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5 February 2014 | Gurjit Degun
When tendering for a global corporate card provider buyers need to ensure they have senior management buy-in, should not underestimate how long it will take and follow up references.
That’s according to George Castlehow, global process owner – employee reimbursement at Rolls-Royce, who was speaking at the Business Travel Show in London today.
It took Rolls-Royce 14 months to complete the tender process and pick the Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its preferred supplier. Castlehow explained that Rolls-Royce took a stringent approach having had a bad experience with its previous supplier. For example, the company had 137 request for proposal questions compared to the 12 when it last went to market.
Castlehow also wanted a more standardised approach across the engineering business, which operates in several countries.
He had the following tips to consider when choosing a card provider:
• Make sure you have senior management buy-in. “This will help you to get things done,” said Castlehow.
• Involve all areas of the business no matter how big or small. People will get upset if they don’t know what’s going on.
• Learn from past experiences, be it good or bad.
• Know what you want on a long-term basis and how you are going to get there. “Don’t change your mind halfway through the process,” said Castlehow.
• Don’t underestimate how long it takes to negotiate the contract.
• Take up references. “Make sure you pick the references from a list, don’t let the supplier choose them for you,” Castlehow advised.
• Ensure you get the right partner. “Otherwise you are stuck with them”, Castlehow added. "We had our fingers burnt once so that was the main thing for us."