Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
Most organizations rely on external technology providers for procuring the IT solutions the business needs. There are hundreds of technology providers in the market offering the same kind of solutions with the same features and deciding which product to choose or which vendor to go for can be quite a tedious task. That is where the sourcing strategies of the organization comes in handy. Strategic procurement or sourcing not only helps businesses gain a competitive advantage but also helps them manage third-party relationships and mitigate risks. Strategic sourcing provides a framework to make the sourcing of technology more efficient by laying clear guidelines for the planning, ordering, receiving, invoicing, and payment processes. Sourcing strategies are also meant to define how much the organization should spend on procurement. It should include market research to give a clear understanding of the supplier market and lay down well-defined guidelines for supplier selection. Thus, some of the key steps in building a sourcing strategy include: Assessing the company’s current spending on technology; Researching the supplier market; Picking up suitable suppliers for the project; Calculating the risks and costs involved; Negotiating with the chosen suppliers; Contracting the new suppliers; Reviewing and tracking to ensure desired output is achieved. Having a good sourcing strategy for the digital transformation program ensures that the spending on procurement is controlled, supplier relationships are maintained, and quality products and services are chosen. The sourcing strategy must be optimized by taking into consideration the different procurements inputs and comparing how they meet the company’s sourcing goals.
01. Sourcing Plan: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Building a Procurement Team: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Spend Analysis Part 1: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Spend Analysis Part 2: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Research Supplier Market: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Suitable Suppliers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Calculating Costs: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Calculating Risks: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Negotiate with Chosen Suppliers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Contracting New Suppliers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Competitive Advantage: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Review Supplier Performance: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Sourcing Plan: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Building a Procurement Team: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Spend Analysis Part 1: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Spend Analysis Part 2: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Research Supplier Market: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Suitable Suppliers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Calculating Costs: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Calculating Risks: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Negotiate with Chosen Suppliers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Contracting New Suppliers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Competitive Advantage: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Review Supplier Performance: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Sourcing Plan.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Building a Procurement Team.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Spend Analysis Part 1.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Spend Analysis Part 2.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Research Supplier Market.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Suitable Suppliers.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Calculating Costs.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Calculating Risks.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Negotiate with Chosen Suppliers.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Contracting New Suppliers.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Competitive Advantage.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Review Supplier Performance.
Your IT sourcing initiatives need to be strategic in order to be effective. In order to do this, you must proactively explore your organizational needs based on a clear business case. In the past, contracts were frequently awarded to the lowest bidder. A single-sourced partner chosen based only on the lowest bid is less likely to satisfy an organization’s demands today. Collaboration relationships with IT vendors that provide genuine value are essential. What are the essential elements of efficient IT sourcing plans for keeping businesses ahead in quickly evolving markets?
Tactical Vs. Strategic Sourcing — What’s The Difference?
In an IT-driven era, the previous tactical sourcing strategy involved hiring an external vendor in response to a business need. Many government and business organizations still use these frameworks to obtain the cheapest product as soon as feasible because these models were often motivated to attain the lowest cost. Sometimes it still works, especially if you’re thinking about buying a material item like IT technology. But to define key technological alliances and accomplish corporate goals, digital transformation necessitates a comprehensive and strategic approach.
In order to characterize outsourcing as a cooperation loop, strategic sourcing is used. Strategic sourcing establishes baselines for the IT service and cost improvements required to achieve business strategies up front and sets business goals and objectives. A limited list of possible partners is then presented with business plans and IT baselines. Given the level of transparency that customers are demanding, this endeavor is imperative. Customers are scrutinizing corporate collaborations more and more for factors like environmental effect and investment pledges. Your vendor partnerships are crucial to both your business objectives and brand strategy.
Back end requirements for this project include a strategic, flexible governance program and an iterative method for assessing the vendor’s strategic fit. The iterative process of this ongoing evaluation is similar to Agile techniques, which repeatedly question “Is this right?” and “Does this work?” Strategic vendor outsourcing reflects the requirement for contemporary IT relationships in this way.
Key Components Of Strategic Sourcing
The following are some of the main advantages of strategic sourcing versus conventional tactical sourcing:
• Cost reductions over the long run as opposed to one-time “low bid” techniques.
• Business strategy coordination with sourcing partners.
• A higher chance of choosing the ideal partner each time.
• Long-term collaborations that result in beneficial connections.
What constitutes a strategic sourcing project, whether it be in the supply chain, IT, or another area of the company, bearing these objectives in mind?
• A thorough grasp of your present IT services and costs is necessary for cost management. As relationship complexities rise, it’s crucial to regularly monitor your present service and cost as businesses seek to maximize partner capabilities and investments. You can contact vendors for a better price based on a long-term relationship when combined with objective negotiating around a strategic, nontactical aim.
• To get the best solutions, risk reduction, and risk sharing, solution design involves a competitive, co-design strategy with possible providers. Solution design aims to reduce costs and enhance service delivery in relation to your strategic ambitions. With this strategy, it’s crucial to maintain in-house architectural and design capabilities so that you can collaborate with potential vendors to develop solutions that are suitable for your company.
• Adaptive governance is a method for overseeing numerous service providers and adjusting your connections over time as your organization changes. Partnership difficulties rise as businesses embrace more multi-cloud systems and look for redundant supply chain models, necessitating adaptive governance even more.
A long-term examination of your sourcing possibilities is necessary for the implementation of strategic sourcing. What procedures are required for vendor evaluation?
How To Evaluate Your Sourcing Options
The objective approach and consistent evaluation procedure that are necessary for making strategic decisions about sourcing possibilities are frequently assisted by external resources. Your method should incorporate:
• A baseline for defining and assessing the costs and services offered today. Utilize the baseline to ascertain how relationships impact the broad strategic objectives of the department and the firm.
• Decide on the selection criteria that will guide the vendor relationship management procedure. Create a vendor service profile that includes objectives for diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as delivery criteria, governance requirements, and even environmental impact requirements.
• In an iterative process, investigate at the vendor(s) in order to start with a high-level solution design and make changes to the vendors and solution as you go.
• To comprehend outsourcing price models, you must compare vendor expenses to your starting point. Although this study is tailored to your particular circumstances, the benefit justifies the resource commitment required for thorough investigation.
• Develop employee buy-in for this new process. It could be necessary to make a conscious effort to include managers in the success of this new program due to interdepartmental politics. But stakeholder support is necessary for strategic sourcing to succeed.
How to Change the Game with Strategic Sourcing
How can strategic sourcing be used to enhance the procurement process and produce better business results? In this workshop, we’ll talk about sourcing tactics as they relate to IT transformation and how strategic sourcing may provide your business a competitive edge. You’ll discover some important information below that can help you change the game in your company.
1. Industry 4.0 tools can make our work easier even while COVID-19 has made them harder.
Today, it is more important than ever to overcome spreadsheets’ data processing constraints in order to properly manage spending. To do this, one must analyze enormous datasets that were previously unfathomable in size, but this can be done with today’s tested, cutting-edge technology.
