Know your key procurement customers and their roles

Douglas MacGregor.JPGOrganisations may have targeted certain industries, markets or regions as a customer base, but have they thought of the roles within the organisations they are targeting? One area a lot of companies overlook is the dynamics of the purchasing process within their target market, Douglas MacGregor of SuppDex tells SmartProcurement.

To save costs and smooth processes many companies implement strict procurement and supply chain policies and procedures meaning the procurement or supply chain managers are increasing their influence. Increasingly, procurement and supply chain functions are being represented at board room level in companies, so ignore their needs at your peril.

Supply Chain & Procurement are your customers. Understand their needs

Gone are the days when the cheapest price won and the procurement manager was a feared demi god forcing suppliers to cut prices to the bone. A good procurement professional does not look at price as being the one and only criteria. Cheap often equates to nasty and often costs an organisation more in the long run.

“During 11 years of auditing customer/supplier relationships, I have undertaken thousands of face-to-face interviews and 99% of executives interviewed do not want the cheapest price. They are happy with a supplier charging a fair competitive price as they realise other things are more important,” says MacGregor.

To illustrate, a company may have an outstanding top of the range quality product, however if it cannot be reliably delivered on time this could cost the procuring company in the long run. Think about the cost implications of a stopped production line because a vital component is out of stock. Often a standard quality product delivered on time is preferred as it ensures the company’s processes are efficient.

Similarly, a supplier that has a bad reputation for making it difficult to claim on its warranties and guarantees, or not having appropriate skills and knowledge in house (even though the price is cheap), or is slightly unethical in its dealings. These could lead to the overall degradation of the procuring company’s processes making the company less efficient.

MacGregor advises evaluating a supplier company from the perspective of a procurement and supply chain professional.

“An assessment of a supplier company should rate its performance with its existing customers. Leopards don’t change their spots, so if a supplier treats its existing customers badly, it will probably treat you badly as well.

SuppDex developed a survey in conjunction with procurement professionals. They were asked what they wanted from a supplier that would make their companies more efficient and their requirements were consolidated into seven core areas. SuppDex developed a questionnaire around these seven core areas so a supplier’s performance could be assessed.

For more information on assessing prospective suppliers email Douglas MacGregor on

Leave a comment

SmartProcurement Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
* Country:
* Public / Private:


Career opportunites

Trade Compliance Senior Analyst

  • <500 000 >500 000 Analyst Buyer Gauteng Permanent
Trade Compliance Senior AnalystLocation – Rosslyn, South AfricaThe ...More

Logistics Controller

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
Based in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s leading fruit exporter ...More


  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R900k – R1.2mil) includes ...More

Category Manager Logistics

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R900k – R1mil) includes ...More

Group Procurement Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Location: Johannesburg .Cost to Company R1.2mil – R1.4mil excluding ...More

Procurement Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R200K – R400K)We are ...More

Industrial Engineers

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R400K – R550K)We are ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Role: The Category Manager will be responsible for ...More
Location: Johannesburg Description: To develop and manage relationships ...More
Location: Johannesburg Description: To develop and manage relationships ...More

Global Commodity Manager: Mining Commodities

  • Commodities Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Description: Ensuring continuity of supply ...More

Global Commodity Manager: Mining Equipment

  • Commodities Gauteng Permanent
Location: JohannesburgDescription: The commodity manager is accountable for ...More

Mining Project Manager

  • Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
Location: Johannesburg.Description : Responsible for successful implementation and ...More

Mining Project Manager

  • Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
Examples of high impact initiatives are Equipment Automation, ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management Supply Chain
R 650 000 –R 800 000 CTC pa GautengA ...More

Operations Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Procurement Management
R 600 000 – R 700 000 CTC ...More

Procurement Specialist

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Consultant Procurement Officer / Specialist
R 500 000 – R 550 000 CTC ...More