10 June 2008 | Paul Snell
There is no "best practice" approach to decoupling, according to the head of procurement at one of the world's biggest advertisers.
Speaking at an event organised by CIPS, ISBA and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising last night, Tom Kinnaird, head of commercial and procurement services at WPP, said he was "sceptical" about the concept of best practice in breaking up the supply chain for marketing services.
"As procurement people we tend to fall for 'truisms'. I would be sceptical on the concept of 'best practice'," he said. "Decoupling is not best practice. It is incumbent on procurement to ask the right questions. And I would suggest agencies have a part to play in the process."
He added he was not against the concept, but it was up to purchasers to decide if the process was right for them.
"Ultimately agencies will set up their business to serve the needs of their clients," he said. "I would neither defend or promote decoupling or recoupling but I would promote the right answer at the acceptable price, risk, quality or service."
And he urged buyers to trust themselves to take the correct approach. "Be sceptical about what people are telling you and be proud of the processes you run. The best procurement people are value driven. You should run the best process to get the best outcome."