18 - 00;18;37;11
Sana Ali
Why? But then there's some organizations that actually based off of this scale and size, they might sort of say, well, we don't really know. Just pretty much tell us what we need to do. We'll take ownership of that and support us along the way. So again, by saying from an MSP perspective, it's been wonderful with IR35 because it's given us the momentum to get this conversation off the ground a little bit.

00;18;37;17 - 00;19;00;22
Sana Ali
It's created a lot more demand for organizations to entertain this topic and really say, right, we acknowledge that there's a lot of spend going through this SOW category, services category, and we acknowledge that it's complex or can be complex, but we need to get our hands across this. We need to get a little bit of a handle on.

00;19;00;24 - 00;19;27;29
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, it's it's interesting when when you look at the service providers delivering in this area for certainly a large percentage of them, this would sit alongside the work that they do around contingent workforce investment. And therefore for some organizations there'll be a trust element. Yeah, a conversation around well this organization is assisting us with contingent workforce. We've got a great relationship with them.

00;19;27;29 - 00;19;28;15
Jonny Dunning
Yeah.

00;19;28;18 - 00;19;30;10
Sana Ali
There's a partnership already there.

00;19;30;13 - 00;19;54;00
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, so there's a partnership already there. But sometimes there'll be the resistance of. But what do these guys know about services procurement? And I think that's where it's interesting to see the expertise being built up within some MSPs specifically to really bolster this area as the demand is increasing as market matures. But also in some areas you're seeing total specialists just focusing on this area.

00;19;54;03 - 00;20;33;13
Jonny Dunning
But but the other side of it is I always find quite interesting and it's about work capacity for the organization. And so so ultimately it's still a problem solving exercise around how the organization gets work done and engaging contractors or outsourcing a service are very different and they need managing specifically. But but from a C-suite point of view within the organization, the C-suite just want to know what capacity we got, what are our capabilities, you know, how do I manage the demand of what I've got is delivered by the permanent workforce, by our ability to flex up and down with contractors and temps and our ability to outsource to the service partners.

00;20;33;15 - 00;20;53;25
Jonny Dunning
So in that in that respect, you can see how it's a similar problem solving exercise. But, but I'm encouraged to see much more expertise coming into the market and a more mature view of that going out there and more people just understanding that there are actually solutions out there specifically for this problem.

00;20;53;27 - 00;21;13;22
Sana Ali
Exactly. Exactly. And I think that's the key thing as well. And I just again, I sort of said buoyancy from an MSP perspective, you know, those IR35 drummed up a lot of business. But I think the key thing to to remember here for an organization I wouldn't see, I wouldn't say there's necessarily a right or wrong answer.

00;21;13;25 - 00;21;35;00
Sana Ali
Do you need to involve an MSP? Do you need to involve an outsourced third party regardless of whether it's an MSP or not? I think the key thing is it needs to be right for you as an organization. And to your point, there's always a solution for everything. But it's is that solution right for you? And is the timing on the prioritization of it right for you?

00;21;35;08 - 00;22;10;26
Sana Ali
And if if it means that actually you need a little bit of hand-holding and support them, great. There's nothing wrong with that. If you don't, then again. Right. There's nothing wrong with that, because you may be what I would refer to as a second generation organization client that actually is really well versed within this industry, really understands their spend in specific detail and granularity, has great capabilities in-house already within your procurement, your sourcing and your category teams to be able to take what you're doing today to that next level.

00;22;10;26 - 00;22;40;21
Sana Ali
And again, there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean that, you know, because there's MSPs out there, you have to get the support of an MSP, I think is is just knowing that there's always a solution for whatever challenge or pain points that you might be facing. And there's there's no right or wrong way to approach it. It's well, it's really separate in terms of whether you go with a helping hand outsource by a third party or whether you take that ownership and control yourselves.

00;22;40;29 - 00;22;48;29
Sana Ali
There's nothing wrong with that. It's just making sure that that solution is right for you as an organization and what your objectives and strategy and priorities are.

00;22;49;01 - 00;23;09;20
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, in almost every case it's better to be doing something about it than nothing about it. And it doesn't matter whether it's in Europe, the US or anywhere else in the world. For most organizations, they don't have control over this type of spend. They don't they don't really know what the money's going towards. They don't really know what good should look like.

00;23;09;27 - 00;23;28;11
Jonny Dunning
And it's very, very difficult for them to pin down any kind of value on it. So doing something definitely better than doing nothing. So so in looking at the service levels, you've got the very basic kind of entry points where to a certain extent it can sit in a gray area of, of of what exactly is this spend.

00;23;28;13 - 00;23;42;01
Jonny Dunning
But categorizing that, as you put it around that kind of simplistic type of a statement of work type of arrangements, what do you see? So you mentioned the three initial levels. That was level one. What do you see is the second level of service that you're seeing in the market?

00;23;42;03 - 00;24;12;11
Sana Ali
So level two would be what I'd sort of say your mid level tier or your mid level. And and it's ultimately a combination of your simplicity, most simplistic time zero TNM type arrangements combined with more robust fixed price arrangements. So again, if we look at the sort of the statement that I'd made earlier around TNM, you're still expected to have clear outcomes and deliverables that need to be achieved as part of the delivery of that particular piece of work project.

00;24;12;13 - 00;24;40;15
Sana Ali
But it's a commercial construct that is is aligned to the sort of the type of resourcing that the supplier is providing to ultimately execute and deliver that that work. Now with your sort of mid combination level, I would say it's, it's again, it's a combination of term fixed price, same same kind of theory, same logic goes behind it in the sense that that's still outcome based deliverable work that's being done.

00;24;40;15 - 00;25;17;24
Sana Ali
But that commercial construct could be a combination of tied to resources that are being delivered because they are particularly niche individuals that are being provided to ensure and oversee the actual outcomes being achieved with a combination of actually they might might be set to tasks to achieve that final outcome and deliverable, but actually all fairly kind of granular in the sense that it's say if you're if you're looking to build the car it's actually you've got that fixed price piece that's the structure of the or the body of the car that could be sort of fixed price.

00;25;17;24 - 00;25;41;07
Sana Ali
Maybe that's not the best analogy, but you know, are certain elements that are kind of fixed in its nature that it is what it is. It's somewhat simplistic in the sense that it's quite clear what the what the outcome is to be achievable. It's it's quite quantifiable. So a combination of those two elements. Now, what I would say again, for a lot of organizations, I don't tend to see that combination.

