“You Get What You Negotiate”

March 30, 2016

Written by: Reggie Wilson

The title rings true for just about all aspects of life, and certainly in the business world.  I have had the opportunity to witness a significant evolution in two high profile corporate functions that have always been “joined at the hip”………sales and purchasing.

The selling process has dramatically changed from even a decade ago with the emergence and wide adoption of the Challenger Model, a greater focus on relationship selling.   Purchasing experienced a significant retooling in the mid 1990’s by way of the 7 Step Strategic Sourcing Process.  Both processes can complement and conflict with each other depending on the situation.   As for now, let’s focus on the purchasing model and how it can be of benefit in the Human Capital Management (HCM) industry.

The following is the aforementioned Seven Step Strategic Sourcing Process:

  1. Internal Analysis of the Spend Category
  2. Supplier Market Assessment
  3. Supplier Search and Survey
  4. Development of a Sourcing Strategy
  5. Issuance of RFP/RFI to Supplier Slate
  6. Supplier Selection
  7. Supplier Implementation

During the course of many conversations with a variety clients, the Supplier Market Assessment step appears to be one of the more challenging in the process.  All too often, this step is compromised or just blatantly overlooked for a variety of reasons.   For instance, an executive could have a built in bias for a particular supplier, based on a previous experience at another company, and incorrectly assumes that they should be adequate for the current initiative.   To be totally effective, this step in the sourcing process has to be approached in an objective and unbiased manner.  The impact of the aforementioned relationship selling has to be tempered.   Supplier Market Assessments need to be developed, utilizing an organic approach.

What has been most prevalent in the HCM industry is that leadership, who force feeds a service or product upon an organization, greatly runs the risk of dealing with a white elephant.   I have heard from a number of dissatisfied HCM clients that would like the dreaded “do over” for a service or solution.  With the prevalence of SaaS HCM technology, purchasing / contract management must shift their mindset from buying software to contracting for services.  This shift has increased the need to enlist the assistance of a 3rd party HCM technology consulting firm.  Preferably a consulting firm that is unbiased and is not receiving any financial benefit from a solutions provider.

The Seven Step Strategic Sourcing Process is vital to managing pricing, deliverables, and overall costs of ownership during the life of a contract.  As with any process, skipping a step will negate the benefits gained in each step.  It is not advisable to navigate the procurement of HCM Technology services or solutions without a proven process.

HRchitect can provide the needed assistance to assure that you are choosing the best solution for your specific needs.  We can assist with creating an overall HCM Technology Strategy, and walk you through our proven process for technology selection which would include specifics for your current and future state of your organization.  HRchitect also has extensive experience in the implementation of all types of HCM solutions which will help make sure you obtain the full potential out of your new technology.

Reggie Wilson

About Reggie Wilson

Reggie has nearly 20 years of technology sales experience that ranges from Telecom to Human Capital Management systems. He joined HRchitect in 2013 as a Regional Sales Manager, and leads the sales efforts in the 15 state central region of the US as well as central Canada. Reggie has worked with clients from mid-market to enterprise scale, who have deployed solutions ranging from Workforce Management to Core HR systems.