October 26, 2016

Can you manage your supplier roster systematically?

Market Logic Team

Ever feel like you’ve lost control of your supplier roster? Is it just a game of who draws the short stick? Are your researchers unsure which agency is best suited for the type of project at hand? Or are researchers in different regions reaching out to local contacts instead of applying global standards?

Without a consistent process to select, monitor, and evaluate research suppliers, it can be challenging to standardize best practices, compare results across studies, and negotiate economies of scale with your agencies.

Consider this scenario – you’re running research in two markets using two different agencies and methodologies. There’s no way to compare the results, so there’s no way to know that consumers in both markets have similar color preferences.

As soon as you standardize your research suppliers and research methods, you’ll see synergies by comparing results across markets, making no need to commission the same concept tests in these two markets year after year. And by pooling all research for concept test with one supplier, you’ll be able to negotiate economies of scale.

Take Newell Brands – when Maria Gomez Soler signed on as VP Insights to run the global research team at Newell Brands a few years back, her team of 20 or so researchers were working with over 200 agencies. Not surprisingly, Maria says it was impossible to run a business like that.

The research program was scattered across locations and brands. Budget efficiency was almost non-existent because individual teams were commissioning similar research on issues such as key segments, which meant markets were needlessly duplicating research. According to Maria, “different methodologies were used by different vendors and the results were all over the map.”

To turn the situation around, Maria introduced Market Logic technology, which provides step-by-step support to run a high-quality research organization with end-to-end collaboration across a centralized roster of suppliers. Key success factors for the platform include:

• Organization of your supplier roster by competency and market
• Supplier/peer evaluation of each project
• Transparency to see what each supplier is up to across multiple regions and projects
• Tasking suppliers to upload results

“The beauty of Market Logic is every time someone brings a proposal for a vendor that’s not on the approved roster list, I get an alert asking if I authorize the vendor to work on that project. I can prevent problems before they even happen – it’s been a lifesaver!” Maria Gomez-Soler, Global VP of Insights and Consumer Services

How have you managed to find an approach that works best for systemizing your supplier roster?  Would be great to hear your thoughts.