In the world of outsourcing governance a ‘single source of truth’ is seen as critical for the smooth operation of a sourced services engagement. Although the concept is often discussed very few organizations manage to actually turn it into practice.
My attention was drawn to the topic again by a recent article by Heineken expressing its desire to have a single source of truth for its product related data. Heineken stated: “we want to inform our customers as accurate as possible in a standard way about all relevant aspects of our product range”. This as oppose to the traditional way where each party in the supply chain collected and managed their own data increasing the risk of errors and repair costs.
Information challenges in sourcing governance
At Heineken it is the backbone of transparent communication to its customers. I believe it should also be the backbone of transparent communication between the client and service provider in the governance of sourced services. It is this single point of reference that will empower and streamline the governance function by reducing data silos and increasing collaboration.
Yet many organizations have not realized such a central platform with their service providers. Most clients and service providers use their own separate data sets, which often results in conflicting visions about specific issues or the quality of the engagement as a whole. Often the parties use a combination of spreadsheets and their own internal enterprise systems designed for in-house vertical information flows in together with email to support horizontal inter-company information flows. It’s not surprising that such patchwork solutions are error prone and result in misunderstandings, rework and an erosion of trust.
Why is having a single source of truth important?
Aristotle Onassis once said: “To further succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them”. This is also very true for the business of managing sourced service agreements. If the parties don’t see eye to eye on things you’re going to have a lot of email, meetings, disputes, wheel spin, stalemates and very little results. On the other hand if people are on the same page decisions are made quickly and the parties collaboratively work together to realize the full value of the engagement.
To successfully manage and direct sourced services relationship organizations would benefit tremendously from a ‘single source of truth’. Imagine what it would mean to your organization if you would have a single system where all data regarding critical governance processes and activities is stored during the full life cycle of the engagement. Imagine if that system is also used by your service provider allowing quick process turn around times and fast decision making. Imagine if you can demonstrate compliance and ‘in control’ to auditors with one click of a button. Do you think this is all wishful thinking? We know it’s not.
How can Leadmark help?
We at Leadmark are firm believers of productive collaboration between the client and the service provider to realize the full potential of sourced services engagements. We also believe that working from a ‘single source of truth’ is critical for the parties to be successful. This is why we have developed TRAC, which is short for Transparent Real-time Agreement Control. TRAC is a technology platform that supports all critical functions to govern the operational stage of sourced services relationships. It includes Performance and Risk Management, Contract and Obligation management, Cost and Meeting Management. It interconnects all data elements and provides a holistic view on the status of the engagement and what needs to be done. Because TRAC is a cloud service it’s accessible by both the client and the service provider. TRAC comes preconfigured and can be tailored to specific client requirements without the need for upfront long term commitments.
If you want to know more about how your organization can benefit from TRAC please get in touch.