The 12 Days Of Procurement

While others are figuring out what they can do better in the coming year, columnist Kevin Ryan is thinking about what he can do without… presented in song form.

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It’s that time of year again – yes, the time we all reflect on years past and look forward to the New Year with a youthful exuberance and hopeful optimism that can only come with the holiday season.

While everyone else is busy with hopeful optimism, my grand tradition is to take the “healthy skeptic” approach and try to identify at least one thing I could do without in the New Year.

In my case, I could only think of one thing that presents massive difficulties in the world of search and digital marketing in general: getting your contract through procurement with your sanity and objectives intact.

Of course, my “one thing” has 12 parts – so with that, I give you my celebration of the season, The Twelve Days of Procurement.

On the first day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

A revision to exclude business travel

On the second day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the third day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

3 requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the fourth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the fifth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the sixth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the seventh day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the eighth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the ninth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

9 new people who now have to sign off on the contract

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the tenth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

10 hours of required sensitivity training for everyone on my staff

9 new people who now have to sign off on the contract

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the eleventh day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

11 tech tools that suddenly need to produce matching reports

10 hours of required sensitivity training for everyone on my staff

9 new people who now have to sign off on the contract

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the eleventh day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

11 tech tools that suddenly need to produce matching reports

10 hours of required sensitivity training for everyone on my staff

9 new people who now have to sign off on the contract

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

On the twelfth day of contract negotiations, procurement gave to me

12 new completely out of scope deliverables

11 tech tools that suddenly need to produce matching reports

10 hours of required sensitivity training for everyone on my staff

9 new people who now have to sign off on the contract

8 more revisions that conflict with yesterday’s revisions to items 7 through 12

7 people on a call to walk through sections 7 through 12

6 redundant revisions to sections 7 through 12

FIVE required hours of training on their “proprietary success system”

4 requests to explain the same item to one person

3 conflicting requests to extend billing terms, 60 and 90 and 120!!!!

2 conflicting sets of billing instructions

And a revision to exclude business class travel

The search marketing category has its share of low rent distributors, but the real work is still being done by a select smart group of professionals who know how to get things done from the word “Go.”

Of course, there are times when even passing “Go” needs a helping hand; and until we have clear definitions, standards, and (perhaps most of all) good expectation setters, getting through procurement will be the gift that keeps on giving throughout next year and many to come.

Warm wishes to you and yours this holiday procurement season and a heartfelt thanks for reading my crap again this year


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