One of the most important duties for a procurement executive is to figure out which clients are the most lucrative and then allocate more time to work with them. It’s Sheryl Mc Kenzie’s job, as head of the procurement advising practice for American Express Consulting, to help them get better at estimating their clients’ worth.
Mc Kenzie said that attaching a dollar value to a client is a vital but often unmet factor in any sound customer relationship management program. "You have to know the value of the total opportunity a customer brings to the table," she said. "Then you can use that information in your CRM programs, so you get the big picture."
Mc Kenzie and her practice also aim to help their clients, ranging from funeral homes to global, multibillion-dollar banks, find and correct money-losing habits. "We will sit side by side with a client and identify a commodity category and a savings opportunity," Mc Kenzie said.
Often, the focus is on indirect items, including travel, telecom and office supplies. "We put an action plan together, project volume for three and then six months, and after 12, project the savings you should achieve," said Mc Kenzie, who before joining American Express Consulting in 1999 worked as a consultant for American Management Systems Inc.