The Olympics in London are over and from an outside view (I was not there in person) – it was a really fantastic event. Not being there means you get all information from the Internet or the TV. And beside all the great news about records, medals, teamwork and fairness, I also read about the dark side of this sports event – mostly about doping.
Many bloggers and journalists elaborated potential reasons for doping. There are many, but one reason seems to be always on the list: the limitations of a human body. The pressure is high to win, and to create another world record, to be faster, to jump higher than anyone before. And the best training in the world, the best food and the best conditions are often not enough – and people look for doping.
This reminded me on sourcing organizations that do sourcing for many years and that optimize their way of sourcing constantly – it seems to be very hard to become better. Every year we ask sourcing organizations if they would classify themselves as master, intermediate, practitioner or beginner of sourcing. Just look at the number of organizations that say they are master: 2011-6%, 2010-9%, 2019-10%, 2008-5% and 2007-10%. It is safe to say that since 5 years they are stuck – they do not get any better compared to the market evolution.
I am sure these sourcing organizations could benefit from some doping. Now, in sourcing we only want good doping (good initiatives that lead to positive results):
Improve your general physics (beef up your outsourcing competencies): It is important that organizations have the right skills and the appropriate level of sourcing competency. Even for masters there is a “good enough”, but this is only connected to the business outcome of the sourcing eco system. Sourcing strategy processes need to run more frequent, as the market changes rapidly and sourcing management needs to be prepared to handle a larger number of vendors (see my previous blog). Training and investment in people, processes and technology is a good way to spend doping money.
Improve your specific abilities (the way you handle the deals): Once organizations have a good strategy and management approach in place, they can focus on improving their outsourcing deals. They should implement business outcome measures, updating contracts so that they support innovation, continuous improvement and relationship evolution. Also the vendor selection process could benefit from some doping, as it needs to consider increasingly services from non-traditional vendors. Learning from best practices, external advice or consultancy, improving deal governance are good ways here to spend doping money.
But – identifying the starting point and the roadmap (what organizations want to improve to) is not easy. For that, organizations could spend a few days on one of our outsourcing summits (the US Outsourcing Summit in Orlando in September or the European Outsourcing Summit in London in October) to catch the latest evolutions and best practices from the outsourcing market.
That at least would be a totally legal doping option.
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