Six rules for buying well

5 May 2017

Start your junior buyers on the right track with these basic rules

Matthew Sparkes, head of financial services at Crown Commercial Services, shared his top tips for new buyers at a recent Procurex conference:

1. Identify customer need. If you don’t understand what that need is – it doesn’t matter what the want is – you’ll get it wrong.

2. Look inside your market. Heathrow’s procurement team could suggest an alternative to traditional check-in desks only because they understood what other options were available.

3. Prioritise relationships. Contract management will give you what you expected, and is essential. But the relationship is what will give you over and above – the growth and innovation.

4. Collect spend data. Possibly the most powerful tool, it can show exactly what buyers are buying, when and from whom, helping to find savings.

5. Communicate what you are doing. Be clear about tenders, explicit about strategy. Bring the people on your journey – and it will reduce annoying emails.

6. Know your negotiating position. Be upfront with your stakeholders, and agree walk away points before you start. It will empower you and smooth the way.

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