Think about the following questions:
• How might new tools help procurement teams work more efficiently?
• What functions do machine learning, robotic process automation, and AI serve?
• How can your procurement team manage higher spend with faster sourcing?
2. The scope of bid evaluation is constrained by manual work, which is also hampered by months-long procedures.
The issues with manual processes have long been known, but this turbulent year has made them worse. Burnout from manual labor results in a lack of information that prevents you from consistently making the best buying decisions.
One of the major advantages of business spend management (BSM) platform adoption and procurement transformation is that it expands your team’s bandwidth by giving them new tools that give actionable insights more quickly, effectively, affordably, and efficiently. As a result, you may address tail spend with your best-trained procurement staff.
3. Your procurement team can manage greater spend thanks to quicker sourcing.
Concentrate on increasing the capability of your top sourcing specialists by utilizing the efficiency benefits provided by contemporary strategic sourcing optimization techniques, generally through a Sourcing Center of Excellence (CoE). The CoE can source a bigger percentage of addressable expenditure thanks to the efficiency advantages from new technologies, and when your top people source with the finest tools, they uncover more savings and unlock more value.
4. With the appropriate tools, you can prevent analytics burnout and amp up deals 1,000 times.
With the help of the modern tools available today, you can 1,000-fold the impact of your offerings. Is this overstating the case? In no way. You would have 1,000 times more influence over bids if you could compare 100 times as many suppliers across 100 times as many cost factors. Not necessarily easy to implement, but rather straightforward to compute
5. Get past the constraints of manual procedures and spreadsheets.
Technology advancements currently outstrip certain organizations’ capacity for change. Organizations with agility clearly have a competitive edge. The firms that can swiftly and strategically evaluate massive datasets will stand out in their industries given the abundance of data accessible.
The biggest issue of today’s procurement
The biggest challenge in procurement is coordination—coordination in the broadest sense of the word, both within the organization and among various supply chain and value chain participants.
There are many good reasons for organizations, regardless of the industry they operate in, to make procurement, especially digital procurement, a new strategic endeavor. All organizations—public administration, enterprises, non-profits, sports clubs, you name it—cannot afford to ignore the need of carefully managed, ethical procurement.
Operational inefficiency is frequently the result of procurement being dispersed across several departments within the same organizational structure. For instance, according to PwC’s digital procurement team, it happens frequently to discover orders that have been placed twice or to discover that the same invoice has been paid twice as a result of poor coordination.
In general, the necessity to handle procurement through a centralised operational model becomes more critical the more complicated the organizational structure is. The same is true for companies that offer a wide range of goods and services.
Organizations must be able to comprehend procurement holistically in order to better manage and even lower strategic risks, benefit from leverage effects, and cut costs.
Advantages of a strategic sourcing strategy
The effectiveness of purchasing management is improved by strategic sourcing. More precisely, it lowers costs, strengthens supplier and vendor relationships, increases flow traceability, and boosts monitoring, audit, and reporting. With trackable operations records and more readily available indications, it enables a better professionalization of purchasing administration.
Purchase officers, for instance, have more negotiating power when they are specialized in a particular field and can ensure they are getting the best value for their money.
Additionally, both the organization as a whole and each department separately have ongoing access to spending evaluation. With this knowledge, it is simpler and more data-driven to change the organization’s policy, which helps to lower supply-related risks, incorporate social or environmental standards, or guarantee the integrity of suppliers through Know-Your-Supplier procedures.
The procurement function plays a pivotal role in managing risk and cost across supplier management, strategic sourcing, contract management, purchase to pay and spend analytics.
Strategic sourcing vs. procurement
The variety of activities and processes required for firms to obtain goods and services is referred to as procurement. Although this theoretically entails both strategic and administrative duties, procurement departments frequently concentrate on the routine e-procurement operations and transactions, such as purchase orders, invoicing, and payments.
Strategic sourcing, on the other hand, places more emphasis on the actions taken prior to making a purchase, such as researching the market and your company’s needs. In contrast to procurement, which often seeks out the lowest-priced alternative, strategic sourcing considers the larger picture and uses extensive data sets to assess the importance of other criteria like ideal vendor relationships and decreased business risk.
By unifying sourcing standards and offering a platform for gathering data about suppliers, goods, markets, and business needs, strategic sourcing software can help the approach. Larger procurement systems, procure-to-pay platforms, ERP systems, and supply chain management systems may occasionally include this software.
However, “strategic sourcing application suites” are becoming more and more well-liked products. These frequently have various software modules and typically contain features for e-sourcing, spend analysis, contract administration, and supplier relationship management. Gartner lists Coupa, GEP, Ivalua, JAGGAER, SAP, Synertrade, and Zycus as major players. Although some companies also provide on-premises or private cloud versions, multitenant SaaS is the main delivery method for their products.
Vendors are attempting to integrate AI and advanced analytics to improve the efficiency of the sourcing process. These capabilities can offer predictive models based on variables including market circumstances, the season, and geopolitical considerations, as well as recommendations based on historical performance and current measurements. In other circumstances, the supply chain’s use of blockchain is also improving visibility and accuracy.
Chapter 1: Sourcing Plan
In order to create the goods and services you provide to your consumers and run regular business operations, your company needs a solid IT sourcing strategy. It takes careful planning to develop and optimize a sourcing strategy that offers value in the form of improved competitive performance, operational efficiency, and insight-driven decision-making, in addition to a good return on investment (ROI). A well-crafted and well carried out strategic sourcing plan serves as the foundation of the strategic sourcing process.
Even though it could seem like a difficult task, developing and putting such a plan into place doesn’t have to be a barrier to the long-term success of your business. To create a strategic sourcing plan you can use to fine-tune your supply chain for maximum cost savings, streamlined business processes, and big-time value that exceeds, rather than simply meets, your business requirements, form a team, invest in the right digital tools, and adhere to a few basic principles.
Why Having an Effective Strategic Sourcing Plan Matters
Doing business in the modern world is both more rewarding and more risky than ever before. Digital transformation and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, Big Data analytics, and process automation have radically altered the ways in which businesses seek to meet the needs of their customers.
In procurement, the challenge has become maintaining business continuity despite disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and international political upheaval. Every dollar you spend as part of your procurement strategy needs to generate the best possible ROI, both financially through cost reductions and lowest possible total cost of ownership (TCO), and in less tangible ways like improved supplier relationship management, bigger market share, and stronger competitive performance.
For companies of all types and sizes, strategic sourcing is a core component of overcoming this challenge.
Proactive and driven by analysis of internal processes, supply markets, and supplier performance, strategic sourcing makes it possible to meet business needs with maximum efficiency and value. Companies who choose to invest the resources, time, and talent required to develop a strategic sourcing strategy will improve their ability insulate themselves against unnecessary risk while freeing capital required for growth and innovation.
Ideally, your strategic sourcing team will be made up of professionals who understand the importance of procurement and its partner accounts payable as drivers of value creation and cost savings for the business as a whole (particularly via the procure to pay, or P2P, process).
