It is well known that negotiating and signing a contract with a supplier is one thing, but applying it in the field is quite another. The deployment of contracts represents a pivotal step as purchasing departments put theory into practice, and seeks to fulfil a major objective of ensuring that all stakeholders (end users, site or workshop managers etc.) comply with the new processes in place. Below are a selection of good practices that can be used to successfully deploy a framework agreement.
1. Define a unique deployment plan
First and foremost, defining the foundations of the deployment plan is essential. In particular, this includes:
- Objectives: promoting the new framework contract, developing digitalisation, highlighting a specific brand etc.
- Performance indicators: turnover per employee, digitalisation rate etc.
- Resources to achieve previously set objectives: a telephone campaign, visits, email marketing etc.
"The contract deployment plan, and above all the resources used to carry it out, must be perfectly adapted to the company’s structure and practices. Once a precise map of the organisation and its sites has been obtained, it is worth asking the following: Is my purchasing department highly influential? Do users normally answer the phone or have easy access to their emails (this may not necessarily be the case for "non-sedentary" jobs such as logistics or construction)? An effective action plan will take all of these factors into account", explains Xavier Laurent, Director of Value-Added Services at Manutan.
2. Work hand-in-hand with the supplier
The two parties driving the contract (most often the lead buyer and sales representative) must also maintain a good relationship, based on listening, trust and communication. The combined strengths of the lead buyer's knowledge of the field and the sales representative's experience, ensure that the correct steps are taken with internal stakeholders.
"When I work on deploying a contract, I treat the person that I'm speaking to (the lead buyer) as a new colleague. Together, we create a genuine feedback culture, not only between ourselves but also with prescribers and users. This is how we manage to obtain maximum visibility of what is happening in the field, allowing us to tackle obstacles, find tailored solutions and identify how information is conveyed, among other things", explains Mourad Ezzouitini, National Sales Manager at Manutan.
3. Set up a reporting system
Finally, performance indicators, such as site compliance rates, should be monitored in line with the frequency and format jointly defined at an earlier stage.
This reporting system not only allows for adjustments to be made to the action plan as needed, but also involves stakeholders by communicating and sharing the project's progress.
Ultimately, implementing a strategy that is based on anticipation, communication and continuous improvement, and that is well-aligned with the company's current situation, remains the key to an effective deployment plan.