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Jun 12, 2017

Have you ever wondered how things works in Procurement?   Therese Marzocchi Jardine, Senior Vendor Account Manager with Microsoft Events and Studios demystifies sourcing, procurement and purchasing in this week’s interview.  She also gives a snapshot into how to effectively write and manage an RFP, what not to do when responding to an RFP and how Microsoft preserves their brand at events.

In large organizations, Procurement and Purchasing have very different roles.  If you think of ordering products, Purchasing is the group that is the inventory buyer.  Procurement on the other hand, is strategic within an organization and is a resource for marketing and other areas.  Therese shares how Procurement supports stakeholders with what she calls six pillars of procurement outlined below.

6 Ways Procurement Helps Stakeholders Achieve Success

  1. Strategic Sourcing-evaluate different suppliers and includes them on a roster to for stakeholders to choose from.
  2. Help to drive RFP and RFI-develop the questions and input them in a platform like Ariba.
  3. Supplier Relationship Management- compliance with privacy, manage the MSA process, verify that that companies are credit worthy
  4. Mitigate risk-work on policy compliance and look for areas on contract that may pose a risk
  5. Active role in Purchasing Payment Solutions-oversee a project is submitted for payment
  6. Special Programs Management- vendor sourcing and more specialized skill set for unique projects

If you are preparing an RFP, Therese shares important tips to remember:

“The point of the RFP is to get the best response to the questions.”              -Therese Jardine

5 Key Things to Consider When Creating an RFP

  1. Pair it down to what you need to know-Think about what you need to know to make your program successful-“do you care how many employees they have?”
  2. Put together a good scope of work-provide as much detail to the bidders as possible so they fully understand the details of the project.
  3. Limit questions to 3 or 4 total.If you have a good scope of work the number of questions should be very short.  Here is an example “Give me one or more examples of events that you have supported and your top three learnings.”
  4. The weight of a question is dictated by the scope of the project. It is more about the feedback of how questions are answered and the event details and what is needed than the actual number assigned to a question.
  5. For Suppliers:Answer the question in the question-restate where question is asked don’t reference back to other questions

Power Tip: Do not request Financial Statements in an RFP.  Part of Procurement Supplier Relationship is to make sure the supplier is credit worthy before they receive an RFI or RFP.

If you are new to events, or on the procurement side of the business-Therese has these tips everyone should know about hosting an event.

Three Things You Need To Know About Hosting Events

  1. The good news is this is a relationship business. The bad news it is a relationship business.
  2. In events, we shake hands once and hug forever more.
  3. “There is no bacon like show bacon”. If you are hosting an event and find there is a satisfaction problem with the food-increase the amount of bacon.  There is a myth that show bacon tastes better- check it out at your next event there is usually more than one kind of bacon served at an event-crispy, softer, hickory smoked etc.

Show Bacon Facebook Page

You can find Therese Marzocchi Jardine on LinkedIn - LinkedIn Tip-state why you are interested in connecting don’t send a generic request.

Microsoft Events-find out more about all of events both hosted by Microsoft and where they will be at trade shows.

Favorite Resources: 

PCM IT Solutions and Services 

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Credits:  A big thank you to Christy Haussler at Team Podcast for amazing editing of this episode!