Procurement departments have long been portrayed as the bad guy, focused purely on cutting costs and disrupting relationships between in-house event departments and their agencies.
In last year’s State of the Industry report, there were signs the tide was beginning to turn, with some internal procurement departments becoming more open and collaborative, and agencies in turn understanding the value of getting procurement on side.
That trend has continued, and for the first time in several years procurement didn’t even make it into the list of top-five agency challenges, having been named the third and fourth biggest challenges by agencies in C&IT's 2015 and 2014 State of the Industry reports.
That’s not to say it’s no longer an issue at all. Drp group managing director Dale Parmenter says: "Procurement hasn’t gone away. Some procurement people are fantastic – they get it – others are awful. In the last 12 months we’ve turned down more work than ever before because of unrealistic payment and procurement terms. We have dug our heels in more and more with procurement under unacceptable terms."