Are you struggling to optimize your services spend?

Liz Daly Liz Daly Vice President and Global Product Manager-Services Procurement, KellyOCG

Choosing a partner that can help you better source and manage your services spend. 

Many companies are struggling. They lack the control and insights required to effectively manage all the services they purchase. Often, these organizations (maybe yours?) rely on typical procurement tools intended for buying goods, but find they aren’t right for managing the services they buy.  

If this sounds familiar, most likely you don’t have adequate visibility over spend. You can’t accurately dig into the work being performed or determine how well costs have been managed to guide future purchases. And I know you’re concerned about compliance, safety, and risk.  

It comes down to this: Standard procurement processes and technologies designed to procure goods don’t provide the level of control needed to deliver on compliance.

Are you ready?

When buying services that involve people, especially people with skills and expertise outside your usual workforce (think legal, IT, engineering, consulting, etc.), most organizations don’t have the people, processes, and technology to optimally manage these services throughout the entire statement of work (SOW) lifecycle. This can be costly and leave you open to avoidable risk.

Is your organization ready to elevate how you buy services? This won’t be a solution you can set and forget. It requires consistent refinement. But if you’re committed, services procurement expertise will make all the difference.

A good services procurement partner will give your organization access to the most proven, strategic, data-driven methods for sourcing and managing talent. A great partner will do it with a custom solution that complements and enhances your internal resources.

Services procurement is complex, but with the right partner, it’s not hard.

What makes a particular partner the right choice?

Expertise. Access to resources with deep expertise—who take the time needed to understand your business—is the foundation of an effective partnership. Services procurement is a distinct function that can operate as a stand-alone solution or as part of a larger workforce MSP. It complements your internal procurement department, out-tasking as needed depending on your unique situation. Look for a partner with a dedicated focus and a broad services procurement client list. There is no substitute for specialization!

Technology. A partner that can work with your existing technology and create a complementary tech stack or help you select a new one. At KellyOCG, we constantly work with leading VMS and technology providers, AI procurement sourcing providers, and others, to ensure our clients get the biggest bang for their tech buck.

Supplier management. Your engagement managers should not only expect curated access to the best global services suppliers for your business, but also visibility into:

  • What types of talent perform your services
  • How their rates compare to benchmarks
  • How they are performing
  • And how they compare to other suppliers

This gives you an informed “total cost of ownership” to manage your services spend and optimize your supply base.

Agility. A custom solution evolves. Building on expertise—and using the latest tools and technology—an agile, scalable solution should work with your existing people and processes, and evolve as you evolve, enabling you to achieve more.

Run from red flags.

Evaluating service procurement partners means keeping all the above in mind. But it’s equally important to watch for red flags that should make you think hard about a potential partner.  

Lack of specialized procurement support: Services procurement solutions require access to specialized resources who understand procurement, are dedicated to you, and can supply ongoing consultation to optimize your spend and program. If not, you should question if a solution can manage services throughout the SOW lifecycle. (Hint, it won’t.)

No proof of real value: Your potential partner should articulately explain how their processes and tech will deliver real value to your business. If not, move on.

A static solution: Your organization is unique, and your services procurement solution should be too. An out-of-the-box solution isn’t going to work now or meet your ongoing needs.

Real partnership/real benefits.

What benefits should your organization expect from a services procurement partnership? Frankly, a lot.

Start with expecting your partner to use your VMS tech to streamline and simplify processes— adding program agility that makes life easier for program managers and technology that powers workflow automation, as well as blending best practices with proven blueprints to create custom solutions.

Next, enhanced visibility across your organization to monitor, enforce, and improve compliance, track spending and costs, gain better insight, and analyze internal performance.

For example, at KellyOCG, our proprietary Kelly Helix UX is a single portal that overlays with existing tech to provide client hiring managers with a consistent experience for all their external workforce management needs. And Kelly Helix Analytics, our powerful analytics technology, enables complete understanding of your services supply chain and engagements—all in a glance. 

A partner should ensure you’re getting the right services—at the right price—through cost controls such as process efficiencies, spend visibility, rate card compliance, market rate analysis, benchmarking (against third-party data and data from their other services procurement clients), competitive bidding, and direct negotiation.

Finally, increased compliance. A partner should provide visibility to drive correct worker classification and ensure compliance across the engagement lifecycle. They should also help you shape contract and SOW terms to reflect your rules and regulations, further promoting safety and compliance.

Be better at what you do best.

A services procurement partner doesn’t replace your team. An ideal partner brings the people, processes, and technology that work with your business—to flexibly plug in the support and insights you need—all on your terms.  

You are the procurement expert for your company. The right partner should provide complementary expertise and solutions that free you up to do what you do best.


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