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How do we make sure what we plan is right?

Posted on Mon, 2019-09-23 16:43 by Shona Dunsmore

Here we are, no time since last year, in the ‘’ber months’, the season of ghosts goblins, fireworks and Santa… a retailers dream, or perhaps a buyer’s nightmare!

As the stores begin to fill with all the novelty costumes, chocolates and toys to satisfy the coming months which, no doubt this year will feature a plethora of ‘Woody and Buzz et al’ products with the recent release of Toy Story 4.

These thoughts take me to the internet to have a look at what’s in and what’s not this year!  As thought, Woody, Buzz, Lion King, LOL Dolls all feature heavily in the stakes, although sadly Baby Shark has had his day…(or his doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo), however; how many retailers will be searching through the stock room finding the leftovers from last year?

As much as the big kid in me loves time of year, it took my mind to a recent bid I was working on when, as is becoming so common now, there was a question on innovation and future proofing the contract.  Our solutions team took time to really investigate the market, the current trends, the FM equivalent to Woody and Buzz, ensuring there were no sharks in sight!

The type of questions posed by the solutions team were; would the energy solution really deliver the expected results? Would the new cleaning equipment proposed be superseded during the term of the contract and what would ‘season’ 2,3 or 4’ of this look like?

It is a familiar problem for retailers who take the risk to order stock at a time where they can only hope that the ‘flavour of the month’ will match the client’s needs and they are not left with stock not being required or out of date.  FM contractors are now in a similar situation, wondering whether the tendered solutions will last the full term of the contract, whether the client will pay to upgrade and how to ensure that they are not left with ‘last years old toys’

My favourite of the ‘ber months’ is October. Time for the ghost and witches to make their annual appearance and as the houses stock up on sweets, nuts and goodies this is the kind of stock I am personally more than happy being left with. If only retailers felt the same on 1st November, when the shelves must be cleared at a discounted price to make way for the man in the big red suit making his annual appearance!

Perhaps this is the time of year when we should think about the procurement teams who have all this buying to consider in the spring months, often of the year before, as they try to predict just exactly what the fickle public will purchase, whether its Halloween Costumes, Firework or all things Christmas it’s a tricky job.

Remember procurement isn’t just for Christmas…!