The proverbial concept of “doing more with less” is a beautiful thing, but doing more with the same may be a more appropriate target for today’s marketing executives. When challenged to most effectively spread budgets through a plethora of channels, it is easy to overlook inefficiencies that if eliminated could help achieve more with your same budget. For many, it’s easy to overlook our marketing supply chain as a pathway to discovering cost efficiencies that maximize precious marketing dollars.
As marketing and procurement units continue to work toward synergistic partnerships, a quick win for both can be accomplished through the evaluation of overlapping services and the cost savings realized with consolidation. At its core, supply chain management focuses on reducing complexity. Supplier consolidation is a key tactic to reducing complexity. In addition to being time-consuming, managing too many marketing suppliers can reduce your department’s effectiveness and its ability to nurture key relationships.
The Concept of Supplier Consolidation
Supplier consolidation isn’t a new concept. For at least two decades, companies have adopted strategies to rationalize and consolidate their supplier base. These strategies have enabled organizations to build stronger and more collaborative supplier relationships. While supply chain management certainly delivers benefits, many organizations tend to focus their efforts on manufacturing. It must be remembered that manufacturing isn’t the only area for supplier consolidation—the concept is highly relevant to marketing communications as well. New media channels are increasing the complexity of message delivery, and this is resulting in the development of departmental silos addressing each channel as well as the technologies required to manage them. Managing marketing campaign content across multiple departments, each with its own tools and processes, has resulted in manual processes for cross-channel delivery. This phenomenon has also disrupted efforts to control branding and ensure that a single, consistent message reaches the right audience at the right time. It is imperative for marketers to take a birds-eye view and seek smarter ways to manage and automate the technologies, processes, and procedures linked to marketing efforts.
Shrinking Your Supplier Base: Next Steps
Part of the process is identifying which supplier relationships are the most profitable for your company. Successfully shrinking your supplier base starts with reviewing your current suppliers on many factors, including breadth/quality of services, expertise, ability to meet requirements, performance, innovation, and how they can reduce complexity. Next, step back and evaluate these relationships to identify overlapping services. Consider your own marketing department, then expand your view into other departments within your organization.
Consolidating marketing service suppliers is a solid strategy for minimizing complexity, maintaining a consistent brand voice, and ultimately improving marketing effectiveness to do more with the same!
Do your marketing suppliers help consolidate and automate your needs?
As a marketing partner, we would be happy to discuss our strategic initiatives that support big brands leverage supplier consolidation to identify cost and time savings!