High stakes supplier selection
Our client was a global consumer goods company mobilizing a €100m+ program to achieve a major step change in its global information capabilities. The program was one of the company's top strategic initiatives, not just for IT but for the business worldwide. With such a lot at stake, our client engaged us to provide program delivery expertise and to help them run a rigorous supplier selection and mobilization process, appointing the organizations who would ultimately support them in creating a new fit for purpose infrastructure.
We worked closely with the client's own procurement function, making the most of their internal expertise but supplementing that with our strong external experience of delivering similar programs at other clients, and our specialist knowledge of the products and services being bought.
With operations across the world, our client's operational processes were struggling to deliver the level of support that the executive team increasingly needed. In particular, business intelligence systems were fragmented across different functions and geographies, and they lacked the capability to handle the substantial growth in volume and sophistication of data required to enable and sustain market leading business decisions.
Our client was therefore mobilizing a €100m+ program to deliver a common global information core and advanced capabilities to analyze the wealth of intelligence available across the business. Due to our long-standing relationship with the client, we had already worked closely alongside them, playing a significant role in the early stages of the program - helping to develop the program framework and guide it through internal approval. In parallel with our work to create both high level and more detailed program plans, our client asked us to provide core input to the supplier selection and manage the mobilization process that would underpin the next phase of work.
Working as part of integrated team from IT (Development and Operations), Enterprise Services and Procurement, we helped develop and run a supplier selection and mobilization process for the program.
The joint team worked closely together to define an initial process, and then create an end-to-end delivery methodology which would lead to the best outcome.
The joint team created and issued an RFP, researched and engaged suppliers, and we then worked alongside them to evaluate the bids and generate the shortlist. After oral presentations from the shortlisted suppliers, feedback was coordinated from a wide range of stakeholders and the down-select decision reached.
No two projects are the same, and as a result, we strongly believe that in terms of how you approach them, one size very rarely fits all. So as part of our decision making process, we took time to ensure that the BI methodology of our selected Systems Integration supplier was specifically tailored for this particular program.
Working hand-in-hand with our client's Procurement and Legal teams, we conducted detailed contractual negotiations with the chosen suppliers, reaching agreement and contract signature in line with the plan. The strong contractual position we established gave our client confidence.
Selecting a partner or third party is not just about getting the best possible commercial deal at that moment in time. It’s about making decisions to work with other people and organizations, sometimes for a period of many years - through thick and thin - and maximizing the chances at the start of doing this successfully.”
As part of the contracting process, we helped strengthen the leadership team’s understanding of how to create robust contracts and frameworks. This has brought them new skills they can take with them to other significant negotiations in the future.
The suppliers were then rapidly mobilized and we handed over the management of them to the client team members that had been appointed as ongoing supplier managers.
The vendor selection process was completed within the set timeframes, successfully engaging three suppliers. We then supported those suppliers as they ramped up the program to full capacity, and their resources were actively working on the program on schedule.
Representing the program, our detailed contractual negotiations input not only brought our clients the right suppliers and program methodology, but also delivered significant procurement ‘savings’. For example, our input helped achieve reductions on initial bid price, including rates lower than incumbents’.
We put in place an on-going program supplier management framework, which included quarterly performance reviews with each supplier. We really brought our delivery experience to bear, highlighting the ability to collaborate and work constructively together across the three key suppliers as a key factor underpinning the ultimate success of the program. We developed a satisfaction payment regime, which was consistent for all three suppliers and based on both individual and group performance. The contracts included an innovative, outcomes-based supplier bonus/ penalty scheme to really drive the right types of collaborative behavior.
We're proud of the supplier selection process we helped create, and the way in which we worked collaboratively to achieve the right result for our client is now considered to be the best practice template for all their major programs. It was a fundamental factor in setting the program up to deliver effectively across a wide range of business functions and geographies.