Do you sometimes forget even the simplest procurement best practices?  Here are 50 quick procurement tips to refresh your memory!

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  1.  Your supplier’s first impression of you impacts how much you will be able to persuade that supplier in a negotiation.
  2.  Require suppliers to complete and return a Notice of Intent to Participate provided in your RFP so you can predict participation.
  3.  Identify the risks to achieving your terms, timeline, and other goals and plan to mitigate those risks.
  4.  Anticipate your supplier’s reaction to each tactic.
  5.  Create tiered risk/rewards scenarios for Service Level Agreements.
  6.  See if the supplier has implemented a leading quality improvement program like Lean, Six Sigma, or Lean Six Sigma.
  7.  Determine the format (i.e., face-to-face, phone, etc.) and location of your negotiation sessions.
  8.  Regular oversight can ensure that your global suppliers are behaving properly and reduce risk for your organization.
  9.  Don’t make your offer seem like a predictable negotiation tactic.
  10.  Factor internal customers’ interests into supplier selection criteria.
  11.  Find out what motivates the vendor and make it win-win.
  12.  Create an agenda for the negotiation and practice.
  13.  Develop a timeline for the negotiation process.
  14.  Identify your second-best option in case you cannot reach agreement with your primary supplier.
  15.  For each metric, determine the value that would separate “good” performance from “average” or “mediocre” performance in your particular situation.
  16.  Analyzing suppliers’ “financials” is a critical activity in supplier qualification.
  17.  Look for small “value adds” to enhance the deal.
  18.  Self-assess after each negotiation session and adjust strategy and tactics if necessary.
  19.  Identify the risks to achieving your terms, timeline, and other goals and plan to mitigate those risks.
  20.  Check if the supplier has a quality-related certification like ISO9001.
  21.  Develop and share internally a communications plan stating who must be updated on negotiation progress and what information they must keep confidential.
  22.  Comply with your employer’s policy on accepting gifts, meals, and entertainment from suppliers.
  23.  Ensure/insist that the supplier assigns a negotiator with decision-making authority.
  24.  Review notes from previous negotiations, courses, etc. for tips for success.
  25.  Start the negotiation confidently.
  26.  Evaluate the probability of political unrest in the supplier’s country including uprisings, war, or sanctions by your country.
  27.  Knowing how direct costs, overhead, and profits comprise suppliers’ prices gives you a negotiating advantage.
  28.  Decide what to concede if necessary to reach agreement.
  29.  Evaluate the probability that the supplier will covertly use prohibited materials (e.g., lead paint).
  30.  Agree on an objective price adjustment method for the future.
  31.  Evaluate the likelihood that the supplier’s quality performance will not be within acceptable limits.
  32.  Identify changes that you can make that will help you improve your numbers. If you already exceed the standard, aim even higher!
  33.  Evaluate the probability of new legislation that would require a design or materials change.
  34.  Invite the primary supplier to negotiate and learn who the supplier’s principal negotiator is.
  35.  Evaluate the probability of work stoppages (i.e., strikes) for multiple tiers of suppliers.
  36.  Identify all the terms that you will negotiate.
  37.  See if the supplier uses parts-per-million (ppm) as its quality unit of measure, not percent defective.
  38.  Define the criteria for being a good purchasing professional.
  39.  Set targets and least acceptable alternatives for each term.
  40.  Never buy or hold the stock of your employer’s suppliers.
  41.  Research the probability of a natural disaster (e.g., proximity to fault lines, hurricane belt, flood plains, etc.) in the supplier’s region.
  42.  Determine your overall negotiation strategy (e.g., hardball, collaborative, etc.)
  43.  See if the supplier’s quality efforts are focused on preventing defective items from being produced.
  44.  Never share a supplier’s proposal details with another supplier unless required by law.
  45.  Investigate how a safety issue (e.g., fire, explosion, accident, etc.) might disrupt supplier production.
  46.  Prohibit maverick buying as a company policy.
  47.  Investigate if the supplier has a documented record of continuous quality improvement over several years
  48.  Identify at least one secondary source in the event of a failure of the primary supplier.
  49.  Evaluate the probability of the supplier going bankrupt or experiencing financial challenges.
  50.  At the end of the negotiation, help the supplier feel positive about the new relationship rather than feeling like it lost the negotiation.

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