The 3rd Day of Christmas – Getting the specification right drives poultry procurement process

(Here’s part 3 in our special Christmas related procurement best practice series).

To: Louise Farmer (Brand Manager)

I received your requisition by email this morning Louise - thanks for that. But I need some help before we can action this. You have asked us to source “Three French Hens”. I’m afraid that specification, I would suggest, manages to be simultaneously too prescriptive and yet not exact enough!

Let’s start with the “too prescriptive” element. When we buy PCs now, we don’t specify Dell – we specify the technical requirement and let suppliers come up with the best brand they can. The same for a wide range of things we buy. So I am puzzled as to why you need “French” Hens.  Sourcing from France will also potentially bring us problems in terms of shipping, quarantine and customs regulations, currency hedging and fluctuations.. it all becomes complicated, perhaps unnecessarily so.

And as you haven’t requested talking hens, I assume their native language is not important. I know that certain chefs prefer Poulet de Bresse for instance, but as I understand you need live hens for an advertisement, I’m not sure that anyone will be aware of their origin by merely looking at these birds.

However, the requirement is also a little loose. “Hen” is a broad generic term, meaning a female animal, usually a bird but (according to Wikipedia) it can also be an Octopus or a Lobster!  I imagine that you don’t want two Octopus (Octopi?) roaming around your Old English farmyard in your cheese commercial however...

I could offer you a very good deal if you can be flexible actually – I know a bloke who does Ostriches at a very reasonable price.

But joking aside, if you can let me know what it is you want, with a clear specification, whilst we can retain some flexibility when we approach the market, I’m sure we can do a great deal!


PS Is it basically three of these you want? (We can always put a string of onions around their necks if they don't look French enough..)

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