Archive

Posts Tagged ‘purchasing’

on negotiation, part four


The No Deal, or Walk Away, option is always there for both parties. Yes it is a last resort, but there are times when you cannot get a viable deal and walking away is the only way to go. It works best if you understand what the consequences are though.
In this example the company that I worked for had a contract with a client for a particular job to be performed on an ad-hoc basis. It worked well and the contract had been renewed several times, but the client had gone for a complete renewal proposal over about eighteen months and wanted to negotiate a deal for the job. As you might expect they were also looking at other contractors in case we had not the capacity for the job. Read more…

on laughing at life


Last week I spent a day with a longstanding business associate helping him choose a new alarm, access control and general security package for his shop and warehouse. My preferred way of working on these projects is not to the traditional way of having the potential suppliers come to us, but for us to go to them. There is much to be learned from visiting your suppliers; are the offices tidy, do they give the impression of efficiency and organisation, do the people that you meet or see there look like they care about what they are doing and more. I always ask to go and meet the people that will answer our calls if we have a problem, the people who will be managing our installation and the people who deal with invoicing us. It all gives a picture of what you are really getting that the sales team can never convey in their pitch. Read more…

the myth of centralised procurement


The arguments for centralising activity, procurement or otherwise, can be very persuasive, but so many of them are built on selective use of numbers, as may well have been the case in the recent media frenzy for they, too, are only trying to sell you a story. I am not procurement bashing here for I am one of their number, and nor am I media bashing either for I am also one of them in a small way. No, I would like to try and present a balanced view based on what I have seen and experienced over the years. Read more…

You pay for what you get


Recently I have been working with global supply chain people looking at total cost of ownership seeking ways to implement reduction strategies. If we cut out the management speak we’re trying to help them become more competitive. Read more…

you get the supplier relationship that you deserve


How to have a good working relationship with your suppliers; it’s a topic that comes up often when talking to clients and buyers. Read more…

it’s not scope creep; it’s business as usual


My dislike of management speak is well documented here, but I still have to deal with its use on a daily basis and one such expression that has cropped up a lot over the last couple of weeks is Scope Creep. Read more…

musing on excess over the festive season


“Everyone has lots of leftovers at Christmas” said the voice from the TV as I was washing up after dinner this evening. Read more…

pendulum swings; why business cycles happen


There are natural cycles in business just as there are in nature. Watching any industry evolve will show these progressions and good purchasing people can read them to understand how upcoming deals are likely to pan out. Read more…

acting unethically does not make good business sense


One of the topics I try to deal with in this column is ethical behaviour. Apart from my need to maintain such standards in order to comply with the code of ethics for each of the three professional bodies of which I hold membership it reflects a basic principle that I was brought up to observe. Read more…

Caveat Emptor – still as true as when the Roman’s coined the phrase


Buyer Beware, or Caveat Emptor as the Romans used to put it, is still very much a truism despite all of the legislation that successive Governments, and the EU, have tried to impose to protect consumers. For business folk, who enjoy less protection with their working hats on than they do as individuals, more care has to be taken over what you are buying and who you are buying from.

Due diligence is a term often applied to this process, and when done well it is applied not just to the initial, pre-contract stage, but also over the duration of the contractual relationship. A while back we had the adulterated meat problem whereby what was being delivered was not what was expected. As this was an end product being supplied to consumers the problem was picked up through random testing as part of the consumer protection process, but apparently not by the purchasing organisation(s) concerned. I saw the other day a large sign in one store saying that all of their meat was 100% British or Irish. That may have been intended to reassure, but it could it doesn’t preclude it being 100% horse, rat, dog or any other sort of meat; caveat emptor again perhaps. Read more…