IACCM Contract Management Forum

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2016-07-11 02:02:35

disadvantages of Pass-through Cost

Can anyone tell me the disadvantages of having more than 50-60% Pass-through Cost when a company is executing a ERP implementation project and is acting as system integrator(SI).

Is the project worth executing when it comes to value for money?
 •   2016-07-11 21:14:46
There are a few disadvantages from the pass-through approach. First, the party bearing the cost is not in direct negotiation with the source of the cost. As such, some costs that might be more aggressively addressed are not fully addressed. The discussions around how to best manage and mitigate the costs will exclude the party who is ultimately most interested and invested in those costs. As such, there is seldom much innovation or break-through thinking generated in these discussions.

There are other disadvantages arising under pass-through approaches related to the contractual terms, which also impact costs.
 •  SPL  •   2016-08-05 13:22:39
That's what SI's do. You go to an SI to be a one-stop shop. It is inevitable that he wont be able to do it all himself so much will be subcontracted. Where this is done at zero margin (!) we call it pass through. It does make me wonder why an SI would want the admin and risk burden of such a large pass through without any reward and, I agree with Anonymous that you are distanced from the party actually completing the work, so you don't have direct control over half of your project.

Hire a good PM and split the SI contract into two and deal direct with both.
 •   2016-09-12 00:11:09
Not sure of the size of your proposed project nor of your organization. I just finished leading negotiation of a large, multi-year ERP implementation project that will span several countries and be vital to our company's future. We have a single SI who has the resources to complete the work themselves (we reserved the right to review and approve any proposed subcontractor/subcontractor resources prior to their use). Not sure why you have an SI that wants to, if I understand correctly, use one or more subcontractors to perform a significant portion of the work.

If you are using a smaller Systems Integrator, then I would want to make sure that the SI is responsible for consistency in how the work is performed and that consistent methodology is used; and that ultimately the SI is FULLY responsible for the work delivered. Depending on the size of the ERP work and your organization, you may want to hire a Project Management team or at least Project Manager to help oversee the timely completion of the work.

As to you question about whether or not the project is worth executing - without knowing the business case, the cost and understanding the risks, I'm not sure anyone can answer that, but I would be cautious with such a large percentage being subcontracted.
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