Planning a wedding is stressful. It requires precise timing, a calm demeanour, nerves of steel and a pinch of patience. As a purchasing and supply chain professional, I'm no stranger to chasing orders, scheduling deliveries & the occasional dispute so why not plan a wedding as I would a purchasing procedure.
The following 4 step plan is my comprehensive guide on how to use purchasing and supply chain tools and techniques to plan a wedding to perfection.
Step 1: Sourcing Plan
The sourcing plan is a procurement tool used for planning, managing and monitoring risk to gain best value for money. It contains the following elements:
#1. Executive Summary
Step 2: Vetting Wedding Vendors
Now you have a sourcing plan it is time to put it into action. The Request For Information (RFI) is a key tool for procurement professionals who use the RFI to make informal enquiries about the capacity and capability of vendors to provide goods and deliver services. Create an RFI to share your specification with your vendors.
#6. Submitting a Request for Information (RFI)
In our wedding event planning example, this could include requesting information about the following:
Once you have obtained information from vendors you are in a position to evaluate their quality and price proposals to determine which vendors provide best value for money.
#7. Evaluation and Selection criteria
Use quantitative and qualitative techniques to evaluate vendors:
Step 3: Managing Wedding Vendors
Determine which vendors are within your budget and provide best value for money, based on your evaluation and selection criteria. At this point you may be forced to compromise to obtain your event within budget. This may include changing your specification or lowering your quality expectations, reducing service durations or removing items from your specification completely.
Before advising vendors and entering into a contract, review their terms and conditions and perform a risk assessment.
#9. Implementation Plan
Plot backwards from the end of your wedding day, to determine the timescales required to deliver each element of the event e.g. ceremony, drinks reception, meal, evening party. Plot the lead time and cancellation dates for your vendors goods and services for invitations, cakes, flowers, alterations, suit hire and any legal obligations such as giving notice.
Once you have plotted a robust time plan with key milestones and deliverables you can allocate roles and responsibilities for each task to your available resources – family, friends, money, loans, savings, skills and experience. It is also prudent to contingency plan (Plan B) for the weather, transport, loan approval, no shows and cancellations.
Create a Payment Schedule of key dates when deposits and balance payments need to be made and when refundable deposits are due back into your account.
Provide all vendors with a written brief, clearly detailing the deliverables you expect them to provide in return for their fee.
This may include:
Keep track of any cost savings you have negotiated or endorsements, advertising, sponsorship, freebies, to ensure receive these as agreed.
Step 4 Relax, Enjoy Your Wedding Day
If you have followed the previous 3 steps your wedding should go like clockwork. Although there is nothing you can do about the weather but you will have built contingencies into your plan to deal with all eventualities.
Remember to publicise the success of your event and provide feedback for your vendors to help them develop and improve:
Naomi Clews is an independent procurement consultant who planned her own wedding. With over 25 years purchasing and supply chain management knowledge and experience in both the private and public sector Naomi helps clients to Get Procurement Right! Just don't ask Naomi to plan another wedding. Check out Naomi's blog for more procurement tips and tricks www.naomiclewsconsultancy.com/blog
Naomi Clews Consultancy
Procurement, Tendering, Business Skills