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New Survey: Most Companies Use Strategic Meetings Management

Strategic meetings management evangelist Kevin Iwamoto, GLP, GTP, has just released a report with his new employer, GoldSpring Consulting, that takes a look at the adoption of SMMPs in companies today, delving into the challenges the programs face and the new ways that procurement departments are getting involved.

The full “State of SMMP” whitepaper is available for download from the GoldSpring website.

According to its findings, strategic meetings management has made great inroads, with 74 percent of respondents saying their companies have fully or partially launched an SMMP. Global programs are becoming better established, too, with 46 percent of companies having launched them.

Of those respondents with SMMPs, one-third of them are newbies, with a program that is one to three years under way; another third is in the four- to nine-year range; and one-third has had an established program for more than nine years. “The companies at the top maturity levels are now facing challenges,” says Iwamoto, senior consultant at GoldSpring Consulting. The cost saving and cost avoidance results they are able to achieve are less dramatic with a mature program, for example. “They are looking for ways to continue the solid progress made.” How? Iwamoto’s list includes:

• expanding to more global countries and regions

• expanding the program’s scope of responsibilities and supplier management

• further refining SMMP policies

• seeking more integrations with key corporate systems management technologies that other internal groups use (such as marketing technologies, human resources systems, expense and finance systems, and others).

SMM Challenges
The survey also asked respondents to choose the biggest challenges or obstacles they have faced in implementing or running their strategic meetings management programs. The results (respondents could choose more than one answer):

1. The company is too decentralized: 60 percent
2. Change management within our company is difficult: 50 percent
3. Lack of senior management support: 27 percent
4. Lack of stakeholder support: 21 percent
5. Lack of expertise: 16 percent
6. Lack of budget: 11 percent
7. Lack of supplier support: 9 percent
The challenge in the number-three spot is an especially tough one, Iwamoto says: “Lack of senior management support is really a deal-breaker. If no one at a senior management level is supporting the SMMP, it’s highly likely it will face limited growth and exceptionally challenging deployment.”

Procurement’s New Role?
About seven in 10 respondents said corporate procurement is involved with the SMMP. Of those, just over half reported that procurement is involved in decision-making at least 76 percent of the time, while 30 percent said procurement is involved in fewer than 26 percent of decisions.

Tasks taken on by procurement are:
1. Service level agreement development
2. Policy development
3. Category/program management
4. Scope of work development
5. Sourcing/contracting suppliers.

Iwamoto noted two surprises among the results. First, that managing the SMMP came in third, “unusual given the SMMP is generally managed and governed by the corporate SMMP champion.” And possibly more surprising was that the typically procurement-controlled supplier sourcing and contracting came in as the last-ranked item.

Other notable results:
• 70 percent of respondents said they are planning to combine both transient and meeting buckets of spend to improve their negotiating positions

• 68 percent of respondents said they use specifically designed SMMP technology to run their programs


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