“Two Heads Are Better Than One”
Whenever you have tough management problems, your first step is probably to ask an experienced colleague for advice. As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.”
But when you’re trying to fix broken relationships with your global service providers, all bets are off. You’ve probably already discovered that finding a qualified brainstorming partner is just about impossible.
The problem, of course, is that deep, unbiased expertise in global services is rare. Your fellow managers usually don’t have much to say about unfamiliar cultures, your current vendors naturally have an agenda of their own, and no one seems able to benchmark productivity and costs against your in-house metrics. For these types of problems, you’re on your own.
If you’re frustrated by this situation, I can probably help.
My name is Sath Sathyanarayan, and I've spent more than 20 years troubleshooting all kinds problems related to working with global service providers, both as an in-house executive and as an independent advisor. I've dealt with projects that range from ground-up reorganizations to quick contract reviews, from complex vendor negotiations to technical productivity benchmarking. In fact, I've literally “written the book” on this topic.
And I’d like to put all this expertise to work on your challenges.
I’m pretty flexible about the relationships I have with my clients. Typically, we end up with some variation of these two approaches:
- The program manager role: This is often a short-term assignment (two or three months), to untangle an urgent turnaround problem. I’ll dedicate several days a week to analysis, strategy sessions, meetings with your implementation team, contract reviews, and lots of phone calls. I’ll keep you up to date on where the project is going, and discuss our best options for success. Moreover, I won’t just leave you with a list of recommendations: I'll make sure your whole team has bought into the new strategy and can keep your relationships with global service providers solidly on track.
- The relationship manager role: For longer term assignments, I’ll commit a specific number of days per month to fine-tuning your existing relationships. I’ll find ways to make your vendors much more productive, train your in-house staff on cross-cultural communication, and referee occasional disputes. And as I identify problem areas, you and I will put our heads together to map out great solutions.
I'm fine with either role... and we can switch from one approach to another as your needs change.
Naturally, it's important for both of us to be comfortable with the personal chemistry of our relationship. If you’d like to talk further about how we might work together, let’s set up a phone conversation.
I look forward to hearing from you!
M. M. (Sath) Sathyanarayan
Principal, Sath Associates LLC