00;25;41;09 - 00;26;08;08
Sana Ali
I do find the it's one or the other, so one or the other in the sense that it's fixed price arrangements purely, you've got the bulk outcomes, deliverables specific has specific acceptance criteria those or you've got TNM style arrangements. That tends to be a little bit more of, I'd say lack of desire or demand to want to merge those.

00;26;08;10 - 00;26;36;02
Sana Ali
But I think that in itself, to me, from what I'm seeing the market headed, I think there is a quite a beauty of combining those two elements together. And I am starting to see a lot more organizations wanting to ask the questions and say, Right, okay, so maybe today how we're managing what what we're referring to is the sort of basic TNM type arrangements and how we are managing those truly strategic fixed price arrangements.

00;26;36;05 - 00;27;03;22
Sana Ali
Maybe there's a world between the two actually to merge some of these and come with something that's not super strategic, high level, high end. But actually you've also got some of those on the ground like imagine day to day style delivery, excuse, option based type statement of work arrangements to merge those two worlds together so we can give you as the buyer exactly what you're after within the time frames that you desire.

00;27;03;25 - 00;27;21;05
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, it's it's interesting. I mean, I always think the way that it's delivered shouldn't really, in my opinion, be tied into just a a commercial want of how how an organization or supply was constructed. It should be what's the most effective.

00;27;21;07 - 00;27;22;02
Sana Ali
Exactly.

00;27;22;04 - 00;27;44;27
Jonny Dunning
So so you use the building a car analogy I, I hate to bring up the digging a whole analogy, but you know, it it is what it is. You know, ultimately, are you paying Jonny to go into the garden and, you know, for for paying in per hour to dig in the garden or are you paying me to say I want to hold it's four foot deep and three foot wide of whatever it might be.

00;27;45;05 - 00;28;09;15
Jonny Dunning
So exactly. It's about what is the what's the most effective way to deliver the outcome that the organization needs. This is where it gets into the definition of what the outcome is as well, which can be hard to define upfront. If you look at an agile process, for example, there's an iterative definition of what the end outcome actually will be, and there are various wonderful things that you can do within that statement.

00;28;09;15 - 00;28;27;03
Jonny Dunning
A work format, whether it's, you know, change requests and variations, is you build out the milestones as you go to move with the, you know, go with the flow as a process evolves. So yeah, I think it's all about what the best way to do it is.

00;28;27;03 - 00;28;34;09
Sana Ali
And internally, you might have beat me already to my bonus. My bonus solution of very.

00;28;34;11 - 00;28;36;13
Jonny Dunning
Well is that.

00;28;36;16 - 00;28;39;03
Sana Ali
Right Before we talk about what it.

00;28;39;03 - 00;28;56;20
Jonny Dunning
Is that involve me having to go in people's gardens and dig holes, that's all I'm asking. Hopefully. No. Well, I think the back's just gone. So yeah, it's, I'm quite sort of I've quite strong feelings that it should be about not trying to say, I want to do it this way. It should be. What's the most effective way.

00;28;56;23 - 00;28;57;16
Sana Ali
Exactly.

00;28;57;22 - 00;29;06;09
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. So sorry. Anyway, carry on. So that's, that's point number two. Before I steal any more thunder, I'll pass it back to you.

00;29;06;12 - 00;29;42;08
Sana Ali
Brilliant. So your third, third and final sort of service level that I would say in terms of the foundation of it, is your more complex, more strategic, high dollar value type arrangements. Now this to me is is more aligned to again, the strategic is the key word here is where you've got a supplier or an outsource supplier that you've brought in to ultimately guide you and recommend to you how you should be running certain parts of your organization.

00;29;42;10 - 00;30;11;22
Sana Ali
And this doesn't happen across every industry, I would say. I've certainly seen it a lot more common within the financial services industry. So you'd have what? Well, the sort of the organizations, but would refer to as run the bank versus change the bank. So there's elements there, but it's it's ultimately it's the more strategic type of arrangements. But again, there's that it's it's less about a service per say, it's more scope.

00;30;11;22 - 00;30;37;11
Sana Ali
So there's still outcomes, there's still a clear deliverable, still a quantifiable end game that needs to be achieved, but it's more aligned to a third party supplier coming in to give you that level of guidance and recommendation at a very high level strategic level. And there are a lot more where you would you need. And that's again, as I said, there higher dollar value requirements that come in.

00;30;37;11 - 00;31;05;28
Sana Ali
So you tend to have the procurement teams, your sourcing teams or category teams and it is a number of times different organizations use, but they're those type of teams that will be very, very hands on and there will be a lot of kind of control at the start to ensure that that level of detail around the contractual construct is there to ensure you've got really, really clear acceptance criteria is really, really clear for that outcomes in terms of what needs to be achieved.

00;31;06;05 - 00;31;31;15
Sana Ali
But again, it's the whole theme that we've been talking about, you outsourcing that particular service, you're outsourcing that particular piece of work to that outsourced third party supplier. So it's their decision to as long as you've got the agreement, this is what I need to achieve within this timeframe. This is what I'll be paying paying supplier. But how that supplier does that throughout that whole lifecycle is entirely their decision to do so.

00;31;31;18 - 00;32;02;03
Sana Ali
So yes, you would expect to have some sort of touch points or some sort of elements and milestones that need to be achieved throughout the tenure of that that particular piece of work. But again, it is how it's constructed and how and whom is delivering. It is entirely the decision of the supplier that's doing it. But I would say that's probably the third element where it's you're really looking at those super strategic, super high dollar value requirements where it's it's not necessarily on the ground delivery that you would have.

00;32;02;08 - 00;32;14;05
Sana Ali
So your sort of specific projects such as building a car, digging a hole. but it's really, really sort of truly looking at it from a true construct consultancy, strategic angle.

00;32;14;08 - 00;32;31;08
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. That's where, you know, there's a lot of complexity layer upon layer of it in some of these types of projects. So So you mentioned the bonus one. Yeah. What was that? It sounds like I may have already kind of touched on it, but.

00;32;31;14 - 00;33;06;03
Sana Ali
Yeah, so I think it's, it's a bonus one in the sense it's not I would, I would say a specific service level per say, but it's, it's what you was sort of mentioning earlier, it's, it's less about who is doing it and how effectively that work is being done and managed. So it's it's it's again it's it's less what is this kind of contract or commercial construct of what is an essay but more as in how is it being managed, how is it effectively being delivered to achieve those outcomes.

