P is for Powerful Procurement Partnerships
Many SMMP leaders have developed powerful partnerships with their procurement counterparts in recent years. This is because they realize the tremendous benefits that procurement managers can bring to the all aspects of the SMM process:
- Proven business case methodology that is familiar to senior leadership
- Development of savings methodology and metrics
- Management of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process
- Development of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Ability to turn data into business intelligence for improved decision making
Another P word I use frequently is PROACTIVE! SMM leaders, if you are not already working your procurement organization, I highly recommend that you proactively reach out to them before they reach out to you. Show them what you are doing; quantify the savings resulting from the SMM program. Share your methodology; identify how you are reducing risk, demonstrate your holistic knowledge of the enterprise wide meeting and event spend.
If you are just starting to work with procurement, don't assume they understand the terminology, the nuances, and the challenges of the meetings and events universe. Take time to educate them so they will begin to understand this unique category of spend. It can be very helpful to go through this exercise, as often you get unexpected feedback and helpful advice because someone is seeing your business through new eyes that can provide a fresh perspective and new ideas.
I would be remiss if I did not approach this topic from the Procurement perspective. Procurement Directors, if you are just starting to work with the meetings and events team, be sure to reach out and seek to understand their world. You should consider Meeting Managers as your powerful partner as they can provide a wealth of information such as:
- In-depth knowledge of clients and stakeholders
- Details of volume, who are planning meetings, and the types of meetings
- Understanding of business objectives for meetings and events
- Insights as to which suppliers are getting the business
- Ways to leverage spend
For those organizations that have both a procurement department and a meetings department, it is a two way street. You can both benefit from the knowledge and strengths of each other. Take advantage of these synergies if you are not doing this already!
A final word on partnering with your procurement counterparts, they can be a very helpful advocate in moving your SMM forward. They are in the business of saving money and they already have the attention of the Chief Financial Officer. Leverage this knowledge to your benefit!
Hear more from Betsey Bondurant at Pharma Forum 2018 where she will be moderating a panel discussion, Cultivate Bold Simple Meeting Management Strategies!
About The Author
Betsy Bondurant, CMM, CTE offers a unique 360-degree perspective with over 30 years industry expertise in
hotel sales, meeting & trade show management, including 13 years of direct involvement in the
discipline of Strategic Meetings Management. This diverse background positions Betsy uniquely for the
successful development and delivery of projects in the category of meetings, events, and trade shows.
Betsy began her career in food and beverage in 1977, transitioned into hotel sales and ultimately found
her passion in meeting and trade show management. During her 15 year tenure at the world’s largest
biotech company, Betsy developed and implemented a pioneering corporate‐wide strategic meetings
management program. This experience also provided her deep insight into the regulations affecting the
Life Sciences industry. In 2007, she moved from the corporate meeting world to consulting, some of
which has been within procurement organizations. In addition to her current work with Fortune 500
companies, Betsy is considered a Subject Matter Expert in the area of Strategic Meetings Management
Programs and as such, has authored many articles, developed educational content, and presented to
audiences in North America, Europe and Asia.
Betsy holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She
has been an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) since 1994; having served on
many of international committees, and as a member of the International Board of Directors. Betsy
currently serves as Vice‐chair of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Meetings Committee and
is a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certified woman‐owned business. In 2009, Betsy was
one of the first to achieve MPI’s Accredited Trainer designation. Betsy has been recognized as one of
Business Travel News “Best Practitioners” and has been honored as one of Meeting News “25 Most
Influential People in the Meetings Industry”, and was awarded MPI “Chairwoman’s Award” in 2010.