A Key To Good Purchase Recommendations


PurchTips edition #44 Click here for the printer-friendly version.| More Purchasing Articles

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Will You Be Able To Sell Your Recommendation?

In many organizations, some purchases are so significant that decision-making authority does not rest within the purchasing and supply management department. In these cases, the purchasing department recommends a decision to an officer of the company.

A key to making your recommendations effective is the use of a strong executive summary. An executive summary is single page that addresses the most significant aspects of your recommendation, omitting all trivial matters. It should quickly give the decision-maker confidence in your recommendation.

What sections should your executive summary include? Consider these:

  1. A table listing high-level points like what is being bought, for whom, and from whom.
  2. A description of the advantages that led you to select the recommended supplier. These include, to name a few, financial advantages, performance advantages, technical advantages, compatibility advantages, and combinations of various advantages.
  3. The total cost and independent benchmark costs. Decision-makers need to feel like they are not overspending. Benchmarks like competitive bids, historical prices, internal estimates, or published prices can offer assurance of fair value.
  4. A description of how you qualified the supplier, proving its ability to meet your organization's needs.
  5. An overview of key contractual terms. The most significant terms in most contracts include: term, pricing, delivery, warranty, remedies for failure to perform, termination rights, and service and support.

If the purchase itself must be justified, you will need to describe how spending money on the purchase will result in more money being saved or earned.

And, remember, keep it all to one page! Details can be attached, but a busy executive needs to get key information "at a glance."

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Earning your SPSM® Certification is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern procurement practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Download the SPSM Certification Guide today to learn how to get started on your journey to a more rewarding procurement career!


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Are you a procurement leader whose team isn't achieving the results you know are possible? Maybe it's not enough cost savings. Or frustrating performance from the supply base. Or dissatisfied internal customers.

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Are You Getting The Most Out of Your NLPA Membership?

Members of the NLPA get more than just articles like this by email. As a member, you also get access to:

  • The Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit
  • The latest Purchasing & Supply Management Salaries Report
  • Leading-Edge Supply Management™ magazine
  • Members-only webinars 10x per year
  • And more!

If you haven't been taking advantage of these benefits, why not log in and start now?