Does this sound familiar? The CFO has mandated a 10% across the board spend reduction, and it’s Supply Management’s time to shine. You want to help, but, as expected, Legal and Marketing are refusing your help because, when it comes to litigation, you need the rain maker and when it comes to creative, you can’t put a process behind it and get results. As a result, Legal and Marketing costs are still spiralling out of control while you watch millions being wasted on e-Discovery, cookie cutter legal services, print, basic media production services, and unmanaged third party spend. Getting this spend under control could save Legal and Marketing so much that they could afford to pay even more for the rain-makers and creative geniuses they so covet, but still deliver savings and ROI to the business. But how do you get your point across?
The process is two-fold. First, find out who in the C-Suite wants you to get your message across and help the Marketing organization save money and have them strong-arm the Marketing leaders into a meeting with you in a wireless-signal free zone where these Marketing leaders will be forced to give you their undivided attention. Second, have a firm grasp of what you can bring to the table to help Marketing enhance their organizational performance and make sure you can convey it to Marketing in a crisp, clean, clear, and concise presentation.
Specifically, make it clear that you don’t just bring cost-cutting to the table — you also bring value generation support services which include, but are not limited to:
- Decision Support
Your expertise in supplier identification, profiling, and evaluation can help Marketing evaluate current relationships and identify new agencies that might more closely align with Marketing needs.
Your expertise in spend analysis and visibility can help Marketing get a grip on what it is spending compared to what it should be spending (according to existing contracts and rate cards) as well as a breakdown on how much is being spent on each category (print, media production, creative, etc.) and what opportunities there are for consolidation and spend reduction by leveraging volume and disassociating physical product-based spend from creative spend. (Since Marketing generates value based upon the power of the campaign they deliver, it makes sense to pay Phillippe or Eduardo the $500 an hour he wants for his creative genius if it generates a campaign that gets you noticed more than the competition. After all, he’s just one guy and even if he works 3 months on the campaign, that’s only $240K on what could be a 10M campaign. However, it doesn’t make sense to pay $50 an hour to a guy running the printer at Kinkos, especially since you probably are producing so much paper over the year that you are paying the equivalent of 5 guys at Kinkos to sit there full time and run printers, who should be paid $15 an hour. Net result, you’re overspending $350,000 for copy services — way more than the $140,000 you might save by hiring a second-rate creative genius who might end up generating a second rate campaign that actually hurts your brand and costs Sales $1,000,000 by cutting the wrong corner.)
You deal with negotiations and contracts day-in and day-out. As a result, you have the methodology to keep the process moving nailed down, the knowledge to know what needs to be addressed, the ability to work with Legal to create a standard Master Services Agreement template to streamline every negotiation, and the skills to put together an all inclusive Statement of Work that protects both parties and includes rate cards that are fair and beneficial to both parties.
- Strategic Focus
Marketing’s strength is in campaign management and strategic brand and product positioning, not in the tactical Procurement process, contract negotiation pitfalls, or the back-end project management, that is often left up to the agency. Your presence lets Marketing focus on it’s strength and not waste time on areas that don’t increase its value to the organization.
Of course, this is just the first step.