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Mr. J. Francisco Escobar

The Procurement Perspective

On October 28th, I spoke at a 4A’s Finance Committee meeting and Webinar on the topic of “The Procurement Perspective: Understanding Procurement and Working Collaboratively with Client Strategic Sourcing.” I shared my perspectives on effective ways to interact with procurement in both a new business environment as well as with existing client relationships.
During the course of the discussion I provided background on Procurement’s roles and responsibilities and suggested rules for interacting with Procurement along with tactics for effective negotiations.
My suggestions for effectively interacting with procurement included:
  • Be inclusive, don’t treat procurement like the enemy.
  • Understand procurement’s key care-abouts.
  • Eliminate mystery and inefficiencies.
  • Be proactive, educate procurement about industry norms.
  • Focus on long term gains…Play to “Win-Win.”
The tactics for effective negotiation that I spoke about included:
  • Expect more, ask and demand more.
  • Initiate dialogue on value before talking about money.
  • Be stingy with concessions.
  • Say “no” one more time.
  • Provide alternatives on major sticking points.
In the current economic environment, clients are becoming even more focused on efficiencies. It is more important than ever for agencies to be open to and proactive in implementing process efficiencies, such as production decoupling, and communicating marketing value chain improvements.

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Procurement isn't the enemy

Bravo to Francisco - excellent points regarding procurement. I think the biggest takeaway I have from my procurement dealings is that education is absolutely critical, but also challenging. You'll need patience, excellent communication skills and you must not be tone deaf. You need to hear them and ensure they know you are hearing them if you want them to listen to you.
Posted by Mr. Stephen Boehler (Monday, January 12, 2009 3:03 PM)

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