00;33;06;06 - 00;33;48;09
Sana Ali
And there's different elements I think that come into that because there's there's an element of then if you look at this, who is going to support your hiring community or stakeholder to ensure there's the right level of detail provided there? I think that then comes into it. That's slightly different realm of of this conversation to say, is there an element of and if we go back to the point of low touch versus high touch, but if we look at it from a slightly different angle in the sense of the approach or the delivery aspect of it, is are looking at it from a low touch perspective in terms of is it self-service, is it work

00;33;48;09 - 00;34;21;05
Sana Ali
that you think that actually your hiring community or stakeholders can cater self sufficiently themselves from start to finish in the sense of inception through to sourcing through to fulfillment, through to actually achieving what they need with those particular suppliers? Or is there an element of that high touch, somewhat white glove service where actually the onus is somewhat taken away from the hiring community or stakeholders to kind of through that whole end to end piece?

00;34;21;05 - 00;34;46;09
Sana Ali
But you've got the likes of your procurement teams or sourcing teams or category teams to provide that level of guidance to ensure that actually that end goal is structure shared and managed effectively in a way that you are getting what you really are paying for from that particular supplier. So it's it's somewhat of a bit of a spin on this and it's a bit of a cheeky bonus bonus.

00;34;46;09 - 00;35;13;11
Jonny Dunning
For I think it's a really relevant point. I'm really glad you brought up, for example, the self-service element, that kind of love to dive into that in a bit more detail in a second. But you know, we see all sorts of different ways that people do this, whether that whether it's direct or whether there's an intermediary involved. There are so many different ways, whether it's public sector, private sector companies just approach it in different ways, like what's their culture, How much do they just let people get on with what they want to do?

00;35;13;11 - 00;35;18;03
Jonny Dunning
And, you know, when you look at self-service, adoption is so critical.

00;35;18;05 - 00;35;45;21
Sana Ali
Absolutely. And I'd say even before the adoption, there's an element of education. So actually, do you have enough sort of understanding? Have you evaluated that your hiring community, your stakeholders, that you're willing to give away that control and ownership to have the right level of awareness, have the right level of education and intellect and insights that they need to be able to make those right decisions?

00;35;45;23 - 00;36;11;03
Sana Ali
It's it's you know, it can be such a minefield because if you don't have that and then that adoption rate is is very likely to be reduced. Yeah, that success rate as well. I think I think adoption and success can work hand-in-hand. I wouldn't say the mutually exclusive, but I would say in this element, absolutely your adoption rate is ultimately your success rate.

00;36;11;06 - 00;36;38;23
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, exactly. You can have the best process mapped out and honest on a PowerPoint presentation you want if people are doing it. And so I think the self-service point is is really important in that you can really streamline the process and using modern technology and whether you've got an intermediary or not, you should be empowering individuals who are buying that.

00;36;38;24 - 00;36;58;12
Jonny Dunning
You should be making their life easier and actually you should be making the life easier for the supplier as well. Yes, maybe the work you're doing is more visible, but also it's clear that you've had acceptance criteria and you've had a milestone approved and you should be getting paid for it. And you've got terms around that. And everybody knows it's it's there, it's signed off, it's visible.

00;36;58;14 - 00;37;21;20
Jonny Dunning
So having that self-service on a kind of lifecycle basis where you've got suppliers, self serving buyers, self serving, it gives procurement. And I would see intermediaries, MSP intermediaries, for example, as just augmenting that procurement function. So so whatever that procurement or augmented procurement function looks like, it can lean in or out of the process as much as it wants.

00;37;21;22 - 00;37;44;20
Jonny Dunning
So it could be that you've just got everybody self-serving. They're used to just being very independent. You just say carry on being independent, just capture it in this workflow, in this system and this process, make it and make that good for them so that they're getting a good experience. The suppliers are actually getting a good experience and they're finding they can just crack on with it and on their being and the benefits of being compliant, all this sort of thing tie in to that.

00;37;44;22 - 00;38;00;16
Jonny Dunning
And then it could be that, that this procurement element of it, whether it's augmented or not, could actually just maybe have visibility to start with. Yeah, well, they can really get involved and actually layer on the controls where necessary. But yeah.

00;38;00;19 - 00;38;30;26
Sana Ali
Just think this is sorry to interrupt, but I think this is really where that whole piece around first generation client versus second generation client are all kind of explain that in a little bit more detail. So I alluded to this earlier, but when I say first generation client, what I'm ultimately meeting is where you've got an organization that has really, really limited visibility and understanding and insight within what is housed within their statement of work spend category.

00;38;30;29 - 00;38;59;09
Sana Ali
They, you know, even sort of some of the more fundamental elements like what is being defined to sit within that SOW spend category. What is it that's there's a massive gray area for that. Forget about all of the other elements that come with that. I would say that is what I would refer to as a first generation client, but there's limited understanding of what you'll spend, what your data, what what your organization really is doing within that space.

00;38;59;12 - 00;39;39;09
Sana Ali
But then with your second generation clients, it's where, you know, you may have slightly more robust processes, you may have a lot more insight and visibility and data available to you within what is housed within that SOW spend category for you as an organization. But and I think this is where the key of of self-service first is empowering your hiring community, which is ultimately one in the same thing, or or bringing in an outsource party to provide support or bringing in some support to allow you as an organization within your in-house capabilities to bolster those up and enhance those.

00;39;39;11 - 00;40;22;22
Sana Ali
I think that that first generation versus second generation really is a key factor that fit for an organization. That would be one of my biggest recommendations. When you're looking at your services, procurement, your statement of work, spend categories to really take the time to, understand and evaluate where within that spectrum of level of maturity that you sit and to then understand what is the first step for me to move up that maturity roadmap to enhance and evolve my processes and enhance and evolve that experience where they're actually a big bang of having self service to fully and how am I hiring Community is the best way because again, I've got a lot of education and

00;40;22;22 - 00;40;50;24
Sana Ali
awareness, awareness already available and my hiring community and stakeholders are well versed within what what is what should be the lay of the land versus actually there's not enough. And there needs to be a little bit more of upskilling, a little bit more education, a little bit more training and support is provided to be able to get right level of adoption, that right level of change management to move up that maturity roadmap.

00;40;50;24 - 00;41;11;05
Jonny Dunning
So yeah, and it is a shift. So, so the self service thing, in some ways it's partly like just the mindset of like that's what you should be striving towards. We're all grown ups, we're all, we all use technology and kind of organize things on our own personal lives. Let's not treat people like children over. They can't do it.

