I'm always a fan of good vendor marketing that's actually useful rather than simply self-promoting (as so much of it is). I especially like such work when my firm, Azul Partners, had nothing to do with it. After all, there's only so many hours in the day and I'd rather be building the Spend Matters brand than dreaming up marketing ideas and thought leadership copy. Such is the case with Ariba's recent "What's Your Bailout Plan" marketing campaign that presents some really solid and thought provoking advice around taking fast action to cut costs. As part of this campaign -- that I had nothing to do with -- Ariba digs into practical advice including what’s included in this blog post on indirect sourcing strategies that can save serious mullah. The post notes that today, it's not only a good time to go back and source existing direct materials categories, but services and indirect as well. Consider, for example, that with "unemployment approaching 7%, many indirect categories are also at multi-year lows. It is a great time to source labor dependent services like IT consulting, Contract Labor, Security and Janitorial Services, Call Centers, etc."
The best news about categories "where labor is a primary cost driver, including marketing, legal and other non-traditional spend areas" is that "unlike some direct materials categories that may require specific approval processes, many of these savings can be implemented immediately." So what are you waiting for? Even if your demand is dropping, go back and renegotiate or re-source those indirect and services contracts. And lock-in savings to create your own bailout plan, doing so without bringing your tin-cup -- flown via private jet -- to Washington.
- Jason Busch