Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

Prime Contractors – Sensible Procurement Tool or Soft Option?

Once upon a time in procurement, when we wanted to buy something – goods or services – we identified someone who could sell it to us. In some cases, a supplier might offer more than one product, or even quite different products, but generally they sold us what they produced. The exception was “agents.” Particularly when buying from foreign suppliers, agents would act as an intermediary. As well as dealing with the primary producer of the material or product, they might also arrange transport and handle import and insurance requirements as part of their value-added contribution. Early in my career, buying ingredients and raw materials for the food industry, I would use agents for products ranging from milk powder to colors and flavors.