00;41;11;08 - 00;41;33;02
Jonny Dunning
Let's let's get people involved. But by the same token, it depends what start point you kind of you kind of I mean, one of the things I find really interesting is sometimes the front end of the process will get very much addressed in terms of internal stakeholders. And the supply side of it can be left behind a little bit.

00;41;33;05 - 00;41;57;01
Jonny Dunning
So from coming from a tech point of view solutions in this area and making sure that your suppliers are on board with it in both senses, the word in the sense that they like get it, they've been trained, they understand it, and systems are easy to use and it's making their lives better. But secondly, get them on that because because once they're on there, that's where they live.

00;41;57;03 - 00;42;17;06
Jonny Dunning
And if you need to engage with them, that's where they are on the process. if the process is good, happy days. But I sometimes feel like that can get a little bit left behind, whereas it's a fundamental part of it that if a supplier still sits outside the system or outside the program now, then it's all too easy for people to kind of revert to type.

00;42;17;08 - 00;42;44;25
Sana Ali
Yeah, yeah, fully agree. And I think there's those two two elements here really as well because says your tech capabilities I think that need to be focused on as part of that. But then there's also your what I would refer to as some operational activities. And again, regardless of whether whether it's an MSP that you have in place, it's managing that spend for you or whether it's it's something that your procurement, your sourcing, your category teams are managing in-house.

00;42;44;27 - 00;43;28;26
Sana Ali
It's that level of capability from an operational perspective merged with the tech capability because something that I always say on this side of the fence, from what I would see, the set of all solutions are people led, but they're tech enabled. And that tech enabled piece is extremely important because if you are trying to kind of shoehorn a round peg into a square hole or excuse me, I've completely butchered that analogy, square peg into a round hole, it's you really need to have that right level of confidence that that tech that will and should absolutely be your source of truth from a data perspective, from a visibility perspective does have all of the right level of

00;43;28;26 - 00;43;54;27
Sana Ali
capabilities for you as an organization off of what your priorities are, what is your strategy, and also forward thinking in terms of what is that roadmap, What is the end game for you as an organization? So if self-serve is is that final utopian state, that end game that you want to achieve, whether it's an Amazon style like experience where your hiring managers or stakeholders go into the take, do what they need and jobs are good.

00;43;54;27 - 00;44;23;20
Sana Ali
And then again, that tech capability is the tech that was selected is so, so important and so crucial versus your operational because there will always be some sort of human intervention or some sort of human touch that it's required as part of something, whether it's it's at the forefront, whether it's a sort of it's supplementary piece there as in if and when is required by the by the sort of the uses that are going to be interacting with that technology.

00;44;23;27 - 00;44;46;10
Sana Ali
There will always be an element of that. But I would say that that tech piece is extremely fundamental to ensure that those capabilities are ironed out and understood based on your level of maturity as an organization to really address and identify what the solution and what solution is the best solution for you moving forward.

00;44;46;13 - 00;45;07;00
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, and I guess this is where organizations need to be super open book. If you're going in and if they're saying, okay, well let's do an audit or let's explore how we might be able to work with an intermediary, for example. And if you're going it that there's got to be fully open book. I mean, it must be quite difficult in some organizations because there's some stuff that maybe people weren't down to the carpet a little bit.

00;45;07;00 - 00;45;20;23
Jonny Dunning
And this is where it's key that the the senior stakeholders are driving this within the organization have a clear mandate and a clear reason, whether it's from an initial regulatory driver, a driver around value.

00;45;20;28 - 00;45;55;17
Sana Ali
In a monetary. Monetary driver, Yeah, there's a whole whole host of kind of efficiencies and values that that come into this as well. But again, it's and to your point, I think that needs to be an element of transparency that whether it's and regardless of of which angle you're looking at this from, if you're looking at it to kind of take the ownership in and do something as an organization yourself with your in-house teams, that you have to bolster those capabilities, whether you're looking to bring in is by sort of discussing a third party intermediary to provide and support.

00;45;55;20 - 00;46;20;26
Sana Ali
There's no right or wrong answer, but I think really foundation and the fundamental element is, is to really be transparent, be honest to your point, really take the time and energy to really evaluate truly where on those maturity spectrums, where exactly in terms of visibility, oversight objectives that you really are at today versus that future say.

00;46;20;28 - 00;46;39;27
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I mean, it's also I'd like to sort of put a word of encouragement out there to organizations that are looking to try and address this. You do see people starting a very basic level of addressing this and thinking, I've got no data, Our process is all over the place. People are just doing what they want. They're getting around headcount freezes.

00;46;39;27 - 00;46;59;25
Jonny Dunning
Some of this stuff isn't compliant. I can't we can't keep on top of it because our procurement teams too lean and it's just all happening in the background. You know, there is a route forward. We're seeing organizations I'm sure you're saying this as well, whether they're working with intermediaries or whether they're doing it directly, addressing this problem gap moving forward, the.

00;46;59;25 - 00;47;00;18
Sana Ali
First step.

00;47;00;24 - 00;47;04;16
Jonny Dunning
Making progress and actually getting benefits from it because it's so.

00;47;04;16 - 00;47;06;14
Sana Ali
GREENFIELD Exactly.

00;47;06;15 - 00;47;31;21
Jonny Dunning
The benefits are are absolutely massive because where this stuff is just not being addressed and it's been it's been too difficult in too many different ways. That has now changed. So so I think you're right when you look at that maturity and you look at what's the best fit for that particular organization is going to be the elements of when you look at even just what they want to achieve right now, but maybe with a little bit of a mindset.

00;47;31;21 - 00;47;50;07
Jonny Dunning
And what step two, what step three in an ideal world that's going to tie in to what kind of tech capability does that require? How are those needs going to be met? And then you've got the in-house capabilities, whether the organization is just going to do it themselves, which some organization is, are absolutely capable of.

00;47;50;09 - 00;47;51;24
Sana Ali
Well equipped to do that.

00;47;51;27 - 00;48;04;21
Jonny Dunning
Have the resources to do it. But also looking at those in-house capabilities, if they are bringing in a third party, how will the third party augment those capabilities effectively? Are people's toes going to get trodden on? You know.

00;48;04;26 - 00;48;05;21
Sana Ali
Actually.

00;48;05;24 - 00;48;33;17
Jonny Dunning
I, I spoken we did a little demo session at the the the CPC Consultancy Procurement Council Summit recently, which is really cool and it was interesting, we were showing off our scope IQ tool using generative AI to build requirement specifications. And one of the questions that we got asked by procurement, one of the things that kind of sometimes comes up is, you know, is AI, which jobs in procurement is I going to take on.

