VMO Platform Decision Matrix – Article #4

TVMES experts continues to strive by working together with industry experts to identify simplified solutions to the problems faced by VMO leaders. It is our pleasure to present you a robust and logical solution which will help you choose the right VMO platform of your choice.

VMO Platform Decision Matrix - Automation

TVMES has identified 5 primary criteria VMO leaders need to utilize when considering selection of a VMO platform. The following is the Third Criteria we will cover in this series of 5 articles. You will find links to the previous articles at the end.

Automation

Automation on vendor management product is at a very nascent stage given the available market solutions. Repeatability and Consistency are the 2 pillars of automation to drive the desired outcomes. The higher the degree of automation, the greater the ability to drive and support VMO strategy. The VMO and governance product should have a roadmap to automate the following key areas:

Automation
  • Dynamic workflows
  • Service Levels Calculations
  • Invoice processing and PO delivery
  • Calendar Schedules
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Problem Identification and Insights
  • Contract Authoring & Extraction
Automation

Dynamic workflows – Workflows inherit trust but verify principle to prevent wrong decisions. It is important for a platform to have agile/dynamic rule-based workflows for every module where decision making happens in form of validations, exceptions, tasks and purchases. Dynamic workflow engines reduce contractual risks and drives compliance when it comes to vendor operations. The bi-product is audit trials/logs which will help on quick audit closures.

Service Levels Calculations – SLA automation could be achieved through integration of performance management tools covering project management, Cloud, SDLC and ITIL components of service delivery measurements. This can be a straight forward integration through API or data processing through batch jobs from various sources. Unless the vendor performance is measured, we do not know where to improve or raise the bar. (Clarity, SNOW, HPSM, JIRA . . .)

Performance

Invoice processing and PO delivery – The importance of keeping track of spend with tight controls is key for vendor management and finance leaders. Even though we have applications like workday, Iproc, SAP & other financial systems, It becomes tedious to get clarity in labor and asset spend for finance executives at a contract / vendor or business entity level. Automation of PO’s , monitoring burn rates , comparing rate cards, invoice validations and spend approvals are few areas of basic automaton the VMO platforms should possess.

Calendar Schedules – Automation towards managing events and schedules is best way to manage Deliverables, Meetings and follow-up on key actions.

Predictive Analytics – Prediction is more of a proactive approach to identify potential failures or problems may it be Contracts, Application, H/W, Service levels or n/w or security breaches.

Problem Identification and Insights – Problems are derived from patterns and once we see a potential problem, It is key to assign priority based on the impact and urgency to business to help solve through respective SME’s or groups.

Contract ExtractionContract Authoring & Extraction – Automated contracts make VMO and Procurement leaders’ life easy as the cycle time to create contract is massively reduced. Extraction helps to track key contract clauses and ensure that deliverables and obligations are fulfilled on time. Some tools have restrictive contract clause controls where the terms are non-negotiable in order to get the vendor onboard. This means, if the inputs like scope, budget and contract type are given, contract documents are built on the fly in matter for minutes. As we are getting into smart contract era, I am sure that this space is evolving as blockchain matures into this space. For now, the volume of changes / documents does not appear to be a good use case for blockchain adoption which is not the case for insurance and medical documents.

Please share your opinions and comments Or write to me at suresh.subbu@tvmes.com

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