Working as a team will improve outcomes for both buyer and supplier,  said Steve Carter, the service architect and integration lead at Crown Commercial Service, who has worked on both sides of the table.

“From being a supplier to becoming a buyer has really opened up my eyes,” Carter told delegates at the E-World Procurement & Supply Seminar.  “We call them ‘the competition’, it shouldn’t be a competition, it should be a partnership. I called it gamekeeping, because it’s all about managing resources and helping suppliers.”

Buyers should redefine the relationship, he said, by re-evaluating key areas that guide the procurement process, specifically: measuring by quarter; influencing the supplier market; and managing internal expectations.

Buyers and suppliers have to work together, he said: “Without suppliers, buyers can’t buy, but also without a good base of suppliers and the innovation they can bring, you can’t move forward. If you always ask the same thing you always get the same result.”

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