00;48;33;20 - 00;48;56;29
Jonny Dunning
And my response to that is it's a tool and it should be used by by procurement people to push away the more transactional, very basic things that they might be having the time taken up with a move towards more transact, more strategic, more strategic kind of input and actually elevate what they're doing as a tool to allow them to get away from the stuff that they should be automating.

00;48;57;02 - 00;49;22;06
Jonny Dunning
So so that's the kind of AI viewpoint. And my, my view on that is it's not necessarily AI, it's going to take people's jobs. It's people that use AI, they're going to take other people's jobs from it. From a third party perspective, if an MSP is coming in, what would you how would you kind of address that to the market in terms of people thinking if the MSP comes in, does that mean my job is under threat as a procurement person, or what's that going to mean?

00;49;22;08 - 00;49;49;25
Sana Ali
Yeah, and this is one of the most common challenges that, you know, coming from an MSP background that I have to face ultimately. And what I always say to clients is that there isn't a right or wrong in this Naturally, being somewhat biased. You know, I'd I'd want the decision to be come in MSP and you know support us and this is what we want.

00;49;49;25 - 00;50;25;15
Sana Ali
But I guess if I take take a step back from that and really look at what is right for the client, what's right for the organization, because at the end of the day, regardless of whether you're looking at this in-house as an organization or, you know, I am a third party coming in to support, that should be my ultimate goal and mindset is what is the right solution for you as an organization to be able to build a strong foundation, get the right level of adoption, and sure, you've got the right level of tech to automate and provide some quick wins and efficiencies to then move up that maturity roadmap chain.

00;50;25;16 - 00;50;50;23
Sana Ali
So I think that the key thing would be why? What and this is again, the question that gets asked is why? Why should I outsources to an MSP? What is going to provide me in terms of efficiencies and benefit to give this to you? MSP to do this as opposed to trying to invest that same time, energy and cost internally.

00;50;50;25 - 00;51;15;08
Sana Ali
Now there's a few elements here and I think the key thing that as an MSP we strive to do is again ensure that whatever solutions support we are and service we are providing to an organization and it is tailored and customized specifically for them as an organization based off of what their objectives are. And then again, you know, I've mentioned an element of maturity roadmap here because there's always room for improvement.

00;51;15;11 - 00;51;41;04
Sana Ali
And I say that because for some organizations, as you as we've sort of talked about, starting off really simplest take with a simple non complex foundation just to start to get some of that adoption and uptake with new ways of working and a different mindset to changing those behavior buying behaviors. The best way is to sort of small.

00;51;41;07 - 00;52;06;03
Sana Ali
And then again, there's there's you achieve this, you address this, it's taking you X amount of time to get the success, get the drivers, get the ROI that you wanted for that you've got the visibility that you need, What's the next step? So the key thing is, is having an MSP, if you are looking to engage in MSP, it's have them working harmonization with your internal in-house teams.

00;52;06;06 - 00;52;41;08
Sana Ali
So again, if it means starting off small and looking at technology to automate certain elements below a certain threshold. So for instance, if you want to give your MSP everything and full control to manage a request that sit under 100,000 on this, for instance, let's say that again, that gives you, in terms of your in-house capabilities to look on some of those and focus on some of those slightly more higher dollar values where actually you need slightly more robust expertise and capabilities.

00;52;41;10 - 00;53;11;24
Sana Ali
And that time just it works better. Your your in-house teams have that time to manage and prioritize spend requirements between 100 to $500000. So for instance, or if you want to throw an alignment of self service that again, you could have say any requests up to $50,000 they will be completely self-service by in communities, all stakeholders with the automations that the tech provides for them to be able to do.

00;53;11;24 - 00;53;38;16
Sana Ali
So you know, the element of AI that you mentioned within the Zivio tool, I think that's a brilliant example to say actually there is enough confidence within the tech capabilities to ensure that, well, what will be achieved will be achieved effectively, incorrectly, and there will be no gray area that. So again, if that's the first level and then you have an MSP to come in supplement and support that beyond $50,000, say 250 K those are the requirements.

00;53;38;16 - 00;54;17;02
Sana Ali
Then the MSP will provide a little bit of hand-holding and support and then anything above that remains with your in-house capabilities. But it's again, it's working out the solution that works and harmonization with the capabilities that you have. Well, some of the areas I don't want to say capabilities that an organization doesn't have because that sort of sounds like those negative connotations that but I think any elements that would be deemed a slightly less strategic where actually that time and energy is not able to be provided because of the level of of day to day interactions, day to day administration that's needed.

00;54;17;10 - 00;54;39;17
Sana Ali
Then again, that just makes sense to sort of say either we have the confidence that our current hiring managers and stakeholders have the ability to kind of do that themselves or actually we're bringing an intermediary would bring in an MSP for them to provide that level of guidance because we just don't want to focus our time and energy on some of those low dollar, dollar value requirements.

00;54;39;17 - 00;55;03;11
Sana Ali
So I guess the key thing, what I'm trying to say in a very narrow fashion is it's never a one size fits all model. And I think the key, if you are either interested in exploring a partnership with an MSP or have an existing partnership with an MSP, it's you need to work how what works in harmonized with your strengths and your capabilities and as an organization.

00;55;03;18 - 00;55;19;29
Sana Ali
And I think this is where that level of transparency and that honesty comes in is to really say, put your hands up and say, okay, this is an area we don't do quite well or we do it well, but we just don't want to focus on it anymore because we don't have the time, we don't have the resources.

00;55;20;06 - 00;55;36;17
Sana Ali
We want you to do this, but then ensuring that whatever that structure is in place, there are clear handshakes and interactions to make it a cohesive, to make it a complimentary overall end to end solution, to tie it all together and bring it all together.

00;55;36;20 - 00;55;43;05
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. And the organization, they need to have objectives and they need to push those objectives, whether they're doing internally or they're bringing in third parties to.

00;55;43;05 - 00;55;44;08
Sana Ali
Mitigate the.

00;55;44;09 - 00;55;57;01
Jonny Dunning
Risk, save costs, drive value. You know, these think these these are objectives. The whether that's an internal responsibility or it's a shared responsibility with a third party or it's really pushed out to the third party.

