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11 September 2013 | Will Green
The European energy procurement manager at Kimberly-Clark (KC) has urged fellow buyers to be more demanding of suppliers and not to accept standard contracts.
Miguel-Angel Pescador, who buys gas and electricity in seven European countries for KC, whose brands include Huggies and Kleenex, said energy companies were “built to deal with thousands if not millions of customers” and “they still see you as a standard product, as a standard customer”.
“They have a standard business model but the problem is the customers don’t like to be treated as standard customers,” he told The Energy Event at Birmingham’s NEC yesterday.
Pescador said the traditional buying model, where suppliers conduct a survey of customers and then produce a sales brochure, no longer worked and the market had become more complex.
“They say they are the best supplier, the most transparent,” he said.
“Something must not be working in this equation. If more and more people are moving towards energy consultants it must be because something doesn’t work.”
Pescador, who has been buying energy for 12 years, advised customers to draw up a wish list and then work with suppliers to “get them to adapt” – avoiding the legal department where possible.
“In my experience legal has a lot of weight in these companies,” he said. “They are there to produce standard terms and conditions and act as a barrier to creating a relationship between supplier and customer.”
Pescador added buyers now had many more options in the marketplace. “Don’t trust a supplier who says they can’t change for you,” he said. “The right energy supplier is out there if you look for it. Don’t accept being treated as a standard customer if you are not. Suppliers who supply gas and electricity to me should add value for me.”