Top tips for selling to Procurement Professionals.


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Disarming the Zoom bullies

Workplace bullying has followed us online to zoom, google hangouts, Microsoft meetings and it is as unpleasant and unproductive as it ever was, so how do we go about disarming the Zoom bullies? I wrote this piece after a coaching session with a client working in a regional SME. She was finding the regular zoom […]

Revising your Category Management Playbook

One of the great opportunities in Category Management is the way we can use a well-constructed category strategy, which is thoughtful, insightful, well-founded and socialised across our stakeholders, to understand what might happen if there are changes in the fundamentals on which the strategy is based.    This gives us the ability to pre-plan for […]

The Plastic Bottle Challenge – Changing Habits

Recent news reports have been trying to raise awareness of the long-term environmental effect of the use of plastic, and the impact on oceans, the countryside, and wildlife [1] This reporting and many similar articles over the last few years is slowly changing public perception of the use of plastics in packaging. There has been […]

Understanding where are we going – getting behind the strategy

There is a common thread which exists across organisations of all sizes, and poses a real and serious challenge for the creation of value – this is about how well we understand the organisations strategy, direction, and the purpose of the business. This is an area full of challenge. The very existence of a business or […]

Successful Geo-target marketing for SME’s

IKEA have used geo-targeting in their marketing mix since 2014 along with ASDA and Morrison with great results – a 32 % to 60% increase in store footfall and 3 times the industry standard for click conversions.  We wanted to explore how geo-targeting could benefit an SME,  helping them to deepen their relationship with a […]

Getting a consensus – the secret ingredient

One of the unacknowledged challenges in both buying and selling, in the discussions between sales teams and their counterparts in customer organisations, is the need to achieve consensus.

Saving the NHS

The NHS is a centrepiece of the U.K. It is a unique, open access healthcare system, roughly free at the point of use. It is also the fifth largest employer in the world (after the us and Chinese military, Indias railway

Shaping the Connections – Linking Procurement and Strategy

One of the challenges in business is to make sure that the actions of the various parts of the business align with business strategy. This seems like a really simple area of activity

The Carbon Neutral Office: Apple, Google and Smart Brown Dog

There’s been a burst of press coverage recently about the achievements of Google and Apple and the way in which they have moved towards carbon neutrality for their major facilities

The EU, Procurement and the quality of the debate

The quality of the debate – Staying in the EU and Procurement In Procurement circles, there’s a real challenge in making sure at there is high quality analysis of particular categories

Ryanair and the risk of the race to the bottom

Our previous observations on the benefit of having a clear strategy, using Ryanair as an example of clarity and the way that drives choices, had one predictable outcome: a number of comments on individuals perception of the service provided by Ryanair.

Selling to Big Pharma and Big Food

Big Pharma (all the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world) and Big Food (all the big brand companies we know and love) have all adopted, in one form or another, an approach to purchasing called category management. This isn’t new but it is very well embedded

Can Procurement learn anything from the Australian Ashes performance yesterday?

No.   Mark Hubbard thinks about Procurement and Sales at

How to Read an RFP for greater sales success

Chatting to a friend last week who gets involved in big RFP’s from a sales side raised an interesting point: do sales teams really understand what an RFP is for? At a surface level, there’s a bunch of questions that the procurement team are asking,

The Ryanair Approach to Strategy

Often, when reviewing procurement strategies being developed in businesses, the standout feature common across many is the sheer lack of ambition. There’s often a host of reasons for this, including poor change management, limited time, bad governance

The Killer App for Procurement

There’s a whole internet meme out there about Killer Apps for different products and different uses. Historically, I can recall Supercalc 4 being the miracle app for PC’s; the Microsoft suite took over at some point; whole sets of word processing software surfed the wave, and fell off.

Diesel vs. Petrol – and how it affects strategy

More than eleven years ago, I was involved in the development of a broad reaching company car strategy for a large business. Previous efforts had focussed on a good deal with the the fleet businesses

Understanding Strategy

Both Procurement and Sales need to have a good grasp of the customers strategy; one side to make sure they are addressing the core needs of their customers strategy, the other to make sure they are servicing the needs of that strategy.

Apple, Asimov and Creativity

The whole arena of creativity is beset with a central challenge: how do we get better at creativity? This is something which has taxed and challenged a whole series of people for a huge amount of time, and has also delivered polar opposite views in approach.

Tesco, Cost Plus Pricing and Procurement

Tesco has announced a dramatic revision of its financial position, possibly because of its accounting treatment of supplier contribution to promotional campaigns being counted early.

Watching Google: The search for Artificial Intelligence in Procurement

Google has invested $400Million in acquiring a business whose leader is focussed on how artificial intelligence can be evolved in computers, leading to a HAL9000 moment ( from 2001: A Space Odessy).

FTSE 100 and Category Management

One of the ongoing challenges in category management is to decide when the category needs to be reinvestigated. The usual approach is to suggest that this is done when indicators seem to suggest that there have been changes in the marketplace.

Can Apple teach us about Outsourcing?

It’s always interesting to see what businesses which are doing well have in place in their supply chains, and one of the most profitable businesses in the world today is Apple Inc. Although much is well behind closed doors

Experimental Music and Strategic Purchasing

There’s an excellent piece of experimental music by John Cage called 4’33”, designed for any instrument or combination of instruments. Each instrument needs to make no noise for 4’33”, and the audience gets to experience the ambient noise in the arena.

Moving from defence to attack; how should procurement prepare for growth?

A recent article in the London Times ( suggests that businesses in the UK were starting to look at approaches which shift the balance

Learning from Baseball – what should we measure?

Catching up with some baseball last night made me think about the endless use of measurement and statistics in sport, particularly in cricket and baseball. Measures of performance of teams and individuals

Playing out of position – what Rooney can teach us

The world cup, if you live in England, is a time for sober reflection, boundless hope and the challenge of watching a group of people who, together, earn more than the entire global

Sit back and reflect to achieve your targets

One of the ongoing challenges for the delivery of strategic sourcing is to make sure there is a break from the ‘same old same old’ solutions which often are preferred as we drive towards ever shorter delivery targets and cycles.

How sales teams think about our stakeholders

Stakeholders. If it wasn’t for them, buying would be easy. Divergent views, different and sometimes opposing needs, wilful, unavailable, supportive, enthusiastic, expert, and less so.

What do I do about China?

Over the last ten years, a whole stream of businesses have developed new sourcing approaches which centre on the development of new supply chains centred on suppliers based in China.

Big Data!

Understanding current trends in economic performance, market behaviour and patterns of activity are fundamental to decision making in business, and political, environments.