00;55;57;03 - 00;56;23;24
Sana Ali
And I think hold your MSPs accountable as well. I think that's one thing which which maybe not everybody will agree with me, but if if that is a conversation you're looking to have to bring in an MSP, set those objectives and set those boundaries and hold them accountable, if you've agreed that they need to provide you X level of ROI within Y level of time, hold the hold them accountable to that.

00;56;23;26 - 00;56;50;15
Sana Ali
Not that you wouldn't anyway. And I know recently again, say on this site, there are always levels of excellence and KPIs that need to be achieved, but again, truly set those boundaries to ensure that there isn't any overlap and that you as an organization are as comfortable with the service and support that you are getting. And it is exactly tailored to what you are desired desiring to achieve in terms of your objectives.

00;56;50;17 - 00;56;55;24
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I'd imagine most MSPs would love to be pushed on business outcomes for this because.

00;56;55;26 - 00;56;55;29
Sana Ali
The.

00;56;56;00 - 00;57;14;18
Jonny Dunning
Learning if an organization is saying I want X amount of savings, then the MSP or the intermediary can say, okay, well all of this stuff that's going on, through direct award has got to go through a competitive bid because you're probably going to save 15 to 20% just by putting it through a competitive bidding process. So then the process is moving forward.

00;57;14;26 - 00;57;50;16
Jonny Dunning
Then the companies doing in a more sophisticated way and the leveling up increase in the value. I mean, we as I said, we see all sides of it. We see we see sides of it where the organization is perfectly capable of doing it themselves, and they're perfectly capable of adopting the technology directly and doing it that way. We see organizations where working via a third party, the the the tech solution, as you say, enables the service is an enabler for the service that third party providing and so therefore it kind of sits outside in a bubble, which makes it easier for them to adopt the technology.

00;57;50;24 - 00;58;10;09
Jonny Dunning
And we see other situations where there's there's just no way the procurement teams could do it themselves because they're way too stretched as it is. You know, clearly you're going to have the right you need to have the right drivers internally, people within the procurement team going, we are missing. There's a massive gap here and we've got to do something about that and we can strategically drive it.

00;58;10;12 - 00;58;27;27
Jonny Dunning
But certainly in the in the early stage of the first instance, we need someone to help us with this and do of the heavy lifting because then if that if you're providing data and you're and you're kind of elevating that function, you're getting more granularity, more control over it, that's where the internal procurement team can do stuff with that data.

00;58;28;03 - 00;59;10;14
Jonny Dunning
They can make recommendations, they can look at supplier performance, they can look at how things are being delivered, hold the stakeholders accountable, hold their suppliers accountable. So it's you know, it's easy to say one size doesn't fit all. It's genuinely about just problem solving. It's a problem solving exercise. What's the most effective way to do it? Which brings me on to kind of the last kind of core point that I want it to really get into, which was I'll be interested to know just anecdotally, if you could give maybe, maybe even some examples of where you've seen this, but just how do organizations kind of move up the value chain within this kind of problem

00;59;10;14 - 00;59;13;05
Jonny Dunning
solving exercise or service delivery?

00;59;13;07 - 00;59;42;20
Sana Ali
And I think that's a really brilliant question. So I've mentioned maturity roadmap a number of times already, and I think that's really key to kind of tie in how clients can move up that value chain, because I think if if you've got a maturity roadmap, you are taking into consideration that whatever you are implementing today as this new structure or a refined structure is, there's there's, there's room for improvement and there's always room for improvement.

00;59;42;22 - 01;00;13;28
Sana Ali
But what you all have been doing and I think if you build out a maturity roadmap or have the intention to build out a maturity roadmap, at some point what you are doing is you are identifying areas to say, okay, this was my objective for today's landscape and in, say, I don't know, 12 months time, why is going to be my objective So I guess if we try and quantify that a little bit to give slightly more examples, visibility today as your first step could be your main objective.

01;00;14;01 - 01;00;47;20
Sana Ali
So when I say visibility, you can. Absolutely. I've had organizations that have not just left that visibility piece loose and open. And it's they've quantified that where they've said actually within 12 months or within a next period of time, having launched an organization, what the intention is, is to have actually anything that is deemed within this particular process, within these particular stages, 90% achievement every quarter or something along those line.

01;00;47;22 - 01;01;15;16
Sana Ali
So the intention is to have less. And I guess if I if I make this a little bit more clear, so if you have launched, say I don't know Zivio as the as the technology is being utilized to support and bolster and give you that visibility from an asset up, you spend perspective, but you are only targeting two locations, the UK and the US and you are targeting one core category internally, which is your I.T category.

01;01;15;19 - 01;01;39;01
Sana Ali
Now you can say and quantify that I want visibility, but what level of visibility I want? Is there anything that is within these boundaries of the UK US locations in the IT category? I want to ensure anything outside of Zivio that is processed with the technology that was say being utilized pre the deployment of Zivio as an example.

01;01;39;01 - 01;02;14;08
Sana Ali
Ariba I want to ensure that actually there is 90% uptake of the data trickling through that program every quarter within that space as opposed to trickling through Ariba which was the previous previous landscape and the previous technology. So there's elements of that where again, you set those boundaries. This is a starting point. Once you've achieved that, the expectation would be in most cases, if you've got the right level of adoption right level of post processes that are structured out, you're going to pretty much get 100% of the total adoption.

01;02;14;10 - 01;02;32;04
Sana Ali
You're going to with time, you're going to get that 100% success rate and then moving into what are some of those next stages. So you've achieved your visibility. You've started to get some insights into what your data is looking like and what that data landscape is telling you that then is reliant on what is that data telling you.

01;02;32;06 - 01;03;12;09
Sana Ali
So is there an element of focusing and targeting on, okay, I've got that level of visibility, but what I've now identified as part of that is I've got I'm out of the 20 suppliers that I've onboarded to be enrolled into this program. I've only got uptake of five of those suppliers being engaged. So actually then the next step might be that supplier optimisation element to say, right, so what elements and processes that can I implement into this and what change can I bring into this to encourage more adoption and more usage and engagement of those types of suppliers that I have as opposed to just the top five?

01;03;12;11 - 01;03;46;03
Sana Ali
And then with that, you could step out and there could be elements of cost savings that come into that as well, because those top five suppliers, based off the data visibility that you've acquired, might be the top five most expensive suppliers. So there's there's different elements that come into that. And I think again, as the saying there's never a right or wrong answer, I think it needs to be very tailored and specific to what you as an organization are looking to drive cost in most cases, if not all, is always the biggest determination, but well, the biggest driver even.

