sourcing and procurement challenges
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TEM Sourcing & Procurement’s 10 Most Common Challenges

Today’s Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solution landscape is trickier to navigate than ever. If you’re a sourcing or procurement professional, this statement probably comes as no surprise to you.

As organizations align these teams to establish technology management Centers of Excellence, TEM searches uncover a growing list of sourcing and procurement challenges. If you’re looking for the inside scoop to prepare your team and avoid potential pitfalls, check out our list of sourcing and procurement’s 10 most commonly experienced challenges below.

Request Management

TEM sourcing and procurement challenges organizations like yours to manage vendor request processes in the search for a new solution. Without clear, consistent procedures, RFPs, RFQs, or any other request-centric acronym can be a tremendous undertaking that requires a heavy investment of time, labor, and resources to complete.

Project Delays

Often, TEM solution searches are being conducted with a sense of urgency. After all, you needed results yesterday. So, when delays prevent deadlines from being met it creates even more pressure for sourcing and procurement teams to perform – if it doesn’t sink a project entirely.

Finding, Training, & Keeping Talent

Like other technology-focused fields, solving TEM sourcing and procurement challenges requires a specialist. As such, these experts require knowledge and firsthand experience to successfully perform a search. Combined with a growing market demand for these skillsets, today’s sourcing and procurement professionals have never been harder to find, train, or retain.

Project Management Tools

Another sourcing and procurement challenge exists where the sheer size and scope of TEM buying initiatives are concerned. Large-scale decisions that contain multiple steps and components depend on a specific set of tools and services to succeed. If your team relies on inefficient and ineffective tools, however, that can mean complications, delays, or even completely undermined TEM purchase efforts that fail to provide proof of positive ROI.

Risk Management

While sourcing and procurement processes are being created, tested, and refined, internal systems and data is more likely to be exposed – creating a maximized potential for business risks. To ensure adequate protection, you must minimize these vulnerabilities to properly mitigate risks. Things like supplier contracts, rogue spend, and data privacy and compliance are areas TEM buyer teams should approach with extra caution.

TEM Influencers

Across the enterprise technology management environment, TEM leaders and business stakeholders hold a variety of opinions that need to be carefully considered. While some thoughts and strategies may not have a direct impact on the sourcing and procurement process, many have indirect effects that can negatively influence progress if ignored. Therefore, coordinating influencer opportunities and managing their participation can be crucial to the ultimate success or failure of a purchase process.

Relevant Data

Sourcing and procurement challenges are typically magnified if you involve multiple teams and/or outside partners. In these scenarios, access to success metrics and information is critical for making well-informed decisions. This data can be especially helpful if executives and stakeholders not intimately familiar with the project or its subject matter are involved.

Reduced Costs & Maximized Savings

The goal for most TEM sourcing and procurement tasks is ultimately to save money and eliminate financial waste. However, technology’s increasing costs and complexities make this goal difficult to achieve – especially if you’re trying to evaluate a one-time that can’t be repeated and measured over time. Therefore, it’s important to accurately forecast expenses to ensure the scope of your project is maintained without critical elements being omitted or ignored.

Adding Strategic Value

Today’s sourcing and procurement departments are evolving from a purely operational role to one that offers strategic, enterprise-wide value instead. That means your team must not only understand how to best perform this evolution but understand how this transformation needs to be coordinated and implemented across siloed business units, departments, and/or functions.

Supplier-Related Problems

While identifying quality services and solutions has always been at the top of the sourcing and procurement challenges list, it continues to be listed there for a reason. Technology is rapidly changing, and not every vendor can keep up to deliver what they initially promised, deliver it within the agreed-upon timeline, and meet SLA standards they intended to perform.

Could your TEM sourcing and procurement team use some help? Enroll them in AOTMP® University’s Introduction to Sourcing & Procurement Course today to learn how to overcome these – and many of your – unique business challenges.