Wednesday 7 January 2015

New Year’s Resolutions

By Mark Walker, Account Development Manager at BravoSolution UK
I’m going to start with a controversial point: I’m a cyclist. Before too many stereotypes spring to mind, I would like to point out that I don’t dress head to toe in Lycra; I don’t run red lights; and I’m not one to shy away from winter weather.

For the last few months, I have been one of only two people to use the shower at BravoTowers, which we share with several other companies in the building, and over the festive period it seemed I was one of only two people on my ride.

However, this Monday was the 5th of January, and as most people headed back to work after a couple of weeks relaxing I saw more people on bikes on the roads than I have in the last four years of commuting in London. According to my colleagues who like to exercise at lunchtimes, the gym was “absolute carnage”. (Note: You don’t have to be fitness mad to work at BravoSolution, but you can still look at our careers page here

I read that the fitness industries unkindly refers to these people as “Turkeys”, who after splashing the cash on equipment, clothes and that 12 month gym membership will have gone back to pre-resolution habits by March, despite all best intentions.

This made me wonder how often Procurement Professionals are taken as “Turkeys” by their supplier base? With the best will in the world, prices will be negotiated; terms agreed; alternatives threatened; yet how often do we end up back in old habits, just because they are easier?

Have you ever found within your organisation that once savings are signed off, no-one checks to ensure that the agreed product is purchased at the agreed price? How often has a supplier introduced a (more costly) alternative that isn’t part of the agreement to your end users that they then order instead? It may be that you negotiate on a product from Supplier A, only to have your end users continue to order their preferred product from Supplier B.

Then again, do we all secretly know that this happens and it is just more convenient to allow prices to creep up again, because we know we can get them down by a decent percentage in a few years, and that’s what we need to report on? Are we kidding ourselves as much as those cyclists are in believing that this year is going to be the year they stick at it, no matter if the forecast is for freezing rain next week?

If you are interested in how our Spend Analytics solutions can help you with monitoring compliance, please get in touch. In the meantime, I’ll be digging out the thick socks and waterproofs.

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