In Procurement Heads‘ latest blog, Hayley reflects on the event and shares some of her key takeaways from the evening.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend the CIPS AGM on Monday night and reconnect with some of my procurement network. 

What has been brilliant to see in the last year is CIPS South has increased its online footprint, with more members coming to the sessions and more events being planned that have real value add. 

In addition, the support shown to local colleges, inspiring young adults to want to undertake a career in procurement has been exemplary.

Procurement Heads will be supporting the education roadshows with CIPS for 2020; if you are thinking about a career in procurement and want some advice on the different types of roles and experience required, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Practical Contract Management

Both Stephen Anderson and Geoff Kontzle gave talks on Practical Contract Management, which I found both informative and insightful. 

Being the seller rather than the buyer in these scenarios, particularly from a services-led organisation made me question how we are being perceived by our clients and what value we are demonstrating ahead of signing contracts, rather than just focusing on price as the primary negotiating clause.

The key takeaways from the CIPS AGM for me were:

  • Contracts are too lengthy, and difficult to understand and quite often, many clauses that are negotiated are never legislated so why include them, we must simplify!
  • Motivating suppliers and building long-term relationships is key, particularly in a services contract, it is critical to ensuring the success of that contract for both parties
  • Find the value in every contract! How does our customer get added value from us as a supplier and what am I doing as a supplier to hold myself to account. We should be more focused on SLAs and the relationship within that contract and not the lowest cost

As a procurement recruiter, the primary clause I am negotiating on before anything else is price.

I totally appreciate that recruitment is a saturated market and everyone professes to be a ‘specialist’ these days and therefore our customers believe it’s a buyer’s market in that respect.

We should, however, be looking underneath the surface about what the company stands for, their track record in the field, how it will approach the contract and the deliverables to measure against before talking price. 

If you are wanting to engage someone’s services, you need to align your company values with theirs and ensure that they will act as an ambassador for your business at all times. 

If this cannot be demonstrated, it perhaps isn’t the right collaboration to be made.

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