In a multi-vendor landscape where suppliers and internal delivery units often sit in silos, using their own tools and processes and with no unified view, Service Integration and Management (SIAM) creates a seamless integration and standardisation of ways of working.
The benefits this framework can bring – and the headaches and challenges it can resolve – are numerous, with the overall goal being to ensure every provider in the system works to the same goals and standards, improving efficiency and service quality.
However, the success of any new SIAM model is heavily dependent on the people involved – their skills, capabilities and experience – so it’s important to have the right team in place, internally and externally, before you begin.
Of course, you need team members with solid experience of outsourcing contracts, procurement and supply-chain processes but there are other, less technical, skills that are just as vital. In this post we’ll outline the key skills required across your teams for surviving and thriving in multi-sourcing with SIAM.
1. Ownership and responsibility
This skill set applies both to both your own staff and those employed by service providers. An ability to take ownership for the services you are responsible for is crucial for the smooth running of a multi-vendor landscape - not least when things go wrong. Being able to hold your hands up and take responsibility for mistakes, and proactively find solutions, is a quality that shouldn’t be overlooked.
2. Communication skills
This might feel elementary, but the process of integrating and standardising processes and tools requires delicate communication between providers and different parties. Managing interpersonal relationships, collating input and feedback, and communicating back the new approach for your organisation clearly and effectively is key to rolling out SIAM effectively.
3. Understanding and empathy
What comes into those communication skills the most is empathy – being able to put yourself in the shoes of each supplier to understand their situation, frustrations and needs. At the end of the day, they too need to see a profit and benefits so only coming at things from a customer organisation mindset won’t get you anywhere.
4. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills
Of course, as the customer organisation you do need to have your own business needs top of mind and use commercial acumen to protect them. This also takes negotiation skills and, in some cases, the ability to resolve conflicts – whether between suppliers, or between internal parties and an external supplier wanting to take a different approach.
5. Firefighting skills
The ability to spot gaps and problems that need direct intervention is vital during both the implementation of SIAM (particularly when it comes to prioritisation) and after its rollout. No matter how smooth your multi-vendor landscape is running, there will always be fires. So, having that person who can spot them before they accelerate is imperative.
6. Analytical skills
Likewise, in order to make continual improvements, and to see which areas have the potential for innovation and transformation, you need individuals with analytical skills. Those with the strategic capability to objectively assess what’s going well and what can be improved, pulling in the right minds and expertise to create long-term impact.
Taking a pragmatic approach to implementing SIAM with Fruition Partners
It’s worth noting that it is very rare to find individuals who excel at both firefighting and analysis. However, it is crucial that you harness both of these capabilities in the creating and running of a SIAM function. At Fruition Partners, we pride ourselves on selecting mixed teams that are skilled at both on-the-spot problem-solving (firefighters) and strategic thinking (analysts).
We also ensure our diverse, experienced teams are on site so that we can really understand your business needs and create a close and collaborative relationship. Even overhearing those frustrations shared at the coffee machine can give us key insights into what issues need solving.
Together with you, our team takes a unique, hands-on approach to implementing SIAM that goes beyond theoretical advice – covering a base investigation, step-by-step implementation and ongoing improvements of every core process.
Dive deeper into SIAM and our tailored, gradual implementation approach, download our white paper: SIAM - a pragmatic approach.
Or to find out more about how SIAM could transform your multi-sourcing approach, arrange a no-strings-attached consultancy appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org