Wednesday, 29 August 2012
I wonder why it is that Governments buy so very badly? Is it that they want to be so straightforward and politically correct? Or is it that they know no other way to buy? I played a major part in winning an enormous UK government contract and I still persuade myself that I do not want the answer. I am as near as you can get into being in denial as you can without being blatant about it and it makes me feel bad. The process is difficult. In fact, when you get the invitation, the first thing you feel urged to do is throw it in the bin. Why? Because it is so frighteningly 'open' that it discourages one from bidding in case you expose all your benefits to competitor scrutiny. So bad that you fear that following such a track will lead to ultimate demise! You see you have to bite the bullet and bid. Yes, they have processes and yes, they do have disclosure laws but YES, there are ways around this. Governments are complex and very political. they need to be seen to be following processes despite their fear of ridicule, which is why you need to feed them what they need rather than what they want. So bid with impunity. Just provide with integrity. Then you will be OK.
The Bald airline facts about business travel. 1/ In the main companies will not mandate travel i.e. they will not say ‘you must use this airline’. They will ask you to but very rarely will they mandate it. It is not in global company nature to do so. 2/ It is practically unheard of for corporations to insist (and follow through) on their travellers using their loyalty miles for business purposes. This has a bearing on fact no 1. 3/ If a corporation is told by a national airline that they no longer have a deal then at least half of their travellers will still fly on that airline. 4/ Buyers may bluster and dictate to airlines but they seem unable to do so in their own business. Procurement is very low in the political pecking chain of any corporation. Internally people may endorse procurement tacitly but not authoratively. 5/ Whilst this situation remains it will be very difficult and perhaps foolhardy to direct connect with just one major airline. I wonder how long it will take before somebody calls the buyers bluff.