Evaluate the spectrum of procurement services holistically to see how the sectors and the players are evolving individually and also collectively. SaaS providers are increasingly baking industry/category content into their products while consulting and BPO providers are similarly productizing reusable knowledge into lighter footprint service offerings.
Have a market map to help evaluate the provider types and emerging trends. Doing so can help you actively participate in shaping the provider market rather than just accepting the current "menu choices" of traditional service offerings.
Know themselves in terms of not just their current budgets, but also their current capabilities and what is truly important to them as internal service providers. Are you looking for results on-demand, or are you looking to build your own bench capabilities?
Develop an internal operating model that makes it easier to consume these services and also get a better ROI from them so they deliver value over the long term and not just the duration of a project. World-class procurement organizations do not spend money needlessly on 'program du jour' services that don't stick and get baked into their internal processes.
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