In order to promote themselves and their brand, businesses look to source the most advanced technologies that they can, put the company’s logo on it and use it as a gift to customers or prospective customers. Think memory sticks, portable smartphone charging units and reusable coffee mugs.
It is a market that is moving quickly with firms looking to new technologies to make themselves stand out from the crowd, which means that it is an area of spend that needs to be tightly managed by procurement because of the risk of costs spiralling out of control.
Procurement’s job will be to source the best quality goods while keeping costs as low as possible. The challenge here will be finding the right suppliers in low-cost manufacturing locations that are able to offer high-end, high-quality products at a low price. It will also mean finding suppliers who meet strict environmental standards. Having a company’s brand on a product increases the risk of brand damage if those standards are not met.
There are three key technological trends that procurement needs to look out for in 2017.
Advancements in technology have led to a substantial increase in the volume of wearable technology products being developed, and as such, costs have fallen. This technology often links up to applications and provides the user with health data as well as alerts for emails. Data from the Promotional Products Association International already shows that wearable technology is one of the most popular promotional items, accounting for 32%, compared to just 7% for pens.
The key issue for procurement here is quality. If the product is of poor quality it risks damaging the brand reputation. Get it right however and the chances of impressing customers and raising the profile of the business are high.
One luxury product expected to take off in 2017 is high-tech, multi-purpose plastic bottles that can blend drinks together. This migration towards luxury goods means a demand for higher quality materials, which inevitably means higher costs.
Procurement will need to establish strong working relationships with suppliers to ensure it is possible to source such goods at the right price.
Where goods come from and the damage they do to the environment are big concerns for many people today. Promotional items are expected to follow this trend with businesses set to offer eco-friendly products that will have as little impact on the environment as possible.
For procurement that means finding those products and finding the suppliers who can produce them at the right price.
Promotional products have become much more than just a fad and are now designed to make an impression and increase engagement with potential consumers. There is a real opportunity to provide personalised promotional goods to enhance the consumers’ view of the company as a whole.
Procurement needs to work hard to keep up with this changing category and find ways of providing high value products while managing costs.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders content team.