01;03;46;03 - 01;04;08;19
Sana Ali
But I think it's how do you get that cost control, those cost saving elements by ensuring that you've got the right level of foundation to be able to work to that. So again, if you have limited visibility, how are you going to bring in objectives to cut costs if you don't know what you'll spend is actually doing today and how those buying behaviors are today?

01;04;08;26 - 01;04;31;10
Sana Ali
So by getting that level of visibility and getting those data insights equips you to understand trends, understand areas, efficiencies, understand errors that actually can be left as is because they're working perfectly fine. But just I guess to give a little bit of a taste of some those examples of what could be, I would say that sort of visibility piece.

01;04;31;10 - 01;05;05;23
Sana Ali
And then kind of looking at what is that data telling you once you've got that visibility from it, from a whether it's cost control, whether it's supply optimization linked in with cost control or actually is there an element that's highlighted to say from an operational process or cycle time efficiency, they are ludicrous timelines. It's taking requests or hiring managers and stakeholders say, I don't know five weeks to go from inception to sourcing to fulfilment and to actually getting an SOW contract signed sealed with the supplier.

01;05;05;26 - 01;05;11;21
Sana Ali
Why it taking five weeks? So it's a pattern of peel away those layers. It's taken part.

01;05;11;24 - 01;05;14;01
Jonny Dunning
For some people.

01;05;14;04 - 01;05;37;03
Sana Ali
Absolutely. But as things like that. Well you know taking into that into consideration that timescale, if that is something then all the certain quick wins, low hanging fruit. From a tech perspective, can you automate certain elements that much more to reduce that five weeks to say, three weeks and then if your intention is reduced to even more from 3 to 1 week?

01;05;37;03 - 01;06;03;25
Sana Ali
So perhaps what other areas, aside from automating some more of the tech and bringing some of those tech efficiencies, what are there any operational efficiencies that can be brought into this? And again, they all tend to those value drivers tend to kind of work in line with that cost control because there's always a branch that leads in to if you're trying to save time, time is money essentially.

01;06;03;27 - 01;06;21;14
Sana Ali
So if you're cutting, cutting the timescales down, you are naturally going to start closing costs down as well. So there's a whole host of different elements, but just as a little bit of a snippet and, a tease, I'd say that it's in some of the kind of the common elements that come in to come into play that.

01;06;21;16 - 01;06;40;13
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, the cost one is I find that fascinating because. You know, it's just depends how people are measuring at the moment because for a lot of organizations and certainly a lot of procurement organizations within large companies, they're on their assessment of cost or their KPI is based on cost might be purely at the point of sourcing.

01;06;40;13 - 01;06;44;09
Sana Ali
Yeah, absolutely. But might be extremely subjective as well.

01;06;44;11 - 01;07;06;08
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, exactly. And it's like, well, what happens downstream? What's happening in terms of the overall what's the actual cost versus the original contracted cost? And you know, and even if you just look at it around sourcing, well, there's so much you can do around cost with that. But then like you say, you start bringing in efficiencies and things like that which can be initially harder for people to conceptualize.

01;07;06;08 - 01;07;46;08
Jonny Dunning
Measuring where there is just a sourcing cost of actually the budget was X and the contracted the contracted price was why we've saved 15% on the budget price or actually the the highest bid was X and the contracted price was Y we've saved 20% against the highest bid. Those things are very hard. Yeah, you're hard, cost savings are easy to measure, whereas you start getting into the more that there's still huge benefits to be built out of getting into the, the efficiency savings and you know how critical it is to get to market and deliver these services for your organization in a timely manner and then into the supply performance.

01;07;46;08 - 01;08;11;25
Jonny Dunning
And what's actually are people giving you, you know, really good looking right cards and then just taking forever to deliver it and having extension of the extension. But but it brings up a question in my mind in the sense that when people are going traveling or trying to move up this maturity curve, what are you seeing in terms of how people are able to justify the business case?

01;08;11;25 - 01;08;32;29
Jonny Dunning
Because I guess for some, for a lot of organizations, because this is an emerging area, not everybody hasn't got this sorted. It's not mature like continue workforce solutions. People must find it hard to build that initial business case. How are you seeing that where people are kind of are they iterating the business case or backing it up, starting small or what?

01;08;33;02 - 01;08;34;20
Jonny Dunning
How do you see people approaching it?

01;08;34;22 - 01;08;56;24
Sana Ali
Yeah, and I think that's such a valid question because it's I would say it's a completely mixed bag. So I would say and I say that with the caveat it's completely a mixed bag, but I do tend to see a little bit of a trend in the sense that a lot of organizations and again, I think the element of first generation versus second generation comes into this as well.

01;08;56;24 - 01;09;23;07
Sana Ali
So for a lot of the first generation clients, you know, they have not much of a clue. They they really need a lot of support to sort of guide them to say this is the justification for my business case to take up to that leadership team. A lot of the times what what is included as part of that in terms of value add to be able to move up that value chain really of some of those low hanging fruit.

01;09;23;07 - 01;09;54;12
Sana Ali
So visibility first and foremost, again, is that something that you are going to quantify specifically or are you just going to say we'll see how it goes, Let's get as much of this visibility and data traction as we can. But then again, there's always a cost element that comes into that as well. So again, into account from the simplicity perspective, those immediate quick wins or those low hanging fruit, all there are elements that from an upstream perspective that you can try and secure some form of cost savings.

01;09;54;12 - 01;10;25;22
Sana Ali
So if misclassification is a little bit of a struggle or actually you're not quite sure if it is indeed a challenge for you as an organization because you don't have the visibility, but you have an inkling that it might be because you know that you don't have your around that spend, you don't have that visibility. Then again, some of those upstream activities to quantify that all that certain operational tech enabled elements that can be fed into that process to really justifying quantify.

01;10;25;28 - 01;10;50;02
Sana Ali
Right. This is what we are expecting to achieve just by pushing in certain protocols, processes and governance is in place for those upstream activities. Now, again, you could have the same thing for some of those downstream activities as well. Actually, just by saying, okay, we we we have limited visibility, but we know there is a challenge here. What we also want to do is we want to bring in some sort of elements mandate.

01;10;50;04 - 01;11;31;19
Sana Ali
So whether that mandate means from a bid perspective, we want to drive costs and generate some of those savings to say, okay, any requirement over, say, $500,000 up to $1,000,000 needs to be mandatory and competitively bid out to six suppliers at above. So again, that will and then I think we then come in to the piece that you mentioned is how all those quantified from a hard saving versus soft savings perspective that will be reliant on how you as an organization operate to an extent, but also in terms of what means do you have to able to really quantify those.

