Are their any downsides to running large events with multiple categories involved?
Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives
“Everything but the kitchen sink….” has its roots in the early 1900s and referred to situations involving the inclusion of almost everything someone can think of whether it was needed or not. In procurement terms it means running sourcing projects that include several unrelated items and categories in order to try and maximize the efforts and cost of running the events. The downside to taking this approach is that the focus becomes fractured among an eclectic mix of goods and services that prevents a project from being as successful as it could be.
Today we will be looking at a few reasons why this approach does not work for many procurement professionals.
Fractured Focus – The first issue that arises with multi-category sourcing events is that is fractures the focus of the items. Each category gets some attention but not all of it and so specifications tend to be incomplete, internal support for the event not as determined and interest from the suppliers that can deliver on more than one category gets divided among several items that usually are not given a priority by the customer. With all of these factors it is difficult for suppliers to give their best proposals because they have to divide their attention and in some cases are unsure what items and services are the most important to the customer.
Suspicious Suppliers – Another of the issues when including many categories in a sourcing event is that suppliers who know they can only bid on one or two items begin to get suspicious of the event due to their assumption that the customer will try to consolidate suppliers where they can and use the suppliers who can only bid on a few items to help drive pricing only. While grouping multiple categories is not a recommendation of SafeSourcing, if a project is going to be run this way then it is recommended that a multi-supplier award be considered and the possibility communicated to the suppliers.
Missed Supplier Opportunities – With so many types of suppliers needed to support a large multi-category event it is often unrealistic to bring in as many companies in each area as a customer would like. Unfortunately this leads to some very qualified suppliers being left out if they specialize in just one or two categories because otherwise the event would become very difficult to manage. These types of suppliers can bring great value to an event and because it is their specialty they can often bring additional expertise and in some cases better pricing to the customer. These lost opportunities are hard to quantify but are a proven side effect of large multi-category projects.
Many companies still try to run events of this nature because of their fear of the cost associated with running multiple events. At SafeSourcing we are constantly helping companies who want to try to source categories safer, smarter and easier. For more information on how we can help you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today
We look forward to your comments.