Should an OD consultant negotiate with Procurement

In large organizations, all service providers and vendors are sent to Procurement to negotiate contracts.

Often, due to information technology, Procurement is empowered to prevent the employment of a vendor and service provider by not issuing a purchase order, which is a precondition to get paid.

Despite the “mission statements” and b.s.,  Procurement is there to force the price down. The negotiation with them has a veneer of professionalism, but it is all about money.

My experience is that if the manager who has invited you clearly wants you, he will “take care” of Procurement for you, and Procurement will be merely a vendor-registration process. If the client is ambivalent, or if he is buying an OD product and not a service, the OD vendor will be sent to procurement.

In every instance where I was not personally sent to Procurement, the client was far more serious about getting results.

My advice to newcomers is to add 10-15% to your bid to make the folks in Procurement feel good. They will be able to show off what great business partners they are.

Personally, I do not negotiate with Procurement. Routing me via Procurement means that the client is not really interested.

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2 thoughts on “Should an OD consultant negotiate with Procurement

  1. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience. That has not been my experience in nearly 10 years of hiring vendors and being hired as a vendor. Procurement can help ensure there is a clear expectation on both sides of what service is being provided and how can it be measured and paid for on a schedule. As we all know too well, the practice of OD is as much art as science. Procurement, in my experience, can help ensure the link between the two to ensure what one is buying can be paid for fairly.

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