Chapter 2: Building a Procurement Team
This course manual will serve as a step-by-step approach for creating a procurement team, regardless of whether you are an experienced procurement specialist or just getting started with setting up a procurement department.
The topics covered in this course manual are:
1. Procurement team roles and responsibilities
2. How to build the procurement function and set up the team
3. Typical structure of a procurement team
4. How to set the expectation of different stakeholders
5. What skills to look for while hiring for the procurement department
Structure of the procurement team
The definition of several departments and subteams within the procurement team is the next stage.
Please keep in mind that this is only a representation of the tasks that your team is in charge of; it is not recommended, but it is possible, to assign each task to one individual.
The following duties should be performed by your procurement team.
2. Strategic sourcing
3. Contract management
4. analytics and reporting for data
The end-to-end procurement transaction is enabled as the main purpose of purchasing. A purchasing team is typically in charge of:
• Ensuring that the mechanisms and process are in place to handle user requests and properly authorize spending.
• Make sure the company offers an easy purchase method.
• Putting together the purchase order and mailing it to the supplier.
• Orders are being escalated to ensure prompt delivery of the goods and services needed to run the company.
• Teaching staff about the buying process.
Strategic sourcing team
Working with vendors to negotiate lower prices is a key component of strategic sourcing. The following are the main steps in the strategic sourcing process.
• Establish a strategic sourcing process to make sure that all vendor assessments adhere to a set framework.
• Inform stakeholders on the duties and responsibilities of the business vs the sourcing team in a vendor evaluation process as well as how the sourcing team analyzes vendors.
• Run the RFX (Request for X) or RFP (Request for Proposal) process with the suppliers. RFIs are typically issued to gather data for an RFP that will be used to request proposals from vendors.
• Analyzing the RFP answers will assist the company in making a selection that is in line with its objectives.
• Review vendor contracts with contract management to reduce risk.
• Control a savings goal and keep track of purchase cost savings.
Contract management team
The following responsibilities are under the purview of the contract management function:
• supplying sample contracts for the various goods and services your company uses to make purchases. It also entails establishing benchmarks for jargon used in commerce and law. With the help of the finance and treasury department, standards for commercial terms are established.
• To enable sourcing self-service, define common fallback clauses and collaborate with sourcing teams.
• Verify vendor agreements to make sure they adhere to the established corporate terms.
• To negotiate a contract, work with a vendor’s attorney.
• Establish a central repository for all contracts so that it is simple to locate contracts and keep track of important dates like renewal and expiration dates.
Although procurement or the legal department may perform contract management, we are referring to the job function when we use the term.
Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, having a contract management function inside procurement facilitates better communication between the procurement team members and quicker contract review turnaround times. On the other hand, you cannot make the best use of that resource if there are few contracts to evaluate.
In order to come up with the best model that works for everyone, we advise talking with your chief legal officer.
Data analytics and reporting
Spend visibility is the best tool for persuading your organization of the advantages of procurement. Therefore, we strongly advise that you assign the following responsibilities to a data analytics and reporting department.
• Prepare routine spend visibility reports and distribute them to the various departments.
• Recognize the benefits that the budget owners derive from reporting and how the data analytics team may enhance reporting.
• Analyze your spending to find savings chances all the time. Let me explain this further.
The strategic sourcing team is often in charge of finding and taking advantage of savings opportunities. However, the sourcing team is typically preoccupied with managing the opportunities and doesn’t typically have time to sift through the data to discover new chances.
Consider this to be a sales-related task. A field sales team is in charge of pursuing those prospects after an inside sales team has finished identifying and qualifying new sales opportunities.
The sourcing team can be more effective in carrying out those chances for savings if you make sure that a distinct person is identifying them.
The Booz and Company model that outlines the ideal procurement methodology is shown below.
Chapter 3: Spend Analysis Part 1
The basics of spend analysis
To get you started, consider the following fundamental terms and concepts.
Spend data, commonly referred to as procurement spend data, is information about a company’s outlays for goods and services obtained from outside vendors.
The procedure for gathering, classifying, and managing that spend data is known as spend data management.
The practice of gathering, scrubbing, classifying, and analyzing expenditure data using either specialized software or one-off spend cubes is known as spend analytics.
Spend analysis is the activity of studying spending patterns in order to cut expenses, boost productivity, or strengthen supplier ties.
Just so you know, spend analytics and spend analysis are not the same thing even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. You won’t have the pertinent data required for spend analysis without spend analytics.
Consider it this way: Spend analytics provides you with the information you require, and spend analysis is what you do with it.
Let’s examine the contrasts in more detail.
Spend analytics vs. spend analysis
The science underpinning spend data management is spend analytics. Data collection and cleaning are the first steps. The data must then be classified and consolidated in order to be grouped and identified in an understandable manner. The data can then be combined with outside data and made ready for analysis.
With spend analysis, you look at a particular area of the spend data (in this case, technology) to find and extract useful data that provides you with strategic insights. It’s one of the most important strategies that procurement companies do to actively find savings opportunities, control risks, and maximize their organization’s purchasing power.
Spend analysis is frequently viewed as the cornerstone of sourcing. Executives in charge of sourcing might use it as a tool to design better performance. The knowledge gained from spend analysis can lead to cost reductions, performance enhancement, contract compliance, and better visibility into company spending.
Analyzing procurement spending offers a baseline against which changes can be measured and a trustworthy point of reference for selecting tactics to obtain both short- and long-term savings.
Spend analysis, which is its essential strategic technique, develops a parallel process that directs senior leaders and budget holders in optimizing value for the organization’s dollar as procurement advances to a more strategic function within the company.
Chapter 4: Spend Analysis Part 2
How to do Spend Analysis
You will learn about the steps of expenditure analysis in this first portion of the course handbook. While the size and style of spend analysis initiatives might vary, they typically involve six essential processes from expenditure identification to analysis.
Spend Analysis in Six Steps
1. Identify Data Sources
Getting a general overview of the spend that will be included is the first step in beginning a spend analysis. By doing this, you can limit such purchases to a select few important vendors.
You can divide your spending into many categories and then figure out all the expenditure data sources from your departments, facilities, and business units. Start by determining which departments inside your company, such as procurement, finance, and marketing, make important purchases.
2. Data Extraction
Once you have focused your efforts, you can collect your spend information and compile it into a single database. Collecting data into a single source can be difficult because it is frequently in several forms, languages, and currencies. However, there are software tools available to simplify this process.
3. Data Cleansing
Cleaning is the process of identifying errors in a set of data, eliminating faulty records, and eliminating redundant information. To ensure correctness, this includes identifying and removing mistakes and anomalies in descriptions and transactions. You may determine which contacts in your database are missing information or are irrelevant by performing data cleansing. For accurate information, typos are deleted, and missing codes are verified and fixed.
4. Data Enrichment
The practice of enhancing, modifying, and improving unprocessed expenditure data is known as data enrichment. Standardizing the spend data is another aspect that makes it easier to view. The header and line-level names and details are all verified to be accurate and adhere to a particular naming standard by enriching the spend data. Specific fields are frequently missing from data, and misspellings, abbreviations, and poorly coded entries are all too typical.