01;11;31;22 - 01;12;06;15
Sana Ali
But there's different elements there. And I think what I do tend to see with some of the more mature clients is that they'll already have targets from a procurement perspective, whether CPO as CFOs have already given them, say, for the next five years. This is a cost saving target and they've said, we don't really care how you achieve those, but we just need you to secure X amount of cost saving targets and initiatives within five years so that then sometimes there's a level of creativity that can come into that.

01;12;06;17 - 01;12;30;06
Sana Ali
But again, based on if you are a slightly mature organization, there will be some really well versed, well oiled scenarios where you, you know, that you can achieve some hard cost savings already that will add to those targets and those initiatives. But then I'm actually working with and peeling away the lows for you as an organization. What are those challenges?

01;12;30;06 - 01;12;52;18
Sana Ali
And again, this is where the honesty transparency piece comes in as well, really to understand. Okay, so we know this works for us. We know that will form part of that overall cost saving target initiative. But are there other elements that might be a little bit subjective, but we can still prove it. We can justify it and we can bring in certain means and certain processes and principles to ensure that that's achieved.

01;12;52;18 - 01;13;27;17
Sana Ali
Is that going to work? But again, I think there is always an element of there is always room for improvement. So there's always an element of having a maturity roadmap. And I think even if that is part forms, part of your justification for your business case, to say this is a starting point that we're doing, we want to get to this or we're not quite sure what we want to get to, but we know that there will be room for improvement, even that I think, as a starting point and then reevaluate that in 12 months, 18 months down the line, I think is a great way to start.

01;13;27;20 - 01;13;53;10
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, absolutely. And you if you're dealing with provable results properly, it's always much easier to justify and build that business case. That's what people want to. See? And show me the money. Exactly. Yes. So I'm quite excited about the way the market is progressing. And I find it really interesting listening to you talk about what you're seeing in terms of maturity levels and things like that.

01;13;53;13 - 01;14;10;09
Jonny Dunning
Just to kind of finish off, what if you look at the next 12 months and I know often these the cycle times are these kind of big progress, especially with the really large organizations can be quite long term. But over the next month, the next 12 months, sorry, in your expectation, what would you what do you think you're going to see more of?

01;14;10;09 - 01;14;20;27
Jonny Dunning
Do you think you're going to see more people starting on this journey or more people who are already on the journey just moving up the value chain? Do you think there's going to be a trend either way on that?

01;14;20;29 - 01;14;48;23
Sana Ali
I think it's going to be a personally and this might be a little bit controversial, a bit bulb. I think there's going to be a fair 5050 split. And I say that purely because if you look at your EMEA markets, I think they are somewhat less mature comparative to the US markets. And then if you look at the APAC markets, they are completely down that level of of maturity scale.

01;14;49;00 - 01;15;09;22
Sana Ali
There's still a lot of education, still a lot of awareness that is needed within those markets. But and I say that because that for me is, is I'm trying to justify the 5050 split because I think you're going to have, based on what market you're looking at, you are going to have some organizations that are saying, Right, okay, we've done the basics.

01;15;09;27 - 01;15;38;10
Sana Ali
Want to keep go, go, go, go, go. It's, you know, the spend levels that we're talking about when it comes to the SOW world services, procurement world are not slowing. And there's a number of elements that come into that. But it is it has evolved and grown substantially, I would say, even over the last three years. And if we look at the last five years, even more so, and then if we take back the last seven years, even even more so.

01;15;38;13 - 01;16;00;15
Sana Ali
And you know, Jonny you I kind of proof that as well we've seen how how this industry and market is evolving. But I guess going back to the to the question that you've asked is I think there'll be a fair amount of organizations that have said, okay, we've got the basics, we want to keep moving. This spend is not slowing down for us.

01;16;00;15 - 01;16;26;07
Sana Ali
We've got our visibility. We know what we're doing. We know what we want to achieve. We want to keep going. We want to keep moving up that maturity roadmap. And I think there will come a point where we will be talking very relatively, very, very quickly about a fully self-service process and I mentioned this sort of Amazon style experience where I have conversations with more and more clients and that's what they want.

01;16;26;10 - 01;16;48;08
Sana Ali
They that is the utopian state for them. That's what they want to achieve. Whether they can get there in the next 12 months, I think that's a whole different conversation. But that's what they want to get to at some point. But then you also have of the remainder of the 50%, I think is where you still have some markets that the regions and some European locations.

01;16;48;08 - 01;17;09;22
Sana Ali
I would still say within within EMEA, where they're still relatively in their infancy stages, they're still starting to just wrap their heads around what is statement of work for us as an organization, what a statement of work mean within the industry. So I think there's still a bit of a journey for those type of clients to go on.

01;17;09;25 - 01;17;28;02
Sana Ali
But again, it's fast moving. The spend levels we know has evolved so much as we've already said. So there is going to be not a single organization that is not going to be thinking about this SJW services, procurement, management side of things within the next 12 months.

01;17;28;04 - 01;17;50;07
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I think it's really exciting. And like you say, it's accelerating. Organizations are spending more on services. Yeah, no new services are needing to be adopted all of the time as technology changes and the whole market moves so quickly. But I think the other thing that's accelerating is the recognition, the recognition, recognition of the problem and recognition that solutions are available.

01;17;50;07 - 01;18;16;27
Jonny Dunning
So yeah, I think it's going to be a really exciting time. And obviously with with the dynamic market that we're operating in things, things move quickly, so change happens. But I feel like it's just a more accelerated pace every year. But listen, thank you so much that I really, really enjoyed that. And it's great to dive into these topics and really kind of get into the detail and hopefully people will find that useful in terms of us just kind of airing our views and debating this sort of stuff.

01;18;16;27 - 01;18;23;03
Jonny Dunning
But I really appreciate your time. So yeah, thank you very much for joining me today. It was great.

01;18;23;05 - 01;18;24;26
Sana Ali
Thank you for having me back.

01;18;24;29 - 01;18;27;16
Jonny Dunning
Excellent. I Will catch up with you again soon.

01;18;27;19 - 01;18;28;28
Sana Ali
Yeah, brilliant.

01;18;29;00 - 01;18;29;16
Jonny Dunning
Thank you.

01;18;29;16 - 01;18;30;06
Sana Ali
Bye


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