Most procurement professionals are using eProcurement and e-sourcing technologies to order goods and services from suppliers and vendors.

However, before they can graduate to these technologies, procurement still needs to negotiate with suppliers and vendors to get the best deals and build strong supply chains. 

If you are looking to get great deals from your suppliers with the aim to minimise procurement costs, here are some tips that will help you. 

Understand your supplier

Visit the supplier’s website to get information about the company’s growth plans, history, business lines and operational facilities.

You can use LinkedIn to network with other procurement professionals who deal with the same suppliers and vendors to get some non-confidential details about the negotiations. 

Understand your supplier’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them to your advantage during the negotiation process. 

Get a written agenda from your supplier

The last thing you need is to be ill-prepared for the negotiation meeting with the supplier.

Ask them to provide a written agenda for the meeting so that you can prepare for it.

Get the names and designations of the people from the supplier’s company who will be attending the meeting.

Profile each member from the supplier’s company who will be attending the meeting – you can get a lot of information from social media or having a casual talk with some of the executives from the supplier’s company. 

Doing this will enable you to prepare talking points – you will also know who is the decision-maker from the supplier’s company, and you will be prepared to deal with them during the negotiation process. 

Choose your negotiation team with care as your supplier will be using the same tactics and strategies that you intend to adopt.

Always include procurement professionals who have outstanding negotiation and leadership skills.

Make sure that every member of your team has the authority to make decisions within the scope of the negotiation. 

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