Grouping many suppliers who belong to the same parent firm or organization is a common classification practice. For instance, Microsoft products like Surface, Azure, and Microsoft 365 should all be combined. Additionally, you can combine the data into relevant categories (such as marketing, office supplies, and software) to determine how and where the company is spending its money.
Spending throughout the entire business is made easier to handle and manage when heterogeneous expenditure data is unified into clearly defined categories. To make better sourcing decisions, procurement can obtain visibility into global expenditure by classifying all purchase transactions into a unified taxonomy.
6. Analysis of Data
Finding areas for cost-savings and other procurement improvements is the final step. Analysis can be used to look into a variety of business issues, such as making sure you have the best contract agreements with each supplier or verifying customers are buying from favored suppliers.
With this, you may spot chances to narrow down the pool of providers for each category and bargain for lower prices. Only after accurate calculations have been made using the confirmed projections can the best probable option for cost reduction be realized.
Chapter 5: Research Supplier Market
It’s critical to comprehend the situation of the market you’re about to enter before you can create a successful IT procurement or sourcing strategy. Without this information, there is a far greater danger of squandering time and money and not getting the desired results.
Why is market research important and what does it entail?
Prior to creating your procurement strategy, it’s important to have a better understanding of the market’s offerings. This knowledge may originate from a number of sources:
• An internet search for vendors’ qualifications.
• Making contact with organizations that are similar to discover what they do to obtain a specific commodity or service.
• Market research on specialized websites like IBISWorld to learn about the key players, the services they provide, and how the product or service is changing in response to new technologies.
There are numerous advantages to conducting this market research. It primarily makes sure that your overall procurement plan is in line with market capabilities. There is no sense in developing a strategy around an item that the market is unable to supply. Once you are aware of what the market is capable of, you may adjust your procurement strategy for the greatest results.
You can use market research to determine if it would be ideal to supply the solution internally, through the market, or through a combination of both. Prior to conducting your due diligence to determine the supply capabilities of the industry and your own company, you cannot truly know which alternative is the finest.
If some segments of the market are developing faster than others, market research also gives the opportunity to investigate alternate solutions, fresh inventions, or joint venture prospects. There may be options to future-proof that service by discovering new and innovative providers, but you must first conduct research to find them. New technology is evolving so quickly that you don’t want what you’re acquiring to be obsolete within a year.
Last but not least, market research gives you the chance to learn the potential prices of the products and services you’re interested in, so you can decide whether a tender can be completed within set budgets.
Despite how crucial it is, conducting market research requires expertise and time.
What might occur if you don’t finish your research?
Not conducting the appropriate market research can have a lot of harmful effects.
Without a thorough understanding of the market, you run the risk of having an unexpected or unsuccessful conclusion, which will cost you time and money.
If the tender is rejected because the strategy wasn’t carefully considered or you don’t have enough money to pay for the services offered, it could also harm your reputation and make it less likely that the market would tender for future projects you release.
Last but not least, a lack of research might result in missed opportunities: If you simply use the same approach as when you last made a bid to the same suppliers, you can miss out on superior service or lower prices. For all you know, there could be 10 brand-new vendors out there who perform better for less money or can provide you with services your present IT vendor cannot. But those opportunities will be gone unless you conduct the necessary study and comprehend how the market has changed since the last time you tendered.
After this workshop you will be able to:
1. Set priorities for doing a supply market analysis after finishing this course manual.
2. Describe the various information sources and the value of getting accurate market intelligence.
3. Use Porter’s “Five Forces,” SWOT analysis, and supplier analysis to gauge the amount of competition in your supply market.
4. By integrating the assessment of supply market risk and its possible influence on the organization, determine which market segments best fulfill the organization’s supply objectives and present the best balance of risks and opportunities.
Chapter 6: Suitable Suppliers
Making the appropriate vendor/supplier selection can make or kill your company. A poor supplier can hurt your client relations, lower the quality of your goods and services, disrupt business operations, and raise costs all while lowering sales revenues and margins.
On the other hand, a reputable vendor or supplier will offer you high-quality goods and services that at the very least meet your IT business needs, if not beyond them. They will regularly and dependably supply them at the appropriate time and cost.
The significance of making strategic supplier selections is discussed in this course handbook. It outlines the variety of variables influencing your decision and provides you with a list of crucial standards for choosing a provider.
Last but not least, it includes best practice guidance on limiting the pool of potential suppliers, conducting background checks, and managing supplier relationships.
Selecting suppliers for your company
Selection criteria for suppliers
Suppliers are essential to the success of businesses. Businesses must take into account a variety of important variables in order to choose the best candidates, such as:
A successful relationship can also be largely influenced by shared geography and culture. Effective purchasing should be driven by the requirements and goals of your company.
Worth the money
If you are a start-up, cost may be a crucial factor in selecting a supplier. Cheap providers, though, aren’t always the best investment. You must decide how much you are willing to pay for your goods if you want dependability and quality from your providers. Finding the right mix between price, dependability, quality, and service is crucial.
Reliability and excellence
Your suppliers’ quality needs to be consistent so that your customers don’t link you with low quality. Additionally, if your supplier disappoints you by making a late delivery or providing defective goods, you might disappoint your client.
Swiftness and adaptability
You can avoid tying up too much working capital in stock by being able to place regular, minor orders. Quick responses to unforeseen situations and shifting client demands are made possible by flexible providers. Suppliers who provide you a speedy delivery service will rank higher than those who compete on other aspects, such as price alone, if you want to reduce the time it takes you to serve your clients.
Solid support and transparent communication
In order to have a positive working relationship with your supplier, communication is crucial. Your supplier should communicate honestly and frequently, starting with the initial briefing and continuing through ongoing feedback and regular meetings. Your vendors must deliver on time or, if they can’t, must be truthful and give you plenty of notice.
Making ensuring your supplier has a strong enough cash flow to deliver what you need when you need it is always worthwhile. Your confidence in their ability to stay in business when you need them most will be increased by a credit check.
Chapter 7: Calculating Costs
Sourcing is defined as the process of establishing terms and conditions for acquiring goods and services from external sources. Sourcing cost is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that is vital to supply management. This provides a clear way to measure the performance of the entire procurement process, and since it is a KPI based on cost metrics, it directly impacts the bottom line.
Sourcing savings serve the purpose of driving down the cost of goods (including the handling and delivery of those items) as well as improving terms in the supplier relationship. Reducing procurement costs can be a simple and instant way to increase profit margins without sacrificing the quality of products offered to consumers.
There are a variety of techniques businesses can implement to drive down these purchasing expenses, but first, it is vital to understand the different types and components of procurement costs and identify why these expenses occur.
How Procurement Cost Works
Procurement is the entire process of obtaining services or goods for business operations, from vendor sourcing to receiving the ordered products. For inventory-based businesses, the budget for procurement can make up a substantial portion of their resources.
