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Why does the procurement process have to be such a nightmare?

12th November 2013


Oh yippee! Another request for proposal (RFP) form to fill in!

I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but surely the RFP has to be the lowest form, of well, form.

R “f*cking” P I call it, and I would rather it would RIP.

Here’s why I hate the procurement process.

It wastes time

Why do we have to jump through so many hoops these days before we can pitch? Surely it’s how brilliant our ideas are that count, not how many boxes we can tick?

It isn’t fair

The way that large firms and government departments select agencies for their “preferred suppliers” list discriminates against small outfits and freelancers who find it difficult to prove such things as “sustainable policies”.

It is biased towards price

Clients may end up with the cheapest agency, this is usually not the best agency.

It causes bidding wars

Two agencies may be shortlisted who have put in fair bids for the work, and are then encouraged to drop their prices further to get selected. If prices are slashed, something will get lost in the delivery of the campaign.

It doesn’t rate creativity

Creativity is what our business is about, and those in the procurement department are not usually the best judges of creative PR campaigns.

It ruins relationships

The client says they love your pitch, but that they need you to drop your costs. It’s hard to stay quite so friendly when you are being screwed financially.

It ignores chemistry

Good PR is about relationships, and you can’t measure personal chemistry on a RFP form. The client could be stuck with an agency that it simply doesn’t like, and this is bound to lead to inferior work.



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