It’s that time of year again when itinerant panhandlers (i.e. carol singers) appear on my door-step attempting to sing a few strangled verses of some long forgotten carol before being sent away with a flea in their ear and a recommendation for a few singing lessons by yours truly. Last year some group of lads came around and made a vague attempt at Silent Night (oh I wish it was when they started).
Month: December 2011
When I was a boy we learned to read and write by the old fashioned method chalk and talk. You talk or you get the chalk! When old Mrs Meredith (now sadly passed away to the rejoicing of countless generations of her former pupils – I just thought I can now slander her name with impunity) asked you to spell a word she followed it up within at most a second or two with a piece of chalk fired at your head . I used to marvel at the unnerving accuracy that this slight women managed to find the target (mostly Lyn Davies head as it happens) across a crowded classroom with rarely a off target projection. Strong in arm the chalk made its parabolic flight with ICBM accuracy to find the offending dim wits ear – there to explode in a satisfying plume of chalk dust. Such was the skill I often thought she should have made the first eleven she clearly had cricket in her blood – she must have been related to WC Fields – mainly because of the beard come to think of it.
A bit of controversy last week over the Very Reverend Sheik Rowan Atkinson (yes the ecclesiastical comedian) the mad Mullah of Lambeth (AKA the Archbishop of Canterbury or ABC as he is know to his dwindling flock) and his pronouncements about the incorporation of Sharia law into UK society – he didn’t really say this but its good to ham it up.
In negotiation avoid shortcuts and set specific goals – and ensure they are delivered. Evaluate, clarify and frame negotiations to keep competition alive. Document all discussions and carry out frequent self-assessment and use a term sheet, this helps drive and track the discussion and allows apples to apples comparison -over time the term sheet can evolve into a contract. Good note taking then transference to the final document of the substantive requirement and agreements made during the discussion is important. Do not leave anything out of the agreement that important to you that was discussed and agreed elsewhere – if it is not in the agreement it does not count.
3.0 Organise for success
First of all vendors to this for a living – often the vendor sales team have been doing this for years and when this is done will move onto the next. The customer side on the other hand may have not done this before or the team carrying out the supplier proposal evaluation may be completely new compared to the last time the outsource process was run through. It may be very wise to engage a contract consultancy to handle (or mentor) your side of the whole process.
The jury is still out as to whether outsourcing can deliver measurable business improvement and better-cost performance. Many outsource deals fail to live up to the grand promises made in the press releases and back sourcing or early closure of deals is becoming an increasing trend. Having said this there are key principals that if followed can greatly increase the chances of success of the whole process.