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Published: Feb 14 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

An evocative phrase that I heard in two different settings for the first time last week. It concerns the behaviour of salespeople who spend inordinate amounts of time in what is best described as rampant persuasion rather than try to understand what the customer wants. As you must know by now (if you are regular readers of this BLOG), Scotwork are absolute experts in the art of negotiation. We often describe negotiation as what happens when the selling (persuasion) stops.

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Published: Nov 23 , 2017
Author: John McMillan

A characteristic of business in the UK in recent years, and I suspect in other countries, is the removal of people from the interface between buyer and seller. In the place of the traditional face-to-face meeting is the RFI, the RFP and the E-auction. Indeed, some companies bar any direct communication between the department which has the need and the potential suppliers. As a senior buyer once...

Published: Jun 02 , 2016
Author: Sam Macbeth

Firstly apologies to the the 1980’s pop group Madness for the title of this blog. The Sun newspaper reported last week that “David Cameron finally manages to get a good deal – after negotiating a second-hand Nissan Micra for Samantha”. Apparently he drove this off the forecourt from the car dealer in his local constituency in Witney, Oxfordshire – very different from the public office £200K Jaguar which he rides in for work...

Published: Nov 27 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

It is a very simple equation to look at how margin is impacted by the price a company charges for its products. Take a very easy example of a company whose P&L sheet looks like this; Sales - 100 Materials - 60 Labour - 20 Other - 10 Profit - 10 If this company has to respond to market forces and drop its sales prices by 5% and other costs remain the same the impact on profit is a dramatic 50%....

Published: Jun 12 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Researchers into fatalities caused by storms have made an interesting and rather odd finding. For as long as people have been tracking and reporting hurricanes, also known as tropical cyclones, they’ve been struggling to find ways to identify them. Until well into the 20th century, newspapers and forecasters in the United States devised names for storms that referenced their time period, geographic location or intensity; hence, the Great Hurricane of 1722, the Galveston Storm of 1900, the Labour Day Hurricane of 1935 and the Big Blow of 1913...

Published: Dec 19 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

On the BBC news website in a move eerily reminiscent of Laura Ashley and John Lewis (see 28 March blog), it has been confirmed yesterday that department store Debenhams has told suppliers of its own brand products to cut their bills by 2.5% as a "contribution" to its investment plans”. It said it would deduct this from all outstanding payments on Tuesday night and would apply another discount of 2.5% to orders open on its system....

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I have just been the dutiful Dad and delivered the youngest one, Grace, back to Bristol with her boyfriend – both graduating students of the university there. They have decided to both stay on for a year (coincidence? I think not) and so it is the annual task of moving into a new flat (facilitated by yours truly) that this story is about.

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