Sole-Source Outsourcing - Ensuring a Successful Outcome
By: Everest Group

As companies look for ways to streamline the outsourcing process, a range of reasons may make sole sourcing a viable, cost- and time-saving option – if applied wisely.


Sole sourcing is the practice of working with a single service provider to define, negotiate, and purchase services. Traditionally, buyers employed sole sourcing to deliver a simplified, faster service acquisition process, with fewer of the difficulties of staging and reviewing a multi-provider process. Today, the use of sole sourcing is most often a function of the trust that exists between a buyer and service provider. As buyers of outsourcing services look to limit the proliferation of service providers with whom they maintain relationships, the sole-source option is becoming increasingly relevant.


Sole sourcing can deliver significant potential efficiencies over multi-provider outsourcing efforts in terms of cost for completing the process and time required to make a decision. However, a sole-source approach is susceptible to stakeholder challenges that should be addressed early on to ensure a successful outcome. Doing so increases the chance that the initiative will suit the buyer’s and service provider’s objectives – today and in the future.

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