A PSL (preferred supplier list – also referred to as a preferred supplier agreement or preferred supplied framework) can be beneficial for many businesses . It is viewed as a win/win scenario for both parties for several reasons including
- Managing costs
- All suppliers are working to the same terms and KPIs
- A barrier of entry for other suppliers.
- Building mutually beneficial relationships with a business to really understand them.
I’m not the greatest fan of PSL with large corporations if I’m honest – PSL’s have a downside, which is a race to the bottom in terms of price and quality. To quote John Ruskin “you get what you pay for. Period.”
I find that what we supply may not fall under the traditional PSL; Our relationships with customers are at the forefront of what we do. The customer is able to purchase certain skillsets directly when the circumstances require a more tailored approach. I think its important to ask the question “is the existing PSL able to support senior/executive level recruitment or niche requirements?”
Where we excel, is the blending of the relationship and a PSL with SME/businesses that are looking to invest in the growth of their business through recruiting and retaining key roles and want a recruitment partner. This is not an overnight process – the relationship and trust is a key factor. I’m passionate about the businesses I work with because its I’ve made an emotional investment rather than just completing a transaction.
If I’m preparing to apply for a PSL I
- Capture as much information about the business as possible to help build a picture of the past, present and future.
- Check the evaluation criteria.
- Understand what is working or not working. If something is not working, why? And more importantly how we would overcome them.
- Provide evidence of our ability to deliver – facts & figures, case studies, examples of similar projects delivered, testimonials, verbal references.
Essentially, applying for a PSL is a long process and not a decision I take lightly; for me it’s asking and understanding what the business wants/needs? knowing what we can and whether we can help and support through a PSL arrangement? do we share the similar values and beliefs?
I recommend potential businesses who are looking to put in place a PSL to consider all of the options and include hiring managers in that process. A PSL works when you put your people at the heart of it.