Two questions on my mind, as I start back at work in 2014:
- what proportion of proposal people ended up working on bids over the festive season?
- and why on earth are very many procurement people so disrespectful of the staff working for their suppliers as to set deadlines at the very start of January?
I can offer my own perspective on the latter, from my days in purchasing (before I switched sides of the negotiating table, back in 1999). Running a very large (multi-hundred-million pound) global outsourcing deal for a major bank, our project plan included the eminently reasonable target of completing our RFP by the end of the year – before we broke for Christmas and the New Year.
I rather suspect that’s an unusual approach for a procurement manager to take – but, then again, this was a somewhat unusually forward-looking and strategic purchasing function, many of whose members have gone on to do other wonderful things in their careers since. Your more typical – junior, tactical, arrogant buyer – is far less likely to care, or even to think through the consequences (for them!) of their actions when issuing a Yuletide document.
So, if you’re in a part of the world where this has been a holiday season, did you end up working flat out right through the end of December, or heading straight back into the office on the morning of 1st January? And, do you think the potential clients concerned got the very best of your organisation in the offer and proposal that you submitted as a result?