In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites RedWorks' Guy Norwell to suggest the vital steps that functions can put in place to realise greater value from marketing procurement.
As the world becomes more commoditised, procurement has never been more powerful in delivering value throughout an organisation. With the increasing emergence of saving tools staff are under increasing pressure to deliver greater savings, particularly in the marketing department.
However, a common problem is that they are not given the training they need in order to implement them correctly, so how can you go about streamlining the relationship to ensure marketing and procurement work together to deliver these benefits?
Traditionally procurement was viewed as a supplementary procedure brought in at the end of the decision-making process to negotiate contracts. Today procurement plays an integral role throughout and by integrating procurement and marketing from the start businesses will achieve brand consistency whilst saving money.
It is crucial for both departments to come up with a combined approach from the outset and commit to it in a project plan. Knowing what it is that you want to achieve from the start can help to guarantee that all the campaign objectives are met. Communication throughout is critical and following a project plan will ensure any potential clashes are highlighted and resolved early on.
Ensure your timelines include reasonable allowances for both departments to develop and execute the projects. Communication here will be essential in order to establish realistic deadlines and makes sure everything flows smoothly.
Integrating two departments is not an easy task, but by having upfront and honest discussions throughout in order to understand what each side is hoping to get out of the process will become more manageable. Regular meetings need to take place to ensure both sides can discuss their objectives, fears and priorities in an open and candid environment.
Both departments will have their own cultures and ways of going about doing tasks, to avoid any miscommunications it may be an option to consider bringing in a third party facilitator to mediate the process. By utilising a third party's expertise both party's objectives and fears can be realised through an unbiased medium whilst providing real value and insight to the process as an outsider looking in.
Appointing reciprocals between both departments can be essential to streamlining any combined activities. Both departments will gain mutual benefits as they understand exactly what it is that is required of them as well as incorporating a sense of shared ownership and balance to the campaign. Recognising and endorsing the achievements of each other will bring the team closer as it becomes more of a collaborated effort.
Taking the time to recognise any potential difficulties in the project, whether internal or external, will ensure all eventualities are covered. By identifying them early, the team can come up with back-up approaches to avoid these prospective hurdles.
This will ensure that there is a clear line of communication from senior management through to all employment levels in both departments. As a result the project will be given its due priority by all involved staff members and focus will not be lost due to irrelevant information and details being passed on.
Guy Norwell, is business development director, EMEA for integrated communications, production & consulting agency RedWorks.