Zen and the Art of Strategic Supplier Management – Part 3 (Attainable)

Author: Steven Zolman

To draft service levels and manage relationships well, you merely have to remember that they need to be SMART (as made popular by Peter Drucker): Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound, blending the rationality and romanticism as we go. Recall from the first two parts of this series that we were discussing IT Strategic Supplier Management. In this third of five-part series, we’re going to discuss the “A” – Attainable.

Attainable – If you’ve never heard of the Myth of the Nines, take a moment and explore. The simple truth is that Five-9 availability is a pipe dream. 5.26 minutes of downtime a year. Just think about how long your average desktop PC takes to power-cycle. Servers are typically a little longer. Even with redundant systems, backups, high-availability resources and every other technical resource…it’s just not reasonable.

Notice we didn’t say that it was impossible. It’s 100% possible. You can have 100% availability. The issue is cost. No one ever wants to PAY for that kind of availability. Not even your most demanding customers. Want to test this theory? Price it out from your supplier(s) (as it’ll take more than one to keep even a single service up 24/7/365) and then ask your most demanding customer if they’ll pay for the ENTIRE service themselves (since that’s the real cost to get it). Let me know if they’re willing to do it, because we have a bridge or two to sell them. Seriously, we are not trying to be facetious. We are pretty demanding ourselves, but even we know and understand financial limits.

Attainability, an understanding of whether a performance measure can be reached, is elusive. Many of NET(net)’sclients simply don’t complete the number of transactions with a particular supplier to know whether that supplier has the ability to perform at a given level. As NET(net)’s Strategic Supplier Managed services goes hand-in-hand with NET(net)’s IT Investment Optimization services, so too does access to NET(net)’s Federated Market Intelligence – our proprietary knowledgebase resulting from closing thousands of deals with your existing IT suppliers.

As a result of knowing your IT supplier’s limits and abilities, NET(net)can quickly assess even the most complex existing relationships and provide guidance and feedback to better manage your supplier interactions proactively. Never again will you wonder whether your IT suppliers can live up to their hype.

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For more information on NET(net)’s Strategic Supplier Managedservices, visit Managed Services

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