It is also important to note that the terms purchasing’ and procurement’ are often used interchangeably, though they are not the same. Purchasing refers to obtaining goods on behalf of the company while procurement describes all of the steps involved in obtaining them. Therefore, purchasing is actually only one of the many steps in the procurement process.
Types of Procurement Costs
1. Base Cost
The key procurement cost driver is the per-item amount. In larger transactions, this is especially true. It is the largest expense and the most challenging to reduce. The best move is to find competing suppliers with the same products and negotiate the best price per unit.
2. Closing Cost
Many companies outsource the buying and selling of inventory, which means that expenses such as brokerage, legal fees (when legal advisors are hired to draft contracts), and commissions may add up.
3. Taxes and Duties
For inventory acquired overseas, there are considerable costs associated such as government charges like tariffs, taxes as flat rates (like VAT or GST), and more. Import taxes can be complex, so many companies hire brokers to assist with the customs process.
4. Negotiation Cost
Creating an agreement with a vendor will generally involve additional time researching prospective suppliers, leading to indirect labor costs. Negotiating with suppliers can also be costly, especially if the staff is traveling to make the agreements.
Chapter 8: Calculating Risks
Without suppliers, your business would be unable to offer the features, products, and services necessary for an IT transformation to be successful. Having a strategic sourcing plan enhances your success and might even give you a competitive edge.
However, every contract you have with a vendor, every piece of equipment you buy for the assembly line, and every task you outsource to a third party increases your company’s risk. That danger cannot be avoided unless you have no intention of using any providers, which is virtually impossible. There will always be some operational risk to manage, regardless of the industry you’re in or the type of your organization. Third-party risk is a constant concern, and some companies will pose a greater risk than others.
Suppliers who fall short of your standards might cause disaster. For instance, according to recent reports from Soha Systems, a third of all data breaches are either directly or indirectly the result of a third party’s error. A missing shipment or a defective component might cost you just as much, even though IT activities typically receive the majority of the focus when it comes to supply risk.
Organizations may employ supplier risk assessments on their most crucial vendors for improved supplier risk management, also known as vendor risk management, to mitigate the threat of these hazards. Risk departments are aware of the significance of these audits, but supplier diversity teams might not be.
Reasons Why Risk Cannot Be Eliminated
Every time your business works with a new vendor, it assumes some risk since supplier risk is inevitable. That danger cannot be completely eradicated no matter what you do, but you can take measures to minimize it.
Some suppliers are riskier than others depending on a number of variables, including how crucial they are to your company’s operations, how simple it is to find a replacement, and the potential financial damage should something go wrong.
The supplier risk assessment is an essential component of choosing and managing vendors since it helps to identify and mitigate vendor risks before crises develop. In order to give credit for a job well done to the businesses in your supply chain that are supporting your company, these supplier assessments can also take into account supplier performance.
Chapter 9: Negotiate with Chosen Suppliers
Setting goals is crucial when negotiating
Any IT sourcing strategy includes extensive negotiation with vendors, but it can also be the most challenging.
A Negotiation Introduction
Procurement professionals engage in negotiation to develop advantageous conditions for a new supplier contract. When a contract is renewed, this may entail negotiating new terms with a current supplier or revising existing terms with a new vendor.
Negotiations are frequently used to find the best deal on a product or service, as well as the best terms for payment, delivery, and production. Instead of only trying to acquire the lowest price, the talks should take into account the best alternative for both the buyer and the supplier, as this will assist to forge better ties with long-term partners.
Prior to getting into discussions with suppliers, it is crucial to establish objectives to make sure everything you set out to do is covered.
Defining Your Negotiation Goals
When formulating the goals of a negotiation with a supplier, there are a lot of things to take into account. These might comprise, but aren’t restricted to:
• Value for money
• Delivery time
• Payment conditions
• Maintenance and after-care terms
• Quality requirements
• Lifetime expenses for each product or service
• The significance of each good or service to your company
Making a list of the most crucial issues should be one of your first steps in negotiation preparation. This will offer you some leeway to choose which elements are open to compromise and which cannot.
Think seriously about your ideal outcome when analyzing the crucial variables. What terms for the pricing, quality, and so on would you accept? And based on what you believe the supplier is likely to offer, what is the absolute minimum you will accept?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the conditions of the agreement should be advantageous to both parties. A low price could be advantageous in the short term, but if you want to use the provider again or repeatedly, agreeing to a little higher price or adjustments to other terms will strengthen the long-term connection.
Chapter 10: Contracting New Suppliers
Negotiating supplier contracts
Accept conditions of supplier contract
It’s ideal to create a written contract when you and your provider have agreed to terms and conditions and reached a settlement.
This agreement must be signed by both parties. Despite being legally binding, verbal agreements are notoriously difficult to depend on in court.
What do supply contracts entail?
A firm and a supplier enter into a contract or agreement for the supply of the specified goods or services. It is a legal document that you can use to gauge the performance of the supplier.
Supplier contracts often include the following in addition to the description of the things to be supplied:
• The name and addresses of both parties
• The obligations of both parties
• Information on prices and payments, including a timeline and the invoice process
• Performance standards and evaluation procedures
• Terms of secrecy
• Refunds and payment conditions
• The extent of the post-purchase support you need
• The terms and circumstances of the contract, such as renewal or termination
It may also contain highly precise supplier contract terms or clauses, such as those that specify that the supplier retains ownership of the products until they are paid in full or that the seller’s contractual obligation is limited while taking the buyer’s statutory rights into consideration.
What the contract will cover should be agreed upon by both parties. The terms and conditions used may be your own, the supplier’s, or a combination of the two, depending on who has the most negotiating leverage during the contract negotiation.
Creating supplier agreements
Online resources include free templates and sample agreements. However, default wording is unlikely to be enough because a supplier contract should be comprehensive and tailored to your needs.
When creating your terms and conditions, you should think about seeking legal counsel.
You should: in order to draft a supplier agreement Inform the supplier in writing of your intended use for its supplies and request written confirmation that what it is selling you is adequate. Write the contract in a way that protects your interests and, if feasible, transfers legal responsibility for any issues to the provider.
Build into the contract what will happen if there are any problems with the goods or services – for example, will the supplier replace individual faulty goods or the whole batch and within what time period; specify penalties for failure to meet delivery deadlines or quality standards, such as a future discount; and keep a written record of all assurances given.
The procedures that must be followed in the event that either party wants to end the contract or resolve a dispute should also be taken into consideration.
Chapter 11: Competitive Advantage
The ability of your business to offer goods and services that are superior to those of your rivals and/or offer greater value is known as competitive advantage. Typically, your business’s competitive advantages are built over time with input from numerous departments.
A company can choose the best portfolio of suppliers and match those suppliers with the firm’s objective by using an efficient IT procurement process. This can be accomplished through agreeable terms and cross-functional excellence, which stimulates and incubates collaboration.
A quick but real cost improvement can be produced through an efficient and effective procurement procedure, which can also improve the supply chain’s agility.
Therefore, a well-defined procurement process can give your company a competitive edge by lowering costs throughout the value chain, enhancing efficiency in the delivery of high-quality goods and services, supporting product innovation, decreasing supplier risk, and boosting supply chain resilience.
