Procurement: Marketing does not always see you as the ‘bad guy’

HeroVillain.jpgProcurement often sits in an uncomfortable space between the marketing department in an organisation and outsourced communication and creative agencies – both of whom who feel procurement doesn’t ‘get them’ or their work.   However, this seems to be changing in a move towards a more collaborative approach that is often highly beneficial not only to the organisation, but to agencies as well, Christian Bell, Head of Sales and Marketing at Point, tells SmartProcurement.

A paper* prepared for The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA), highlights the fact that in some cases Marketing does not accept that Procurement can add value and often resents the ‘intrusion of Procurement, who see their role as simply to cut cost’; and fails to identify the value that can be created when best practice procurement assists Marketing in its dealings with agencies.

Marketing benefits from sustainable Procurement’s disciplined processes, which assist Marketing to detail exactly what they want from the agency – with anything from the brief, through to placement of ad materials, even what is expected in print production through to distribution.

ChristianBell_May2013.jpg“Much more than cutting cost, Procurement – through the implementation of disciplined process – can add value by bringing in a more expert line that sees other benefits such as better use of company time and resources, less wastage, better approval processes and more,” says Bell.

Clearly, a big part of the marketing and agency function is the production of final material to be used in marketing efforts. But, the print process can by cumbersome and costly in terms of wastage and inefficient use of resources. Therefore, print managers are increasingly playing an important role in satisfying Procurement and Marketing’s needs by providing Corporate Africa with measurable, controllable processes and providing marketing with better ways to manage the approval, production and digital storage of brand collateral for example.

Agencies benefit as they have a clear directive as to what is expected and their resources; are better utilised as they are subjected to less edits on material or the cost of re-producing erroneous print for example.

Procurement professionals dealing with marketing and agencies must consider print management as a professional and disciplined process that makes for successful procurement and creative, effective marketing. In addition it adds value far beyond cost effectiveness, something procurement people value, says Bell.

‘Although there are still many procurement people who see their role in relation to agencies purely as cost cutting, the more enlightened are looking for ‘quality, value and continuity of supply, and that desire is shared by agencies and marketing’*.

*Magic and Logic: Re-defining sustainable business practise for agencies, marketing and procurement. Prepared by Marilyn Baxter, Value Framework Steering Group.

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