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The Shift to Specialised Procurement Consultancies – Part 1

by | April 22, 2020

Specialised resources and the importance of building long-term relationships

After a variety of conversations and feedback from those who have worked with us, we felt there is a shift happening in the procurement consulting space, many more companies now prefer to partner with smaller, more niche consultancies rather than one of the big brand Global System Integrators.

For a more in-depth understanding of the situation we gathered feedback both from those that selected us the first time, and those that are now working with us to support project turnarounds.

We thought we’d share our findings with our audience and try to explain the factors that are driving this change. So, we put everything in an eBook called “The shift to Specialised Consultancies for Procurement Implementations”.

Niche procurement consultancies usually form as a group of procurement specialists coming together to solve procurement issues they are passionate about. This means they are fully dedicated to the projects they take on and have a deep industry knowledge that helps solve the company’s specific problems.

Specialised procurement consultancies are made up of experts with many years of experience and knowledge of procurement.

That sounds great, but what does it actually mean for your business?

It means that the people handling your procurement software implementation have greater real-world experience, meaning they have faced a great deal of challenges and scenarios first hand which allows them to prevent and foresee certain situations, which of course is extremely helpful for the client company.

In more niche procurement consultancies, each one of the people working on your project has a great pool of knowledge on how to handle your project and business requirements. In other words, it won’t take a village to deliver a project.

It also means that the people assigned to your project are quicker to understand your company’s challenges, needs and culture. The project team from a specialist consultancy already has the needed project skills and in many cases the industry experience as well.

Ultimately, you won’t be paying for the consultants’ learning curve.

Specialised procurement consultancies such as Xoomworks have professionals with over 20 years of experience in procurement and extensive in-house training in the technologies we implement and methodologies we have developed.

Because there is a bigger need to showcase their capabilities and self-worth when competing with the GSIs, niche consultancies will staff projects only with those that are required to deliver the desired outcomes, without inflating project teams with their trainees or graduates and will be quick to adapt to project requirement.

Long term relationships matter

During our research we also noticed a shift, in the business world in general, towards building more meaningful and long-term relationships and we believe the two are connected.

It’s easier to build long-term and stronger relations with smaller consultancies. Smaller, more specialist consultancies, maintain a stronger, more positive culture as each individual brings its own contribution to that culture. For example, Xoomworks’ One Team approach means our resources are embedded in your business, working alongside your own staff. The relationships are typically more personal and cut across functional boundaries.

Size is no guarantee for success, whether we refer to smaller consultancies or the big brand GSIs. Companies need to have an open mind when it comes to choosing their implementation partner and first need to have a good understanding of their own culture so that they can decide the best fit.

We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of teams being able to work together and communicate smoothly, as this can increase or minimise the risk for your company.

In our next article we will talk about project risk and why experts consider that smaller, more specialist consultancies are able to reduce this risk for their clients.