16 April 2018 / by Mark Lindeman

Still waters run deep – are you getting the most out of your suppliers?

In principal, finding a supplier that satisfies your requirements sounds straight forward. But after more than 25 years working in this field, I still experience that it’s never quite as straightforward as one might think. Why? Maybe because it’s about people?

In my opinion, successful procurement needs requirements to be clearly understood and defined. We often see that just a basic description of a material or service is communicated. Further investigation into what’s driving a specific need and how the organisation can best satisfy it, helps get to the root of an issue, including any company politics. This applies to both the private and the public sector.

Issues that arise during a procurement process essentially boil down to the following:

  • People directly involved with the goods or services being purchased aren’t always involved from the very start.
  • Insufficient thought is put into the most effective way parties can work together, regardless of the goods or services in question.
  • The implementation doesn’t always go according to the agreed plan and nobody notices or takes corrective action.

Still waters run deep – are you getting the most out of your suppliers?

Deeper understanding enables you to formulate your tenders much more clearly and outline expectations. This should be done together with the internal user, budget holder, policy makers and other involved parties. And don’t forget the supplier’s role in all of this. They often have good ideas as well!

This approach results in a more engaged end-user and potential supplier. Most of all, it makes the selection of a supplier and the fulfilment of the agreement much simpler and more effective. This is my preferred approach, regardless of whether it’s for a straightforward tender, innovation or sustainability initiatives. It’s all about working-together. So it is about people!