Q&A from Procurement of Consulting Services Webinar You can view the replay here Featuring:
Q: For software installation SOW's the vendor knows much more about the installation that we will (or really want to). Should we rely on the vendor writing the SOW? Of course we could include sections critical to us like acceptance criteria payment terms.
A: Good question and yes, it's certainly acceptable to have the vendor write the SOW. Most vendors will likely have proven methodologies that they will recommend, based on their past experience with other customers and you should leverage this experience and lessons learned. When you receive their SOW, I do recommend that you follow the rules that I discussed, such as ensuring that it is concise and specific, that the acceptance criteria is measurable, the timelines realistic, and so on.
Q: What if there is no benefit to offer incentives to the supplier for early delivery?
A: If there is no benefit to early delivery, a performance based SOW with incentives likely will not make much business sense to strongly pursue in your negotiation. I do, however, always challenge my team to explore creative ways to keep our consulting providers on track with SOW timelines. I said that reciprocity is important and I do believe that, but even if you cannot validate offering an incentive for an early delivery, I do not think it's completely unreasonable to request penalties or credits if the consulting provider fails to meet a key deliverable.