When selecting suppliers, it pays to see the big picture and take the long-term view. This is all the more critical when you’re involved in big complex projects where bringing the wrong suppliers in or agreeing the wrong terms can prove to be a very costly mistake.
So where do you start and what should you focus on? Above all, on the people, rather than simply the paperwork or upfront price.
With procurement, it’s tempting to emphasise the paper that inevitably comes with the process – from RFIs to final contracts. And also the price at the point of purchase, so that the supplier with the lowest upfront costs might take precedence. But in our experience, to forge a successful relationship with your supplier that delivers value for your business over the long-term, the critical focus should be on people.
People do the work and make the vital difference. Moreover, it’s a long-term evolving process - you want people who will work with you through the inevitable twists and turns of a project. So you have to get the right ones on board and agree mutually beneficial terms to help ensure your project is delivered successfully.
The 'p' in procurement stands for people, rather than paper or price.”
So how do you go about doing it well? Here are some key principles.
These are just some of the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve worked with clients to select and mobilise their suppliers. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you choose the right ones for your business, we’d love to hear from you.