We live in a world where large corporates have the ability to leverage their size and scale across all areas of procurement. This drive towards a more and more unified procurement methodology is helping these companies to drive efficiency into their business in a way that has never happed before.

We were recently at a marketing procurement conference in London (we were one of the sponsors) were there were about 160 specific marketing procurement practitioners, this was probably the largest single gathering of marketing procurement professionals in Europe, if not the world this year. What it showed us was the range and breadth of marketing procurement talent out there and the variety of, and level success, that can be achieved.

It’s clear that the more advanced and forward thinking the company is, they’re more likely to have a dedicated marketing procurement function.

We all know that marketing is complex and requires the procurement department to have a multitude of category expertise; Media, Print, PR, Events, Market research and so on. Where this expertise is in place, and is working well with their colleagues in the marketing department, it is possible to drive tremendous value into the marketing spend.

It’s also clear for a lot of these companies that’s it’s not all about savings anymore, it’s more about “value” and how you can help to drive the company forward. This really is where marketing procurement can help and often as not the cost savings are delivered more as a consequence than a primary driver.

For the SME this is the problem. Their spend is not in the same league as the large corporates and they may or may not have a dedicated procurement team, but almost certainly they wont have a marketing procurement person.  This lack of expert resource doesn’t mean that the problems they face, or opportunities they miss aren’t the same as the large corporates, it just means that the playing field isn’t level and they’re missing out on a whole range of value opportunities.

Time to level the playing field.

As part of our ongoing progression in marketing procurement we’ve been toying with models where we can leverage our experience and expertise with large corporate clients to allow SME’s to gain access to the category specific marketing procurement expertise on an ‘as and when required’ basis.

We’re now rolling out ‘Shared Service’ model that is tailored to allow companies to tap into a team of dedicated category experts without the need to take on full time resource.

This model isn’t project based, it’s constructed to provide a best in class procurement service on an ongoing basis. It covers everything from opportunity analysis, category management plans, benchmarking as well as more tactical procurement like tenders and pitches, as well as everything in between.

The potential benefits for SMEs are enormous. We know from experience of both the SME and corporate market that the cost of running this service can be offset within a few weeks, typically just looking at a single category.

Marketing procurement professionals across the world will all attest to the fact that where there is a green field site there are definitely savings to be made. The SME sector is full of savings.

Cost Transformation

Of course savings are important, and for SME’s this is doubly the case, but we shouldn’t let this be the only focus. The ultimate goal is to help companies move forward and grow. This process should be more around procurement cost transformation and how this allows companies to drive better investment in marketing.

The work we do with big and small companies focus’ on this value proposition; the shared service model is designed to let SMEs have this focus and the ultimate benefit that the corporates have been having for years.

We’re always interested in hearing what you think, whether you think this is a good idea, whether it’s for you, or you think we’re missing a trick, please do let us know. You can drop us a line at shared.services@marketing-factory.co.uk

Post by Milan Panchmatia - Twitter - Google Plus