Procurement remains hot topic for agencies

Events agencies and suppliers tackled the hot topic of procurement in the final session of the C&IT Agency Forum 2014 at Wembley Stadium.

Agencies, clients and suppliers have their say
Agencies, clients and suppliers have their say

In the closing session of the C&IT Agency Forum on Friday (8 August), Nick Brice, managing director of 360 Degree Vision, chaired a debate on procurement departments, payment terms and lead times.

Delegates were divided into groups and had to consider the major challenges facing corporate event planners, events agencies, procurement teams and suppliers. 

The challenges for each group are summarised below:

Corporates

  • Corporate event planners understand the need to utilise procurement and form better relationships with these departments
  • The need to work closely with procurement to help them understand what their event strategies and objectives are
  • Transparency and providing as much information as possible to get the best results is vital
  • Being creative where possible
  • Clients are excited about the growth of more agencies as this will mean more competition and ultimately, better rates

Agencies

  • Working smarter for less is all about trying to build relationships with procurement, which isn’t always possible
  • The market is more competitive, meaning resources are limited
  • There is a need to be more selective in terms of what briefs agencies receive and to prioritise certain pitches
  • Payment terms are too long
  • Build better relationships with clients and suppliers

Suppliers

  • ‘Held over a barrel’ in regards to terms and conditions
  • Suppliers feel as if clients are 'holding all the cards'
  • There is a lack of ability to negotiate and make terms that work for the supplier
  • Suppliers are unable to access the direct buyer as procurement departments act as the gatekeeper to the client
  • Shorter lead times can lead to increased costs, which have to be passed on to the agency, which in turn could result in losing business
  • Agencies and clients are asking suppliers to deliver more for the same costs, while delegate numbers continue to increase and events are expected to be better year-on-year
  • Suppliers need to be more creative and differentiate from others

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