24 May 2001 | David Arminas
Allowing an untrained person to undertake complex commercial negotiations can be dangerous and embarrassing, according to a new CIPS policy document.
Negotiation skills are such an essential part of a procurement professional's armoury that without them an effective supply management service cannot be provided, according to the Negotiation document, which is part of a major new series.
Responsibility rests with senior procurement leaders within the departments to ensure their subordinates who undertake negotiations are properly trained, it says.
"Purchasers must be sure they have brushed up on their negotiation skills, as it is a bit like any unused skill where you lose the sharpness and subtleties to make it successful," Melinda Johnson, head of policy at CIPS, said.
The document suggests that negotiation is particularly difficult where there is little competition in the marketplace which strengthens the supplier's position. The purchaser must identify alternatives as part of any negotiating strategy.
* All the CIPS documents and policy statements are available at www.cips.org/about/policies.asp.