Zen and the Art of Strategic Supplier Management – Part 4 (Relevant and Time-Bound)
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 three parts of this series that we were discussing Strategic Supplier Management. In this fourth of five-part series, we’re going to discuss the “R” and “T” – Relevant and Time-Bound.
Relevant – Tied to Measurable and Specific is that each of your service level metrics be relevant to whatever service you’re receiving/providing. So if you’ve chosen to measure successful versus unsuccessful customer service resolutions, but it’s not tied to the behavior of the service provider, that’s not a relevant metric. The provider doesn’t have any control over what is being measured, even with perfect behavior. So where is their incentive to work towards meeting the metrics (or agreeing to them in the first place)?
Time-Bound – Service levels are limited to time. At first, this sounds quite restrictive, but we’re not talking about time in terms of the length of the relationship (service levels should extend for the entire length of the relationship). Rather, the time we’re talking about here is the time frame in which each metric will be measured. So, perhaps you’re watching uptime on a daily basis…or the number of widgets produced in a week…or the number of successful service calls completed in a year…or the average length of time it takes to fix a problem of a given severity level over the span of a quarter.
Once again, NET(net)’s Federated Market Intelligence serves our clients by providing a deep understanding of the key drivers for each specific supplier. Gained through closing thousands of deals with your existing suppliers, we already know what is relevant to them (and what is not) and we can help you by eliminating the guess-work.
With respects to time, our Strategic Supplier Managed services provides proactive time-related monitoring and event alert notifications. Do you have some metrics that are measured monthly, others quarterly and yet others yearly? Never miss out on an opportunity again by forgetting to gather and assess the data. Allow NET(net)’s SaaS based solution, ContractCompass, to monitor your agreements and utilize our tracking and enforcement best practices to follow up.
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