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    Arne van Oosterom's Posts - WENOVSKI design thinkers network

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    Saturday, January 5, 2008

    I don't like them

    I really don't like European Tenders. They just don't make a lot of sense. Not from where I'm standing, and certainly not from the clients point of view.

    In my line of work it's almost always the same. Some selected agencies are being asked to write down an advise (amongst other things). But non of the parties can communicate with the client. This way all the agencies have the same information. Sounds fair.

    But how can this help the company in selecting the best partners? How do they really know for sure which agency is the right match for them? In the end companies can choose between a lot of clever written documents pregnant with generalizations and assumptions. But an adviser must first and foremost be a good listener and work in close partnership with his or her client. It's the personal relationship and, dare I say it, chemistry which is such an important element if you want to do great and remarkable things.

    And now they have a pile of paper in front of them. How can anyone really judge the content of these documents? It's such a waist of time. And not just the clients time. I can see them now, all those talented people battering away on there computers, hoping that their guesswork happens to be right on the mark.

    And when the choices have been made. And all those plans end up in that big magical drawer that's never emptied but is never full (how can it be!). Then the real work starts. But client and agency still have to get to know each other from scratch. It's almost a blind date.

    And the client probably liked the clever guy who wrote the document and explained it to them (they always like me), but they might hate the people who they are actually going to work with on a day-to-day basis (I usually lock them up in the basement until the deal is closed).

    So in this situation it is common sense clients make the safest choice. They'll lean towards what they know. The big name, the company they already know or worked with. I know I would. And this means that new, small, less known companies have less of a change to get the contract. And the client has not been given the opportunity or the tools to make the best choice possible.

    Now I didn't do any research, so I'm probably all wrong about this. But I just don't like European Tenders.

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