Frisch Findings: The Vendor View
The Vendor View
In the publishing world, there is a distinct separation between editorial and business roles, much like church and state. Both work toward the common goals of producing and delivering informative, high-quality magazines, e-newsletters, and Web sites. The difference lies in that the editorial staff focuses on the content needs of public-sector procurement professional, while the business staff concentrates on the vendor and advertising. These varying core competencies provide each group with a very different perspective on the buyer/supplier relationship.
In a recent conversation, my publisher touched on enhancing efforts to promote the value of the procurement department. She expressed concern that the majority of the vendor community does not “know” the procurement community. She questioned how procurement professionals can communicate their value internally when the vendor community does not grasp their strategic role to further an organization’s mission. Of course, the vendor community understands the purchasing function, but the uneducated many still view purchasing as a barrier. Fortune 500s are in tune with procure-ment’s strategic role, but many companies still choose to deal with your legislative and executive officials.
To raise the vendor community’s awareness of procurement’s role, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) will launch the Government Contractor Certificate (GCC) Program in October (see page 38). Educating suppliers will not only add efficiencies to the entire procurement process, it will help to strengthen the buyer/supplier relationship.
For our part, Government Procurement has launched www.govinfo.bz, an online reader service center and a whole lot more. You will notice that links that appear in the articles, news, and advertisements are now coded. By entering www.govinfo.bz along with the corresponding numbers (e.g. www.govinfo.bz/1234-567), you will be taken directly to the Web sites noted in an article or ad. Before www.govinfo.bz takes you to your on-line destination, anonymous tracking information will be collected in the blink of an eye.
The anonymous data will be forwarded to our advertisers in an effort to convey procurement professionals’ influence on final buying decisions. The data will also help tailor our editorial coverage to better suit readers’ interests.
Years ago, the Penton Media Government Group published the guide “How to Sell to Government” which was distributed to interested vendors. It’s time we update and print again.
Another effort to raise awareness of procurement professionals within the vendor community is the annual Government Procurement Study. Readers will be e-mailed a link to an online survey created with the help of our editorial advisory board, contributing editors, and vendor community. Participants will receive a copy of the results, as will many vendors. Survey results will become yet another educational tool for both communities. Look for the survey in October. If you do not receive the weekly GovPro e-newsletter and would like to participate in the Government Procurement Study, please e-mail email@example.com.
As we convince the vendor community of your strategic role and influence, governing bodies will also realize your true value. Has the time come to start thinking of the vendor community as an ally?