Santa Claus   |   14 Dec 2021   |   4 min read

Santa Shares Procurement Pointers: Elf Contracts, Prequalifying Toy Suppliers, and More

Santa blog

Here at VendorPanel, we were coming up with some procurement and contract management pointers to share with you for the coming year. That’s when Santa Claus came down the chimney to visit us. This was remarkable, especially because we did not previously have a fireplace.

Santa Claus! What are you doing here?

Ho, ho, ho! I hear you were writing an article on best practice procurement. Well, I’ve been at it a long time, so I thought I could tell people how we go about it at the North Pole. Think of it as a present to the team.

Thanks Santa! I’ve always wanted to know; do you make all the toys yourself?

Back at the start, the elves and I made everything! But back then, there were far less children who needed presents and the toys weren’t as complicated.

These days children are after all sorts of gadgets, so we purchase the tricky stuff. It’s a lot easier to make a wooden horse than a Sony PlayStation.

Interesting! So how do you go about finding suppliers that fit your needs?

First, we use geolocation to find local suppliers around the North Pole. We often end up sourcing from nearby countries because polar bears aren’t very good at making toys; we’ve tried, and they didn’t meet our compliance requirements.

We’ve been big on ethical sourcing from the beginning, since it wouldn’t look or feel good if we found out our suppliers were doing something naughty.

That’s why I use my powers to prequalify our suppliers, checking whether they’re naughty or nice, then put details into a system where the elves can check.

And that helps the elves when they need to get something?

Yes, because I can’t always be there when they need something. Every supplier is badged in the system with what compliances they have, so the elves know who’s a good person to buy from or not.

It’s a good thing too because elves are very trusting. I don’t want them getting taken advantage of!

How do you keep your operation cost-effective?

Well, most people are willing to give us a good deal because we add a lot of social value. Bulk buying helps a lot, so we get good discounts.

We make sure that any spend is done under contract as well. Maverick spend happens, even at the North Pole! Again, I’ve only got so much time on my hands, so we make sure all spend happens through a single system. It’s source-to-pay, so they don’t have to leave the system to go to another one.

That lets me focus on things that matter, like thinking up new toys. I don’t want to be the bad guy; I keep things as jolly as possible.

You mentioned contracts – how do you keep on top of those?

It used to be tough! We’ve got hundreds to keep track of. The ones with elves can last for centuries, so it’s easy to forget when they’re up for renewal. They may look chirpy, but being faeries, they’re very particular about contracts and written agreements!

That’s why we put in a system that lets us know when they’re going to expire, so that we can keep on top of things. It also lets me know whether they’re going to be able to deliver. That way, I can talk it out with them before it becomes a problem and help them out.

Did you know we also use comic book contracts? The elves love the visuals, it’s just like a storybook. Very clear and easy to understand. Ho, ho, ho!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes! The good that a single organisation can do with procurement is immense. The shift towards social, sustainable, and ethical procurement makes me very happy. The good a large organisation can do with just a small bit of spend is massive.

I’d also like to say using VendorPanel has made things a lot easier at the North Pole. It was easy to deploy for an old hand like me. The team were very supportive in getting the elves onboard, so it was a huge success.

We’re glad to hear it!

Happy holidays to you and enjoy your new fireplace!

Give Your Buyers The Gift Of A Better Procurement Experience

It doesn’t take a Christmas miracle to manage your strategic and operational spend better, and to make sure your buyers do the right thing – all you need is VendorPanel. With it, you can source locally, ethically and sustainability with ease. Contact us now to learn all the solutions we offer.

Happy holidays from the VendorPanel team!

Further reading

Back to blog feed