To address diverse difficulties, the majority of supply chain-aligned businesses review their procurement methods. Typically, eight out of ten of these businesses respond in an emergency. Instead, the ideal strategy for a corporation is to see the problems and plan how to solve them.
Currently, the majority of experts see strategic IT acquisition and competitive advantage as two sides of the same coin. But they have a valid motive for doing it. There is a cause-and-effect connection between the two factors. Over the past few years, the rules of procurement have altered as a result of the introduction of new companies who compete with one another to offer the best value on goods or services. As a result, there is greater competition than ever before for procurement firms. They can only achieve a definite advantage in the current cutthroat IT business climate by strategic buying. It connects businesses with a trustworthy and varied choice of providers, which turns out to be a game-changer for them.
How your organization manages its procurement process will determine whether or not it can incorporate reputable suppliers in its mission statement. The two advantages of strategic procurement are improved tangible cost and a more agile supply chain. These two elements combine to give a procurement organization a competitive edge.
Chapter 12: Review Supplier Performance
How Do You Manage Your Supplier Performance?
A business process known as supplier performance management (SPM) is used to assess, monitor, and manage a supplier’s performance. Professionals in supplier management aim to reduce expenses, reduce risks, and promote continual improvement. Systems are used by businesses to track supplier performance levels.
What Is A Scorecard For Supplier Performance?
A tracking device used to keep track of supplier performance is a supplier performance scorecard (supplier scorecard). Quality, delivery, lead time, price, and responsiveness of suppliers are all tracked over time through supplier scorecards. Data from scorecards are used by experts in supplier performance to enhance supplier relationships.
What Dimensions Typically Appear On A Supplier Performance Scorecard?
Financial health (bankruptcy risk, liquidity, sales, etc.), operational performance (quality, lead times, customer services, etc.), contract compliance, business processes (defect prevention, inspections, etc.), price change year over year, negotiator price impact, and overall cost are the typical supplier performance scorecard dimensions.Supplier Performance Management Best Practices
For long-term success, all businesses need to establish a fundamental expertise in successfully quantifying and managing risks. Dealing with suppliers involves significant risks and the possibility of disaster in the form of insolvency, environmental issues, delivery failure, a lack of materials, subpar performance, or defective products. The majority of firms are aware of these dangers, yet they don’t do enough to properly manage them. There are still many steps a company may take to lessen these supplier risks, even though it is true that the amount of risk cannot be reduced to zero and all tragedies cannot be prevented. Regularly managing and monitoring the performance of suppliers is a crucial and economical step. This article will give a general overview of the ways in which businesses can lower their risks and realize more value from their supply bases.
The advantages of supplier performance management
Companies can gain a number of important advantages by continuously assessing and monitoring supplier performance. First, businesses may steer clear of pricey and even disastrous supply disruptions. Second, businesses can lower their overall risk from additional negative situations including flaws, environmental difficulties, or safety problems with a supplier’s method, resources, or goods. Thirdly, businesses who successfully adopt supplier performance management programs will be better able to identify issues early and start putting corrective measures in place before the issue becomes a major headache or negatively impacts the bottom line. These advantages are easily measurable. The financial benefit of preventing even part of these disruptions would be in the millions each year if a corporation understands that there are typically 100 supply disruptions per year and that each disruption costs, on average, $100,000.
The advantages to a business with a successful supplier performance management program go beyond risk reduction and issue avoidance. Positive outcomes are also seen. One advantage is enhanced supplier cooperation, which can result in greater coordination and help the supplier and the organization more effectively fulfill corporate goals. Increased productivity and efficiency for the company in its interactions with its suppliers can be another advantage. A robust supplier performance management system can also empower suppliers to take the initiative to carry out duties like updating their data to guarantee that everything is up to date. Additionally, it can lower costs and increase invoice accuracy. Errors are avoided and doing business with suppliers may be made simpler as a result.
Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 11 – Sourcing Strategies
- Sourcing Plan
- Building a Procurement Team
- Spend Analysis Part 1
- Spend Analysis Part 2
- Research Supplier Market
- Suitable Suppliers
- Calculating Costs
- Calculating Risks
- Negotiate with Chosen Suppliers
- Contracting New Suppliers
- Competitive Advantage
- Review Supplier Performance
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Leading IT Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Leading IT Transformation Specialist (ALITTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Leading IT Transformation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
“Stay, Switch or Back – Evaluating the IT Sourcing Cycle
A Sheffield Hallam University thesis,
By Nicholas Paul Butler,
IT outsourcing has been a rich source for discussion since the landmark deal between Kodak and IBM in July 1989, being seen by many as the agreement that started outsourcing being perceived by companies as a serious strategic choice. With agreements generally signed for between 5 and 10 years, the research looks at what happens when an outsourcing agreement ends, either early or at contract end.
The research looks at IT sourcing strategies within UK private organisations using mixed-methods research, a qualitative case study and a qualitative survey. Two frameworks were developed to facilitate the research, the IT Sourcing Cycle and the IT Functions & Systems Diamond. The Service Dynamics (SERVDYN) instrument was also created to gauge factors relating to service performance, quality and relationship in the IT sourcing decision.
The Case Study, with data collected via semi-structured interviews and supporting documentation, seemed to show results different from the perception of backsourcing in previous studies (McLaughlin & Peppard 2006, Veltri et al 2008). It was clear that although the stated reasons for the decision were largely the same for outsourcing and backsourcing, they only appeared to tell part of the story. The Transition stage of the IT Sourcing Cycle proved the most revealing, with the implications for practise going further than had been previously found via secondary research.
The survey was sent to 794 larger private UK companies, of which 69 responded. The survey instrument was designed to collect the views of respondents of various reasons, benefits etc. for those with different IT sourcing strategies; in-house, outsourced, switched vendors or backsourced.
The research findings seem to suggest that although common reasons were given for the various sourcing options taken, there were other forces at work during the decision phase. Although service and relationship quality appear to play a part in the decision phase of the IT sourcing cycle, further research is required to ascertain if it provides a significant input to trigger the movement from Operation to Decision phase of the IT Sourcing Cycle.
1.1 The Research Domain
Much has been written about the sourcing of Information Technology (IT) over the last 40 years or so and the multiple approaches that can be taken. Over the last 15- 20 years, much of the focus within publications has been on outsourcing. However, Deloitte (2005) in a survey of 25 major companies in the United States found that 1 in 4 companies brought outsourced operations back in-house. So, what makes an organisation review their IT arrangements and what are the options?
1.1.1 First Thoughts
Why is IT important? Raskino (2011) reported that “On average, business leaders attribute 21 % of revenue to the IT capability of their firms.”
IT outsourcing has been practised by organisations all over the world since the trendsetting agreement between Kodak and IBM in July 1989 (Loh & Venkatraman 1992b). On this basis, organisations that outsource some or all of their IT provision could effectively be handing over the management of up to 21 % of their revenue to a third party. What drives organisations to take such actions, and, more importantly, what happens when the agreement ends or is terminated?
