How should one go about convincing suppliers to participate in an eProcurment event?

July 2nd, 2013

What works to ensure that eProcurment events get vendors involved who aren’t initially accepting of the process?

Today’s post is by Ryan Melowic; Assistant Vice President of  Procurement COE at SafeSourcing. 

In our industry there are sometime vendors who don’t adopt the process and initially decline to participate in an eProcurment event.  For one reason or another, they don’t feel it is a fit for them.  My goal is to make sure that vendors thoroughly understand the opportunity. 

The strategy I use when following up with vendors is to ask them questions as to why they feel the particular event is not a fit for them.  By breaking down their concerns and objections, I’m able to understand what their major objections are.  I then address each issue with a reason why they would be a fit. 

During this process you are likely to hear all kinds of responses from an incumbent that doesn’t participate in eProcurement events to a vendor who doesn’t feel that pricing is the only piece involved.  The vendor who doesn’t feel that pricing is the only piece is provided in most cases with a response like “you are absolutely correct, pricing isn’t the only piece of the puzzle.  However, the company who is hosting this eProcurement event has chosen this method.  This will be your first step in courting the relationship with the host company.  Next steps could potentially be presentations by you in order to help the host understand your company’s offerings.”  This helps the vendor understand that events are not just based on price alone.  If the incumbent does not want to participate in some cases it may take a more strong armed approach.  Explaining to them that the host and their current customer have chosen to collect pricing in this manner and if they want to be considered going forward that they will need to participate.  At the end of the day it comes down to the simple fact that as a supplier; are you sure you want to pass up an opportunity for future business?

At SafeSourcing we work diligently to make sure our companies eProcurment events are a success!  We don’t take no for an answer until we have done the due diligence to rule a supplier out.   For more information as to how we can help you with your procurement needs, 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.

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