Sourcing and vendor management professionals' rising scope of responsibilities

As part of my ongoing research into the product development services market, I took a step back to consider how sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals have seen their responsibilities increase as new sets of stakeholders start to rely...

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As part of my ongoing research into the product development services market, I took a step back to consider how sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals have seen their responsibilities increase as new sets of stakeholders start to rely and utilise their expertise and experience.

The first wave really started in 2007 as business buyers started to self-provision both devices and software, representing a key shift from centralized to decentralised IT. And this brought with it a whole new set of stakeholders into the view of SVM professionals.

The rising scope of SVM's responsibilities

But it wasn’t long before other stakeholders started to emerge. In 2009, we started to see human resources (HR) and finance appear on the horizon. In HR, this was being driven by trends such as the rise in telecommuting. For example, SVM professionals were increasingly required to work with HR and IT to develop a formal telecommuting policy, as an increasing number of employees worked away from the office.

In the past year we have started to hear from clients about increasing interaction with marketing professionals. In many organisations, marketing works autonomously from IT and SVM but often has large contracts, for example with digital marketing agencies. And so we have gradually seen proactive sourcing professionals reaching out to marketing to gain visibility and bring a greater level of robustness and process expertise into these relationships.

As part of my research, I believe that in the next two to three years, product development will become the latest stakeholder for SVM. Rapid and unrelenting technology change, encapsulated by what Forrester refers to as digital disruption, is causing product development organizations to change as well. This will require product development teams to engage with third parties to an ever greater extent during the development of new products. In turn this will bring SVM and product development closer together.

What are your thoughts? What challenges have you faced with the expansion in SVM’s responsibilities? I look forward to your feedback.

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