McCue (2003) states that the original outsourcing deal between Sainsbury’s and Accenture had a value of 17% of Sainsbury’s market capitalisation. This leads to investors looking beyond the predicted cost savings toward the fact that it is a huge organisational and cultural change (McCue 2003).
2. IT Sourcing – Strategy, Change & Options
This Chapter constitutes the literature review. It explores the relationship between business strategy, change and IT outsourcing. It reviews the current outsourcing literature and discusses the way IT can be viewed within an organisation. It looks at the different facets of the IT decision and explores the relationship between outsourcing clients and vendors. Finally, it proposes the IT Strategic Diamond for categorising functions and systems.
2.1 Introduction A literature review is alternatives
“…a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating; and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners.” (Fink 2010, p3)
The purpose of this Chapter is to review the body of literature pertaining to the first research objective – “To understand why organisations change their IT sourcing strategy and explore the effects of the changes on their provision of IT.” In order to explore this domain, IT Outsourcing is used as an area of inquiry deemed useful in understanding why organisations change the provision of their IT.
Making the decision to outsource some or all of an organisation’s IT could be viewed as a business decision motivated by the desire for change. Any change within the organisation can act a trigger for change in the way IT is sourced. Any decision to outsource IT is not carried out in isolation; the whole organisation can be affected by the decision. Whatever the reason or reasons for outsourcing some or all of an organisation’s IT, the change within the organisation would generally be significant. More specifically, it affects the relationship between the outsourced functions and the rest of the organisation changes. The rest of the business would have to communicate with a third party for their IT requirements and involves a significant change in management behaviour within the outsourcing organisation 9 (Feeney & Willcocks 1998, Willcocks & Feeney 2006).
When reviewing IT sourcing it is clear, for example, that backsourcing (bringing previously outsourced IT back in-house) would not be an option if the organisation had not previously outsourced some or all of its IT. It therefore seemed logical to explore why organisations outsource, so that these factors can be compared with those for backsourcing (i.e. the frameworks for outsourcing) before creating one for backsourcing. The reasons for changing to outsourcing are another important area to explore, so that they can be contrasted with the reasons given for backsourcing.
So why change at all? In this chapter, the idea of business strategy and the possible effect on IT strategy is considered. The motivation for change at an organisational level is then investigated and used as a Tens’ to consider the specific motivation for IT outsourcing. IT outsourcing is then explored from a number of perspectives, including a review of theories applied to the decision to outsource. This is followed by a discussion of the way IT may be perceived within an organisation, how that may affect a decision to outsource and the way outsourcing agreements could be managed depending on the perception of the IT function being outsourced.”
To continue reading this paper, please visit: www.shura.shu.ac.uk
“Rethinking IT Sourcing and Supplier Management for the Digital Age
By Catherine Crowley, Marian Carcary, Eileen Doherty and Gerry Conway,
Innovation Value Institute, Maynooth University, Ireland,
1 January 2017.
In the new era of digital transformation, the role of IT sourcing is becoming more strategic. A recent global outsourcing survey showed 53% of respondents outsource elements of their IT function and that continued growth in outsourcing is expected for the foreseeable future. Due to dependency on external partners, there is an increase in both the potential opportunities and the risks involved. Organizations can benefit from integrating third party capabilities, and accommodating ‘outside in’ innovation that leverages the considerable knowledge base of supply partners and creates synergies among other business ecosystem participants. Despite these opportunities, sourcing organizations have many challenges to contend with, such as sustainable supply chain governance, end-to-end traceability, legal and regulatory global compliance, data privacy, and tolerance for risk in service level agreements and contracts. New outsourcing models such as cloudsourcing, microsourcing, crowdsourcing, impact sourcing and rural sourcing have evolved, and many of these new models require behavioural and managerial type shifts. In order to address these challenges, organizations and their suppliers need strong complementary capabilities to build successful relationships. Both contractual and relational governance are important, and organizations additionally need to maintain a strategy of agility and adaptability in order to mitigate the lock-in and dependency risks associated with outsourcing.
This paper presents a review of pertinent literature, and discusses core learnings in relation to impacts on sourcing and supplier management in a digital business landscape. Based on an analysis of the literature and insights gained from engaging with industry and academic experts, the paper proposes a model that can be used to develop a capability to support effective sourcing and supplier management. This model provides a basis for further development in an industry/academia collaborative research project and aims to provide practical guidance to organizations in facing key challenges and optimizing the opportunities of IT sourcing and supplier management in the era of digital transformation.
Digital transformation is defined as “the use of new digital technologies (social media, mobile, analytics or embedded devices) to enable major business improvements (such as enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations or creating new business models)”. It is regarded as being increasingly critical to the organization’s competitiveness, and a core enabler to how it operates and evolves (Fitzgerald et al., 2013). It requires that organizations adapt their business models and business processes, rethink strategy, and collaborate with the business ecosystem to provide more innovative products and services. Organization’s executives see the potential for using digital technologies to open routes to new ways of doing business but are unclear on how to get the results and look for guidance on the best means to achieve transformation in their particular areas of responsibility. This has impact across many IT management activities, one being the important function of sourcing and supplier management.
One approach to address digital transformation is to develop and mature the sourcing and supplier management capability in the organization. An organizational capability is defined as “the ability of an organization to perform a coordinated set of tasks, utilizing organizational resources, for the purpose of achieving a particular end result.” (Helfat and Peteraf, 2003, p.999). Development of an IT capability is needed in order to leverage greater value from IT investments in the organization (Peppard and Ward, 2004). Leveraging an organization’s capability is particularly relevant to digital business strategy, as in order to remain competitive, organizations need to continually re-configure the capabilities they have developed over time (Zahra et al., 2006). This paper takes a capability perspective in reviewing digital transformation developments and the responses needed for effective sourcing and supplier management.
The research aims of this paper are:
• To examine the key facets of sourcing and supplier management and identify how these are being impacted by the digital business landscape.
• Determine both the challenges that need to be addressed and the opportunities that can be exploited.
• Conceptualize the key insights uncovered, in a model that can be used to guide sourcing and supplier management capability improvement by practitioners, to address digital transformation developments.
The structure of this paper is as follows: Section 1 has introduced the IT sourcing and supplier management research focus. The literature review in section 2 looks at current literature around how the nature of IT sourcing and supplier management is dramatically transforming due to digitization and provides contextual background to pertinent challenges and opportunities emerging from the digital business landscape. Section 3 outlines the methodological approach adopted. Section 4 presents the conceptual model, while section 5 presents discussions, conclusions, and avenues of future research.”
