Because if they don’t, and they benchmark themselves against how other consultancy clients buy consultancy, then they might get the impression that they are doing fine when they’ve got a category manager, some framework rates and a maybe some spend approval controls in place.
But these are organisations which would not let their staff book a hotel for £100 other than via an approved agency solution – but have multiple stakeholders spending £100k on consultancy without proper Procurement support.
And major consultancy clients are doomed to fail if they adopt the classic “chuck a category manager at it” approach to consultancy management as, for example, if consultancy spend is £20m, and the average engagement is £200k, that means the category manager needs to support 100 complex buys a year. Before they write a strategy, refresh frameworks or take the odd day’s holiday.
So they need to look to other areas of spend to see the standards of spend management which can be set – and ask themselves how these can be achieved for consultancy.
In other categories where there are high number of suppliers, stakeholders and buys then Procurement engages a supplier to manage the spend – they don’t look at CVs when a contractor is needed; they get a managed service provider to do this for them. Travel agents book hotels and resellers buy IT hardware and software.
The same approach can be taken in consultancy – securing the expert capabilities required to manage spend effectively and maybe let the category manager finally take a holiday.
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