OPINION12 April 2011

Why procurement is like Switzerland

Procurement departments can be a market research agency’s best friend if the relationship is right, researchers were told at the launch of a new ISBA guide last night. Turns out they want their share of the glory as much as anyone else.

The news that procurement departments are taking a larger interest in market research spend should come as no surprise. Research spoke to Brian Jacobs, the author of advertising body ISBA’s new guide to working with MR agencies last year, when he warned suppliers to engage more with the money men or risk being commoditised.

But not all procurement departments are out to slash costs, said Jill MacPherson, procurement director at recruitment giant Hays. Speaking at the launch of the ISBA guide last night, she said her aim is to build something lasting with all the companies on the Hays roster.

“Procurement is like Switzerland,” she said. “We want to be your friend.” Adding value to the business they work for is more important than saving costs, McPherson added. “We want to look good as well. It will look much better if the procurement department has contributed to success rather than saved £10,000.”

The ISBA guide, which is endorsed by MRS, is available for download here.