BEST PRACTICE: Getting the best out of suppliers
With Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall living off the fruits of his labour in 'River Cottage', participants of 'Grand Designs' and its ilk stripping, plumbing, tiling and painting solo, one might assume that self-sufficiency is the new outsourcing. Perish that thought marketer. Yes, there is a growing trend for sizzling the bacon of your own pig, but in marketing circles self-sufficiency is not expected and this is particularly true for SMEs where internal resources are already stretched to the limit.
A SME might typically employ on average five marketing suppliers a printer, PR, creative agency, data provider and website designer, for example and some may argue that the best approach is to outsource and 'leave them to it'. This will free up the client's time, the job will get done and everyone's a winner but are they? Few suppliers would admit it but the more they like the client, the better the relationship; and the better the relationship, the better the work.
Darren Ford, senior procurement specialist at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), says, Small businesses buying marketing services don't always tap into the value-added extras. For example; they may get a branding solution free of charge, but this depends on the nature of the relationship. And it's not the contractual terms of the relationship he's referring to it's simply whether both parties get on.