Sourcing Industry veteran Steve Koutros appointed to lead HFS Research's new Sourcing Advisory Practice

Leading analyst firm disrupts the legacy sourcing advisory business model with a suite of research-based advisory solutions, based on immediate global data and unrivaled expertise

New York and London, August 17, 2021. HFS Research today unveils Steve Koutros as Practice Leader for its unique and innovative research-based Sourcing Advisory Services. Under Koutros’ direction, HFS aims to act as a sounding board for its enterprise clients to provide objective, comprehensive, outside-in perspectives throughout the sourcing process. Learn more about our Research-based sourcing advisory services here.

Prior to HFS, Steve Koutros was a Partner and Director of CFO and HR Services with sourcing advisor ISG (TPI) and part of its EMEA Leadership team. He worked for Capgemini for six years, running an energy consulting practice, a nationwide ERP solutions practice for global rollouts, and a global procurement practice. Steve has founded and run three consulting businesses in his career in areas such as custom software development, banking contract negotiations, and global business services strategy and design.

Steve Koutros is Practice Leader, Sourcing Advisory Services HFS Research

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Commenting on his appointment, Steve Koutros added, “I am very excited to be joining HFS leading the Sourcing Advisory practice. I am passionate about providing insight and impact to our clients in a natural evolution to our existing services. This is not a “me too” service offering. As a trusted analyst partner, we will take our challenger brand and deliver end-2-end Enterprise Sourcing Services. This is not just a project. We will become a value-added team member, throughout the lifecycle of sourcing through research and advice.”

According to Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst, HFS, “Demand from enterprise leaders to have research-based guidance throughout the process of selecting services partners and formulating their operating models to be competitive and effective in the Virtual Economy has never been so intense. Working with us, they’ll be better-informed, more enabled, and in a  much-improved position to anticipate economic, technological, and market challenges. HFS provides the perfect balance between the best research in the industry and practical experienced advice.  Having straddled both industries for two decades I have never been so excited to disrupt the industry with a smarter way to help enterprises.”

Sourcing Advisory is Ripe for Disruption, and HFS is the Catalyst:

10 Reasons why we launched HFS Research-based Sourcing Advisory

  1. The role of analysts and advisors is converging and HFS provides the perfect balance. Only *5% of enterprises are leveraging the Big 4 or Sourcing advisors to handle the entire sourcing process from screening through to implementation and governance. (*Based on HFS Research of 150 C-level executives across G2000 enterprises, 2021).  HFS manages the most highly engaged community of enterprise leaders and applies great research and advisory to help them.  Sourcing advisory needs a fresh, trusted face, and that is HFS!
  2. Mature outsourcing enterprise clients do not need babysitters. 2ndgeneration enterprise clients know how to run the sourcing process. They don’t need a team of full-time onsite consultants to rack up the billings. They mainly need data, expertise, and insights in specific areas where they have gaps.
  3. Welcome to the Virtual Economy, where HFS wins. Covid-19 has proven that sourcing advisory can be done remotely and virtually.  HFS has grown 30% during the pandemic and added multiple new research practices in new areas such as banking, healthcare, cloud/SaaS, and cybersecurity. We have many proof points here at HFS that ‘virtual’ works!  
  4. Advisors must deliver outcomes, not simply charge for time. Our sourcing advisory is based on fixed fees for definite milestones and results, not T&M, where the consultants are not incented to speed up the process. 
  5. Real research gets to outcomes much faster. You don’t need an RFI for everything if you already know the market, have exhaustive data on decision dynamics, and the supplier landscape. Our existing repository of Top 10 research reports, case studies, Industry Pulse of 800 Global 2000 enterprises, and IP allows enterprise clients to speed up the sourcing advisory process significantly.
  6. The sourcing advisory market is crying out for some innovation. The incumbents are still running sourcing advisory the same way as 15 years ago… as a procurement process designed to beat down the service providers on price. This cultural mismatch is the #1 issue why outsourcing engagements fail, yet no advisor conducts a psychometric fitment between the client and supplier.
  7. Where is the real transformation? Is sourcing advisory designed to create outcomes for clients that are slightly better, slightly cheaper, and slightly faster? Is that transformation? HFS Research-based sourcing advisory is driven by the OneOffice mindset of an integrated approach across the front, middle, and back-office to drive employee and customer experience.
  8. The over-templatized process kills creativity. Yes, sourcing advisory needs a methodology, but it cant be so rigid that it stymies creativity and out-of-the-box ideas. But few sourcing advisory engagements allow creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
  9. Supplier shopping must go beyond cost-gouging. It’s a common (mal)practice to launch RFPs just to find a lower price point without any real intention to change the incumbent. Again research-based and IP-backed advisory services can prevent such wastage of time and effort across all stakeholders. We don’t encourage competitive bidding just for the sake of it!
  10. We must learn from each other. There is no template for success in today’s world. The best chance of success is to learn from each other and share experiences. Our research deliverables, roundtables, webinars,/podcasts and events provide an open forum for our enterprise clients to share frustrations and best practices, and we all learn from each other.

According to Saurabh Gupta, HFS President, Research and Business Operations, “We’re delighted to have Steve lead our research-based sourcing advisory practice. We are confident that Steve’s leadership will blend best-practice sourcing advice with best-in-class research to help our clients realize their transformative ambitions”

According to Saurabh Gupta, HFS President, Research and Business Operations, “We’re delighted to have Steve lead our research-based sourcing advisory practice. We are confident that Steve’s leadership will blend best-practice sourcing advice with best-in-class research to help our clients realize their transformative ambitions”

To learn more about HfS Research, please email [email protected].

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Note to editors: Trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein remain the property of their respective owners. Photos of Steve Koutros are available from HfS Research.


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