More than negotiating contracts!

February 1st, 2018

What are different ways you can service your company today beyond traditional sourcing activities?


Today’s post is  from  our SafeSourcing archives.

If you are a sports enthusiast there is no doubt that you are probably familiar with the Buffalo Wild Wings chain of restaurants.  The fact that this statement is geared to sports fans and not food or Buffalo wings fans is the biggest reason this company is one of the fastest growing in the world.  By shifting the focus away from what they had traditionally done (food first; atmosphere second) to a primary sports fan destination that happens to offer good food, the chain has been able to explode with growth almost tripling revenue numbers in the last five years.  This effort to give customers more than the traditional offering and some of the ways procurement professionals can begin doing the same for their internal customers is the focus of today’s blog.

Get involved early – Negotiating contracts and handling vendor negotiations has always been a main focus of procurement teams.  Many times they are engaged well after the decision has been made for services and products.   The problem with this approach is that there is no longer any leverage for the procurement team to get a better deal for the company and often they are not equipped with the background details and project progress that allow them to execute the most beneficial contracts.  By getting engaged through annual or bi-annual meetings with the department heads, a procurement team can make themselves better prepared to help the department and the company get the most value from a new agreement once the decision has been made.

Provide Extra Information – With the assumption that they have been engaged early, procurement teams can offer their internal customers more than the traditional approach by helping departments better understand how they are spending money with their current incumbents.  Helping to track down the details of how well a contract has been executed, whether through internal means or directly from the incumbent suppliers, can provide very important details for departments in making decisions of who they do business with in the future.  Another way procurement teams can assist their internal customers is by helping them to understand how the company uses and feels about the products and services they have selected in the form of supplier scorecards.  These can be used as leverage for future contracts even if a supplier change is not made.

Offer New Tools – In some companies procurement teams are actively using eProcurement tools in conjunction with strategic sourcing partners to accomplish some of their goals on many sourcing projects.  So many times these solutions and partners offer functionality that other parts of the company can use.  Contract management, survey tools, and online RFx tools are just a few of the tools that procurement departments can bring to their internal customers that will provide extra value and support beyond what they have traditionally done.

At SafeSourcing we know that many procurement departments are looking for ways to be more involved with the purchasing projects that go on in the rest of the company. At SafeSourcing we want to work with your team to help provide extra value to your internal customers paving the way for involvement at a new level.   For more information on how we can help with this process 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.

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