21 September 2006 | Steve Bagshaw
Know what you're talking about, be honest but remember your suppliers have a living to make as well.
Those, according to Sir Alan Sugar, are the most important things that buyers must remember. In an interview with Supply Management, the Amstrad boss, who has been dealing with the members of the profession for 30 years, explains how procurement is the third most important element to any business. "First is the product, the second is the selling and the third is buying," he said.
Sir Alan, star of The Apprentice, also describes how long-term supplier relationships are the only way to do meaningful business. "You have to build supplier relationships… so that in good times and bad times you
But he does have some strong words on the idea that buyers could learn something from salespeople. "Take no bloody notice of them," he cautioned. "Because you'd end up bankrupting your company if you start purchasing materials and products on the basis of sales forecasts. So you want to keep those people well apart."
For more of Sir Alan's views on a range of procurement issues, please see our interview with him.