April 15, 2020 | 4 min read
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How to avoid costly mistakes in sourcing & managing Internet services

René de Baerdemaeker

Director of Supplier Management

A one size fits all approach doesn’t work when it comes to sourcing and managing internet services in an effective way. Every company has its own unique requirements, depending on where the industry is. But if we were to single out a common denominator among all the businesses and organizations in the world, it is the fact that they are all going to move to an internet-centric network sooner rather than later.  

As the Director of Supplier Management within Expereo, I lead a team of 22 people working full time on sourcing internet services. Even though most companies would call my division the procurement department, we go above and beyond cost targets, putting a lot of effort into how we manage our suppliers, and the relationships we build with them. 

Based on our experience sourcing and managing internet services for our clients, I’ll run you through a list of best practices to avoid making the wrong decision which may lead to costly consequences further down the line. Of course, it goes without saying, that the biggest cost-saving action that you can take is picking the right solution from the getgo, read below to find how.

Build relationships, not just a list of suppliers 

Due diligence in market research is key in identifying the best suppliers in a constantly changing market. But our work is not nearly done once we know where to buy and from whom. We take pride in creating a ‘win-win’ situation with our suppliers so that when we need it, they will go the extra mile for our customers. We understand the value of these relationships. That’s why we put a lot of effort into getting our suppliers on board and making them our partners. 

Get your teams aligned 

The most successful companies we deal with involve different teams in the decision-making process. Procurement shouldn’t take the lead on behalf of business owners and network engineers, because they all have different perspectives and goals that are key to the success of the enterprise. We find that the more professional companies get working with internet-centric networks, you also see that their buying teams are not only driven by procurement, but also by teams that have an infrastructure role in it, network role in it, and of course legal roles. To determine what kind of solution you need to pick, you need to involve different stakeholders. 

Risk assessment 

Evaluating the cost of your worst-case scenario versus what you are willing to pay for the service can help you make the right investment decision. For example, what happens if one of your location’s connectivity goes down for four hours? How much money will that cost you? 

If it is that factory that we are talking about, where you produce, let’s say, 100,000 units an hour and is fully monitored via the network on stock levels, you might be in a difficult situation. 

Very large multinational enterprises know exactly, up until their last pound and minute, what it would cost them if their connectivity was lost completely. 

You can go for the cheapest product that’s out there, but in the long run, that can mean that the total cost of ownership will end up being substantially higher than your initial purchase.   

Flexibility makes you futureproof 

Planning for growth and market changes is always smart. Some of our clients are transforming from their legacy networks to an internet-centric network. Others are starting from scratch. But they all need flexibility. For example, If you want to open a branch office, you want to connect it as soon as possible. The same goes for if you want to close or move one. It all needs to be very flexible and agile nowadays. 

We are currently living through one of the world’s biggest network challenges, with millions of people forced to work remotely. Companies that already have the required infrastructure in place are at a clear advantage, but will still need to adapt in some ways. If your team works mostly with email and lightweight applications, you shouldn’t face big issues because you don’t need much capacity for that. But if you work on a high-data application, rendering videos, or making complex calculations where you need a steady good flow of data to multiple locations at the same time, having top-notch connectivity becomes crucial. 

Our team continuously monitors the markets to get our customers the peace of mind they need by providing a strong, reliable service. If you want to stop worrying about making costly mistakes when sourcing and managing Internet services, get in touch today. 

René de Baerdemaeker

Director of Supplier Management

Director of Supplier Management joined Expereo in 2015 but has been loving, living and breathing the Internet since 14K4 modems in 1995 and still remembers the sound. Experience from content development to hardware distribution and from gaming to managed services. Always looking for partnerships with a win-win. Likes to keep things simple. Data-driven with a passion for automation. Fun fact: Loves to compare the quality of internet services with food and tailormade clothing.

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