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Primary market research can guide procurement decisions

Primary market research revolves around gathering information based on specific objectives. For instance, a company might be interested in launching a new product in the market. However, it first needs to understand if there is a demand for the product. Likewise, a procurement manager might be interested to choose a new vendor. Market research would help in identifying the right vendor based on comparison with similar vendors and their services.

The need for primary market research arises only when no prior studies are conducted. Depending on the type of information that is needed, the cost for primary research varies. In most cases, the cost for primary research is higher. Primary research is used to elicit two types of responses – exploratory and specific.  While exploratory research provides elaborate details, specific research helps in solving short-term problems.

Since the research is usually centered on interviews, questionnaires or surveys with individuals or groups, procurement managers can receive customized information choosing the necessary methodology. By directly reaching the target group with business-specific questions, it becomes easier for collating the answers which help in making informed decisions.

Procurement managers could use the questionnaire method even internally with various departments for feedback on suppliers and procurement-related aspects. This helps them to understand if the suppliers are abiding by their guidelines and whether they are supplying on time.

Interviews can be conducted with subject matter experts to understand the latest market trends and receive updates on supply chain matters. Suppliers can also be interviewed to understand the synergies they can bring in to the operations. It helps in shortlisting them based on their potential to offer quality supplies at competitive rates.

Focus group approach provides key inputs from the actual user base. For instance, office supplies could be procured from different suppliers. Procurement or business managers could approach the HR department and finance department personnel and seek their opinion on the quality of the supplies and understand their satisfaction levels.

Adopting a suitable methodology is relevant for eliciting the right type of information. There are market research companies that can guide procurement managers with the right methodology and offer the required support through their services.

Many research firms adopt global best practices and possess the expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Through the use of latest technology platforms, they can assure information accuracy, quality, higher productivity and data security.

Some research companies offer global coverage based on primary research requirements. With qualified professionals and statisticians, they can conduct field research, telephonic surveys and online survey. They can also design the research sample customized for procurement needs and market analysis. Procurement managers should choose a research partner who can understand their needs so that the end results are satisfactory and relevant for their decision-making.

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