Insights into the way problems have been formed and solved by others.

Overview

Complete Vendor Supplier Lifecycle Management and Technology Business Operations are fast evolving fields in which ad hoc solutions have been applied with mixed results. We see many organizations frustrated by their experiences, disappointed with vendor performance, and otherwise dissatisfied with arrangements they entered into with great expectations.

Over the years we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge, information and lessons learned. Please feel free to sample the lessons and tips found here.

Have questions or suggestions?
Please send them for consideration to info@swingtide.com

Vendor

Lifecycle Management

TIPS

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Don’t handcuff yourself to a vendor or contract without a key.

Many third-party contracts will lock you in with evergreen terms and termination penalties. Define your terms for exiting the relationship before a contract is signed.

Don’t confuse lower prices with greater value.

Take a total cost of ownership view when negotiating agreements. Analyze impacts of service, cost of conversion, volume, escalators, and commitments for the life of the agreement.

The work doesn’t end when the deal is signed.

Signing the deal simply marks a commitment; it doesn’t define a relationship. Define the terms of the relationship and continually track and monitor for performance, don’t assume!

Don’t go in for an oil change and walk out with a new car.

Clearly define your business need and case before sourcing or negotiating an agreement. Then only contract for what you need, don’t get up-sold.

IT tools don’t solve your contract management concerns.

A tool helps facilitate your process. The business transformation required around implementing a tool is what drives the sustainable value.

Know your vendor’s business better than they do.

Understanding a supplier’s background, business model, cost structure and position in the market is key to developing a negotiation strategy. Deals negotiated with this knowledge will yield the greatest value.

You’re not Maverick so don’t bluff.

Negotiating good deals requires integrity on both sides of the table. Not only are bluffs seldom successful, they destroy trust and the bluffers’ ability to finish the negotiation.

Outsourcing and strategic third-party relationships don’t end overnight.

Undefined termination assistance services are not enough. Negotiate a termination agreement to identify the services, service levels, and charges that apply while winding down.

Start governance early — before the bad habits begin.

Create a functioning governance process before the contract is signed. It should guide the transition, day one readiness, and contract training.

Material suppliers are an extension of your organization.

As such, the partnership doesn’t end once the ink dries on the Agreement, it’s just beginning. Like all relationships, they take work.

Vendor management skills are different than technical management skills.

Corporate IT is evolving to be a vendor management function. It requires a deep understanding of contracts, finances, and technology – not doing the work.

Knowledge Center

FAQ

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Who does Swingtide serve?

Swingtide clients come from many industries, with the highest concentration in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and consumer products.

Why does Swingtide emphasize getting out of an outsourcing deal instead of getting in?

Today, many people have experience getting into outsourcing deals and need advisors less frequently. Fewer people have been through contract expiration or termination and need advisors more frequently. We believe that the experience gained dismantling outsourcing deals makes us better at creating deals and managing the full life cycle.

Where is Swingtide located?

Swingtide has corporate offices in Henderson, Nevada, and in St. Charles, Missouri. Swingtide consultants work out of their homes or at client sites. The largest concentration is in the Chicago area with consultants also based out of Missouri, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Maryland, North Carolina, and Florida.

What is the typical background of a Swingtide consultant?

The majority of our consultants have had senior jobs in IT departments at big companies. We believe that you are a better advisor if you have experienced the issues that clients face. All our consultants specialize in IT finance, technology, or sourcing. All must have a deep understanding of the disciplines that are not their specialty.

How do I get more information about Swingtide’s services?

Contact us with your questions or problem. We are always happy to set up a call to discuss how we can help and to give you some background about how others have dealt with similar situations. At no cost or obligation, of course.

Technology Business

& Operations

TIPS

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Don’t dismiss the decision you’ve already made.

The business case for adopting a new technology solution should always include a comprehensive cost comparison to the cost of doing nothing and sticking with what you have. When you look at all options and fully loaded costs, sometimes you get surprised.

Focus on total costs more than soft benefits in your business case.

Too many business cases forget the overlapping costs of delivering service during a change, ignore the impact to supporting organizations, and rely on soft benefits.

Don’t let the costs of your chargeback system outweigh the benefits.

Demand management requires understanding how consumption is tracked and charged — but don’t create layers of checkers checking checkers.

Know whether you realized your benefits.

Business cases are great decision support tools but need to be monitored to see if the assumptions were accurate or the benefits realized. Track and manage variances.

Align all costs and resources with a service delivered.

You will be surprised how much is spent on low-value, non-service-related activities. Understanding the true cost of each will drive the right behavior.

Clean up after every organizational change.

Acquisitions, divestitures, new enterprise solutions, and re-organizations present opportunities to save money by optimizing your third-party relationships and eliminating low-value services.

Software audits are on the rise.

Don’t be caught without an understanding of what you are using and entitled to use. Software management both minimizes exposure and can reduce costs!

Subsidized charges drive bad behavior.

Align costs with consumption to gain visibility to the true business value of IT spend. Cross-subsidization will ultimately be exposed and cause problems.

SWINGTIDE UNIVERSITY

Swingtide University was established to provide onboarding and continuing education to Swingtide Associates. This on-going training ensures consistency of delivery and value for our clients.

Our clients have also found value in engaging Swingtide to bring the curriculum of Swingtide University to their teams. Contact us to learn more about our training options.