To commemorate Source One's 25th anniversary, we've spent the past few weeks offering insights, sharing tips, and striving to impress the practices that have helped us achieve success in procurement and strategic sourcing.  Here are five more to drive value savings and encourage sustainable supplier relationships.

16. Finish Negotiating at the Sourcing Phase

Procurement professionals often misguidedly attempt to renegotiate pricing or other terms during the contracting phase.  Even putting aside legal or ethical questions, this is a practice to avoid if you value your credibility and desire positive working relationships.  Trust is a key component in such relationships.  Once lost, it may prove hard to regain

17. Know When to Be Transparent
When clients and suppliers are not forthcoming with one another they can create unnecessary confusion and communication barriers.  Such barriers not only make for awkward interactions, but could create inefficiency as well. Open dialogue, however, should not preclude respect for confidentiality or encourage unprofessional behavior.

18. Be Open and Flexible
Assure that all of your correspondence with suppliers is open-ended in nature.  Give them the opportunity to make suggestions, ask questions, and offer their own input.  Oftentimes, suppliers are eager to provide innovative solutions that you might not have considered independently.

19. Engage with Stakeholders

Identifying and interviewing all potential stakeholders can provide valuable insight throughout the life-cycle of a project.  Their inside knowledge of existing supplier relationships, quality levels, and specifications could make for spectacular results.

20. Constantly Look for Leverage Points 

Every interaction with a current or prospective supplier is an opportunity to gain leverage and achieve a more appealing arrangement.  Even the most informal conversation could prove critically important to a successful negotiation.

Come back next week for the final installment where we'll outline a few potentially fatal mistakes to avoid when corresponding and negotiating with clients and suppliers.
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