Deal assurance

Our clients want to be assured that they are receiving the best value for money from the market for the services they receive.  Burnt Oak Partners offers various deal assurance services which provide a healthcheck audit to ensure that the supplier is delivering everything that was agreed to in the contract, the provision of services meets acceptable levels of performance and continue to meet the requirements of the business.

Our deal assurance services include:

  • Contract healthcheck

  • Service audit

  • Governance and organisational audit

  • Contract re-letting review

  • Contract repositioning

Contract healthcheck

Outsourcing is a dynamic and ‘living’ set of contractual and interpersonal relationships set against a constantly evolving and changing set of business pressures and objectives. Continuity, consistency and openness in contract management are difficult to achieve. Without appropriate, proportional and concerted action, the contract will become insufficient to support the service relationship and place additional risk on your business.

Contract healthcheck is specifically designed to provide a rapid fact based assessment of your contract against market best practice. Direct comparison with Burnt Oak Partners’ model contract and schedules, developed from years of distilled experience highlights all risks, opportunities and weaknesses. A full plan for correcting any issues is presented with a full understanding of the benefits, costs and timescales involved. All proposed actions are centred on creating fit-for-purpose clauses to support all elements of the legal, commercial and service framework, consistent with current best practice.

Our approach is staged as follows:

1) Detailed Documentation Review – contract, schedules, SLAs and financial models

2) Mapping of contract documentation to best practice model contract

3) Creation of risk and opportunities register

4) Presentation of finding and recommendations

5) Paper detailing actions and proposed plan

Deliverables will include:

  • Contract clause and schedule review detailing weaknesses and opportunities
  • Contract Risk and Opportunities register
  • Best practice comparisons and example replacement clauses
  • Plan and Next Steps for repositioning

Service audit

Service deterioration or the business users’ perception of poor service requires rapid action to address and rectify the root cause(s). Resultant poor relationships can be quickly and successfully rebuilt with an objective assessment of the issues and an even-handed approach to resolution.

Typical issues include:

  • Inappropriate or inadequate SLAs
  • A lack of strong links between changing business objectives, KPIs and SLAs
  • Poorly understood or communicated requirements and contractual arrangements
  • Inadequate governance and reporting structures

Service Audit is the catalyst for practical change. It is based on a robust analysis of the service drivers, perceptions, a deep understanding of appropriate KPIs and SLAs for outsourced services, as well as long experience of best practice outsourced service provision. It can be deployed for any service domain including:

  • Applications Management (development and maintenance)
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Data-centre, mid-range and desktop (End-User Computing) services
  • Networks (LAN, WAN, Telecommunications services)
  • Remote Infrastructure Management Services

Deliverables will include:

  • Documented objectives for the services with appropriate KPIs
  • Assessment report of service against the SLA/ KPIs including a market comparison
  • Issues and risk register
  • Review of incentives/penalties against service measures
  • Recommendations for service repositioning including measurement and incentives
  • Action plan for recommended changes with priorities and predicted benefits

The details of the approach will vary depending on the service line and contract situation, but will involve both customer and supplier and include:

  • Understanding the context and importance of the service(s)
  • Analyse key service attributes (e.g., people, innovation/ added value, price/value for money, technical performance, future proofing)
  • Measurement, incentives and penalty review
  • Create options and recommendations including prioritised actions and anticipated benefits
  • Workshop to explore recommendations for both client and service provider

Governance and organisational audit

Effective governance and organisation is critical in achieving outsourcing success post-Transition. Many relationship failures start with a lack of investment in time and skills for the development of the interfaces and processes designed to achieve at least the predicted or anticipated business benefits. The key to successful outsourcing is ensuring that the complex set of “people relationships” work.

Typical issues include:

  • Ineffective or unbalanced demand management
  • Perceived poor service or value for money
  • Lack of trust, often manifest in poor communications
  • Relationships focused on technologies rather than services or the ‘Business’ customer
  • Large areas of overlap where both customer and service provider teams perform ‘shadow’ functions

Governance and Organisational Audit augments the existing client process and structural norms, issues and perceptions, and provides a balanced real-world insight into best practice governance with a practical implementation plan. This will fully evolve both client and service provider models to ensure joint understanding and accountability for these business critical services.

Our approach is staged as follows:

1) Document review and Interviews

2) Analysis and comparison with ‘best practice’

3) Options and recommendations

4) Action plan presentation and refinement loop

Deliverables will include:

  • Assessment of the implemented governance and organisation
  • Issues identification and comparison with ‘best practice’
  • Barriers to issue resolution with risk register
  • Options and Recommendations with priorities
  • Action plan to implement recommendations with anticipated benefits

Contract re-letting review

Contact re-letting review is a rapid assessment tool for gauging real sourcing options for refreshing existing outsourced arrangements. This opportunity presents itself as contracts approach a breakpoint, or required termination actions.

The services market rapidly evolves through innovation in both the commercials and service delivery, acceptance of new “risk” profiles, and new competitor dynamics. Exploring these often exciting and advantageous options will enhance stakeholder value. Designing a new approach with your existing supplier, re-competing the service or potentially taking it back in-house are all valid options requiring a detailed knowledge of the market today and for the foreseeable future.

Three key issues must be considered:

  • Future business requirements versus current supplier capability and value for money
  • Practical options available in today’s evolving marketplace
  • The real advantages, costs and risks of changing supplier

Re-letting review targets these key issues, measures current contract performance and provides clear and practical market insight to establish, through interactive workshops, what options are best suited to your requirements, and how associated costs and risk can be mitigated.

Our approach is staged as follows:

1) Understand the business customer requirements

2) Review Services reports, Contract, Schedules and SLAs

3) Review service KPIs and gather customer perception

4) Assess market for supply and compare with current service

5) Present sourcing options with risks and anticipated benefits

6) Workshop to explore recommended actions and plan

The main deliverables will be a service ‘fit for purpose’ report including:

  • Contract weaknesses and opportunities
  • Assessment of pricing compared to market
  • Service fact and perception analysis
  • Sourcing options, high level costs and risks
  • Recommendations with prioritised actions including predicted benefits

Contract repositioning

The flexibility of an existing outsourcing contract to meet rapidly changing business needs can cause major concern. There comes a point when the only way to move forward is to negotiate major contractual amendments to fully accommodate changing business demands. Careful preparation for such a transformation is essential if you are to achieve the desired results – pragmatic and practical repositioning at all tactical and strategic levels – set against a true understanding of your business requirements and the market and supplier capabilities.

Areas for careful consideration include:

  • Your business objectives and the supplier’s objectives
  • The supplier’s economic model
  • Contract suitability to help or hinder change
  • How changes will affect cost and value for money
  • Negotiating levers and opportunities

Contract repositioning provides a pragmatic and appropriately forceful method of ensuring service obligations, contract documentation and business perceptions are brought back into line behind the objectives of the business strategy.

The approach is staged as follows:

1) Document review – contract, schedules, SLAs and Financial model

2) Perception review – interviews

3) Analysis of service performance to establish value for money

4) Prioritised recommendations and action plan

5) Final discussions and workshop

Deliverables will include:

  • Gap analysis between contracted and delivered services
  • Customers’ service perception and value for money
  • Financial model analysis with risks and benefits
  • Supplier perspective of services and value for money
  • Actions with anticipated benefits
  • Plan with outline costs and timescales