To continue reading this article, please visit: www.mural.maynoothuniversity.ie
“A MCDM approach for sourcing strategy mix decision in IT projects
It is widely accepted that a business requires constantly evolving strategies that can not only adapt to external environmental change but also identify internal value-added activities and, even more effectively, achieve the goals of management. A sourcing decision about whether to keep IT functions in-house or contract with a third-party service provider is nevertheless entirely strategic and contingent upon organizational goals and contextual and project-specific factors. In order to adequately evaluate such sourcing decision and ensure that tasks can be assigned appropriately, this article proposes a Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) approach to achieve effective problem-solving by combining the following three methods: decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL), analytical network process (ANP), and zero-one goal programming (ZOGP). The final research results reveal that an organization can – simultaneously – not only take advantage of its internal or external resources to set priorities for task arrangements within the portfolio of sourcing decisions, but also optimize operating strategy and management despite limited resources after consulting with the expert panel.
1.1. Optimal operations strategy and management
As the out-sourcing services market for information technology (IT) evolves and grows, the sourcing decision models that involved no integrated approach to project management and were prevalent during the 1990s may now be less applicable, given both the deci- sion maker’s needs and external environmental change. This is not only because IT or information systems (IS) stays in the era of turbulent marketplaces, global competition, and volatile technology but also because past sourcing decisions used an entire IT/IS department as a unit of analysis rather than treating individual task arrangement of IT/IS projects separately. A business, moreover, has to expose its services to customers, partners and third parties continuously via new technologies in the race for better customer service, shorter cycle times, higher operating efficiency and growth (McBride, 2009). While the Worldwide Web, RFID, location based services and search engines can greatly expand the possibilities, these technologies also place significant burdens on IT infrastructures at a time when insufficient investment is being made.
Traditionally, there have only been two primary choices in the management of IT infrastructures. An organization can either man- age its infrastructure in-house, or it can outsource the process to a third party, which will typically take over IT assets and run them with a mixture of on-site and remote services. There is a ‘‘third way,” often called, ‘‘the Co-sourcing model” however, combining the two tried and tested means of in-house team control with remote operations support, utilizing remote-infrastructure management. Under such circumstances, the IT department is best seen not simply as a service provider concerned exclusively with internal resources or capability, but as a resource center with the capability of integrating all internal and external IT resources with the objective of obtaining, managing, effectively utilizing and combining the technology and services required to achieve business objectives. This means that the new operational environment to IT/IS department will be more complex. IT department require an optimal operations strategy which enables IT department take good advantage of internal and external resources efficiently, so that it can concentrate on its core competences and capabilities.
Dominguez Machuca, Alvarez, Domınguez, Garcıa, and Ruız (1995) point out that operations strategy is basic to the development and maintenance of competitive advantage. The key to developing an efficient operations strategy lies in understanding each task attributes usually engaged in IT/IS department and the value that each task can generate in the department. Distinguish task attribute and assessing value-added activities can be achieved by stressing the different priorities of IT/IS task arrangement (Davis, Aquilano, & Chase 1999; Krajewski & Rizman, 2000). An organization with such operations strategy will have the capabilities enabling direct CIO of IT/IS department to set priorities for task arrangement within the portfolio of sourcing decisions in order to obtain competitive advantage and operational flexibility. Davis et al. (1999) state that the operations strategy is a long-term plan which allows the organization to determine the best way to use the IT/IS department’s resources so that the end use of the resources and task arrangement are compatible with the corporate operations strategy and objectives. Espino-Rodriquez and Padron-Robaina (2004) argue that one of the aspects that the company must take into account when developing an operations strategy is the relative extent to which operations are outsourced or performed in-house.
The decision to keep IT/IS functions in-house or contract with a third-party service provider is nevertheless entirely strategic and can dramatically impact the bottom line of any organization. Also, the factors motivating the IT department to achieve effective management might be different one another and might include factors other than cost that relate to operations objectives, such as quality, flexibility and technology acquisition. This gives companies different strategic advantages, since they must pursue different competitive priorities simultaneously in order to succeed (Ferdows & De Meyer, 1990; Johnston, Chambers, Harland, Harrison, & Slack, 1993). Consequently, the IT/IS department not only has to take good advantage of internal and external resources but also has to consider new ways of planning and managing operational activities and making sourcing arrangement for the delivery of IT/IS services. Also the role of the IT/IS department, as well as the supply of its contents to organization should be re-examined and aligned more closely to yield a successful operation result after objectives, strategy and alternatives are more clearly understood and articulated.
1.2. The research problems and goals
As is well known, a business requires constantly evolving strategies that can not only adapt to external environmental change but also identify internal value-added activities and, even more effectively, achieve the goals of management. This high value strategy is intrinsically very risky, however, since whichever mode of sourcing – In-sourcing, Out-sourcing or Co-sourcing – has been adopted, they are all conducted in complex, distributed environments. The CIO of the IT/IS department therefore requires sophisticated tools and techniques to ensure that corrective action can be taken proactively and that the tasks involved are exactly assigned and executed with a proper sourcing mode to manage IT infrastructures.
In facing the problem of how to decide the priorities of IS task arrangement and which sourcing mode to operate with a proper sourcing mode, the authors propose a novel hybrid model to optimize the operations strategy for management of an IT project. Our integrated model incorporates the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory method (DEMATEL), integrating these relation weights along with the analytical network process (ANP) and zero-one goal programming (ZOGP) to find an optimal sourcing portfolio for task execution and to achieve objectives using limited resources. Our ultimate objective was to devise a method to help practitioners evaluate how well aligned each sourcing decision is with the company’s strategic direction, and to reap the optimal benefits from sourcing decisions regarding task arrangement.
This paper is organized into six sections. Section 1 will briefly describe the optimal operations strategy and management, the research problems and the goals of this study. Section 2 will introduce the three generalized potential sourcing alternatives and conclude five perspectives of operations strategy and management as the evaluation principles of sourcing mode for the sourcing decision. In Section 3, we propose a novel hybrid model to optimize the operations strategy of management of IT projects. In Section 4, an illustrative application of IS sourcing strategy mix decisions is introduced. Discussion of this illustrative application follows in Section 5. In Section 6, we present our conclusions and future research.”
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Course Manuals 1-12
Course Manual 1: Sourcing Plan
Don’t omit crucial steps in the planning process while building a sourcing strategy for an IT transformation. Have you ever experienced underperformance after finding that your target supplier was unable to adequately replicate some essential items in your category? It’s possible that you’ll be stuck working with an unenthusiastic incumbent supplier who will only produce the essential items that the new supplier cannot, which could result in you falling short of your projected goals due to cost overruns or quality problems, or even worse, experiencing supply disruptions.
An appraisal of your own personal requirements should always come first. as opposed to merely profiling a category. It’s important to comprehend the big picture. Redundancies or overlaps between categories might exist and could either be exploited or eliminated.
You must have a thorough understanding of the capacity and abilities of the supplier base. Included in this are any specific performance qualities that can give your business a competitive edge.
• Are the correct items in the correct categories?
• Are there any unique characteristics in your category that few vendors could match?
• Is there any patented technology that can only be obtained from a single source?
• What matters most to your business besides being able to produce the item or provide the service efficiently? Innovation? Leading Times? Worldwide Presence? Almost anything that is significant to the strategy of your organization might be on this list.
You can examine the spending across categories and determine what capacities and capabilities you require the supply base to provide in order to support the strategy of yo