As market pressures and changing customer expectations force firms to utilize more supplier-based solutions, the need to professionally manage this supply becomes vital. Whereas in the past, "outsourcing" IT was primarily viewed as a cost-saving exercise, today a firm's top-line performance can be directly affected by the success of its suppliers. Deep industry knowledge along with direct customer experiences can put selected suppliers at the frontline of customer interactions and business innovation. When planned, built, and managed in the right way, the sourcing and vendor management organization SVMO can become one of the most important and value-generating organizations for companies.

While the changing business environment requires companies to react faster and manage disruptions more efficiently, their success relies on a constant but efficient supply. A well managed SVM organization will contribute to the overall success by ensuring a qualitative supply for the most favorable price.

Building a successful SVMO today may be more difficult than building any other internal organization. Managing a demand-oriented, well-balanced solution portfolio from external sources is a difficult exercise that has to be based in new governance models, supplier frameworks, and management tools.

To address these needs, Forrester has created the Sourcing and Vendor Management Practice Playbook, which brings a structured approach to building an SVMO that can help companies at various stages of maturity — from those at the start of their journey to those that are well-established

In four distinct areas, this playbook provides guidance on why a professional SVMO is needed and how to build it. Based on market research and discussions with organizations around the world, users of this playbook will get insights on trends and their impact on the SVMO, best practices on how to create and manage an SVMO, and tools and templates to execute on key SVMO responsibilities. In addition, the playbook will help executives to continuously optimize the organization to keep pace with the ongoing market developments.