19 June 2009
Socialising with suppliers can give buyers new insight into their financial health, according to Home Office commercial director John Collington.
Addressing delegates at Procurement Solutions Live in London this month, Collington said the most open conversations with vendors occur away from the boardroom in a more relaxed setting.
It is possible to find out more about a supplier's financial standing by "going for a beer", than in a formal meeting he said.
Collington also urged buyers to avoid a "let and forget" contract management culture. Successful purchasers, he said, keep in mind a number of "fundamental" steps when signing and monitoring contracts. These included building profiles of vendors and categorising their importance to the organisation. Keeping close watch over suppliers by applying consistent governance was essential, he said, and might involve insisting on meetings with a vendor's chief executive twice a year.