Wednesday, April 20, 2005
- Be Prepared. This should be just common sense, we realize, but it's astonishing how many suppliers arrive for presentation day with faulty equipment, slide printouts with typos or missing pages, or a rough and unrehearsed delivery. Realize that during this short space of time the clients around the meeting table are not only learning about your products and services, but are also carefully assessing your bedside manner. The way you present yourself to these folks represents to them the way ALL of your colleagues will present themselves throughout the company for the life of the agreement. And if you're flubbing lines or missing pages, it doesn't bode well.
- Don't Run Overtime. This best practice is perfectly described with a brief true story. A large pharmaceutical company held supplier presentations during a complex online sourcing process for specialized labor. Each of approximately 15 vendors had 30 minutes to present a pre-defined list of topics to a multidisciplinary buying team. One of these team members kept time. Presenters were kept abreast of time remaining, and precisely at the 30-minute mark, time was up. Mid-sentence, mid-presentation. Time to leave the room, the next presenter was on the way in. That's it. And thus ended the supplier's only opportunity to present their wares.
- Stick To The Outline. This one falls into the same category as the tip above. Buying teams have just a little bit of time to assess a lot of factors of a bunch of potential suppliers, and often are grading and weighting each item on which they've asked a company to present (we talk about these specific grading and weighting styles in our seminars). And if a presenter varies from the theme and fails to hit a certain element, that element may simply get a score of zero. It's just like Olympic gymnastics--you can't score a 10 if you don't perform all of the required elements.
Keep these tips in mind, and the next time around you may just have a better chance of making it to the final rotation. That, however, is another story.
Friday, April 08, 2005
For some additional screening criteria (like company size, revenue, and a risk assessment), Dun & Bradstreet is a good bet for any category. It'll cost you an annual fee, but if your company will be researching other categories, it's a good way to go. Plus, some of the other supplier database tools out there actually pull right from D&B, so why not go right to the source in the first place?
Finally, if you're e-sourcing this category (as well you should!), your e-sourcing software provider may have a nice-sized database of suppliers who have participated in online events in the past. And these suppliers will have the added bonus of education in how to participate in a reverse auction. What more could you ask for?
Please note that our comments are given from the generalist point of view, so if anyone out there has some more specific suggestions for these categories, please comment them in. We're all here to help each other!
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Welcome to the eSourcing Blog!
So welcome, and blog away!