The benefits of a site supplier audit are many. Having assurances in respect to supply, environmental compliance, safety standards and quality measures are the primary reasons we do them. And finding the right suppliers has never been more important than today. The global recession has added additional pressures on the very survival of many companies.

How do you know that your supplier is capable of meeting their obligations or commitments? You do so by completing a site audit of their production facilities. This is often part of a buyers due diligence with large dollar spend and should be an exercised practice in your buyer / supplier relationship. Note, not every vendor you do business with warrants a site audit. Site audits can be costly when you factor in travel to the manufacturers’ facility and can be time consuming so target vendors which are integral to your supply chain.

A physical audit is the best way to gather reliable information about your supplier’s business practices, capabilities, competitiveness, cost drivers, safety standards and service culture. From these audits you can Read the rest of this entry

Part 2 – Buyers Guide to Cost Savings

Our last post on spend analysis was part 1 of our cost saving series and we are going to stay focused on this topic by providing areas to save money both within and outside of your organization.

We noted the importance of going after your class “A” Vendors or your top 20 which account for 80% of your spend. This is our target list and we will review how as a Buyer you can better leverage your vendors experience to help you generate cost savings.

In this scenario, your pricing on products you purchase is acceptable and lets assume they are under contract. Now where do you turn to find the next round of savings? More cost savings can be found in your suppliers’ organization. Pardon…you want me visit my suppliers and tell them what they can do to reduce costs so I can get a better deal? Not at all, we are suggesting you get into the heads of their technical and support staff to mine their knowledge, experience and ideas.

Your Vendors are in an excellent position to help review your processes and reduce your costs for the following reasons:

  1. They have a long list of clients which use their product and have experience and knowledge of potential best practices. This can be useful information. While asking vendors to divulge proprietary information is not appropriate, you can ask for suggestions on what we can do better. Keep in mind Vendors would rather you seek cost savings elsewhere versus from their pocket so they should be quick to jump on this approach.
  2. The technical knowledge of their own products. There is no better source to suggest alternative specifications or practices which can reduce expenses without sacrificing quality.
  3. They are a known entity.

How do you approach this? Read the rest of this entry

Part 1 – Buyers Guide to Cost Savings

As a Buyer or Purchasing Professional you should be evaluating your spend. What does this involve and how does it benefit my organization to complete a spend analysis? Basically, you are reviewing how your organization spends its operating budget or what makes up costs. To do this, one could run a historical report from your purchasing software system. It might allow you to drill down and report the top 20 or 30 vendors and how much money your company spent with them in the last 12 months. Better yet if it could provide the commodity or description of the spend then you are off to the races. If Purchasing cannot directly pull this data from a software program, your next best option is to approach the accounting department. They should be able to give you a list of the top vendors A/P sends payment to.

Once you have your list of the top 20% of your vendors in relation to how much money you spend with them annually we are fairly certain you are going to see that this list likely represents close to 80% of your operating budget. Yes the 80/20 rule will apply.  Why focus on the top 20%, well there are only so many hours in the day and as a buyer you need to focus your efforts on where you are going to make the biggest impact. Spending hours on toilet paper contracts to save $10.00 might not be the best way of utilizing your time.

Cost conscious business owners will Read the rest of this entry

There are many variations of RFP Templates available in the on-line marketplace, in fact there are about as many sample RFP Templates as there are subjects. For every type of material or service which is offered, or which you can imagine, someone has likely issued or created a request for proposal for it. RFP Templates.org has developed many templates from years of actual working experience in the materials management field and we understand how much fun it is to generate a RFP from scratch.

RFP45 is a version or a sample template used for the procurement of custom software.

Section 1 – Instructions to Vendors on how and when to respond to your proposal. A must in any request for proposal document.

Project timetable which identifies the key dates or schedule of events as to how you the Buyer anticipate they will take unfold.. Issue date, RFP required by date, vendor meeting dates, award, delivery of software, testing period and implementation. A timeline is important for both parties as it will help ensure it does not come off the rails.

Section 2 – Firm Overview – will allow bidders to understand more about the Buyers background, key business drivers and how the software will function in the company environment. Read the rest of this entry

When you are looking for media relations support it is best to request references and to structure your RFP to cover the types of media relations coverage you will require. RFQ57 is a sample template for soliciting this business support service. As a business owner you would be issuing this proposal seeking a corporate public relations agency partner with a proven track record for creative excellence in strategic program development and execution.

You will also want to provide goals and objectives for the agency and your overall goal statement might be to enhance industry awareness of your brand and industry-leading sub-brands among current and prospective customers, competitors, trade and business media, industry analysts and other key constituents.

Another component of the RFP would be to address the core activities or expectation of what they will be involved in also known as the scope of work. This might include:

  • Press release development and distribution.
  • Media/analyst relations.
  • Article development and placement.
  • Identification, pitching and leverage of speaking opportunities.
  • Marketing and event support.
  • Press materials.
  • Executive briefing materials.
  • PR results measurement and reporting.

The above list provides solid indicators of how the vendor is to bid your proposal. From it, they will be able to determine amount of effort (hours) which will be required to service your account. It is beneficial to define the relationship and that it will be collaborative; leveraging the respective strategic and tactical strengths and resources of the agency and client. It would be important to stress the core functions and that they should be mutually agreed to by both parties in advance. This helps provide details as to their responsibility.

These are just some of the areas addressed in RFQ57 – sample RFP for media relations. Using this template will at the very least give you a great head start in developing your own proposal. This template is available in our purchasing managers bundle and many other procurement sample templates are included.

Related Posts

Short form RFP Template

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