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March 8, 2009

CSR loses influence among corporate buyers

Corporate social responsibility is now only the second least influential factor when companies are considering commissioning meetings and events, according to a procurement trends report commissioned by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts in association with Confex Group.

Explaining the need to commission the report, Macdonald Hotels business development director, Ruaridh Macdonald, said: “The research was conducted to provide businesses with insight into how to reach potential buyers more effectively.

“As the objectives of procurement and purchasing decision makers evolve to protect their companies in the current economic climate, it is vital that we also adapt in line with them.

“By understanding what procurement teams throughout the UK look for when making their purchasing decisions, we are more equipped to remain on a buyer’s preferred supplier list and maximise our potential to win and maintain business.”

The main findings of the reseach are:

Decision making factor
– If ROI is guaranteed, then “quality of service/product” is considered the most appealing additional factor when making purchasing decisions, being cited by 44% of respondents, followed closely by “added value at no extra cost”, cited by 31%.
– It is the second least influential factor now when purchasing decisions are made, according to 53% of the procurement decision makers surveyed.
– There is still some merit in an active CSR policy for a supplier’s sales and marketing strategy over the next 12-24 months, but, according to 47% of procurement decision makers, it will have significantly less impact on their decision after 24 months.
– 12% of procurement decision makers believed CSR policies will never be important again.

– Almost half (40%) of procurement decision makers believe budgets will increase in the next 18 months, 25% believe budgets will increase in the next 12 months and, reassuringly, only 9% believed that budgets would not increase until after 30 months.

Planning times

– Around half (46%) of procurement decision makers predict there will be little change in planning times in the next 12-24 months, while only 19% predicted planning times would reduce, compared to 12% who predicted an increase.

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