blur Group Survey Reveals Businesses’ Long-Term Service Provider Relationships Result in Stale Ideas

Half of all U.S. procurement decision makers surveyed agree an online marketplace is an effective way to discover new partnerships

DALLAS--()--New research, commissioned by blur Group plc (BLUR), the s-commerce company, shows half of procurement decision makers surveyed (51 percent) agree there are better service providers than their current partners, and 46 percent believe their companies engage with the same partners longer than they should.

When companies look outside their ranks for service providers, they want innovative and creative approaches to supplement the inherent business knowledge of the organization. However,

  • 65 percent of procurement decision makers at large companies feel keeping a long-term relationship with a service provider results in the provider offering fewer creative solutions.
  • 43 percent of U.S. procurement decision makers agree, due to “outside factors,” such as personal ties and preferred suppliers lists they continue relationships with providers that show poor performance.

“Business isn’t a marriage, but right now U.S. businesses must certainly feel like they’re trapped in an unhappy one with their service providers,” said Philip Letts, CEO of blur Group. “The decline in creativity could be due to the trouble they have finding the most relevant providers for their needs. This could be solved using an s-commerce platform bringing together the functionality of enterprise class cloud services, marketplaces and community.”

Other Key Findings

  • Search engines are the tool most used to find and interact with potential service providers (55 percent).
  • 55 percent of those surveyed said that finding the most relevant service provider for their company’s needs was a challenge encountered during a typical procurement process.
  • Large companies need a reality check on their procurement processes. Overall procurement decision makers from large companies (67 percent) are more likely than medium companies (48 percent) to admit that their procurement strategy is more standardized and needs a refresh. Contrary to these statements, large companies are more likely to call their procurement “innovative” (21 percent for large companies and 7 percent for medium), and less likely (23 percent for large companies and 32 percent for medium) to define it as old-fashioned.
  • Two-fifths (42 percent) admit they are biased by personal ties; the same percentage rarely partners without a previous connection. However, nearly all (87 percent) say they’d like to partner with new providers, but fewer (71 percent) say they are free to.
  • The longest average relationship with a service provider is 10.5 years and the shortest is 1.5.

About blur

blur Group is a technology company reinventing how businesses do commerce at blurgroup.com. Its Global Services Exchange uses blur's proprietary s-commerce platform to enable approaching 45,000 business users in 145 countries to buy, sell and deliver core business services and take advantage of Software as a Transaction™ to pay for these projects. blur Group (BLUR) is a public company headquartered in the UK with offices in the US and Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. blur was founded in January 2006 and launched in alpha in 2007 with the full, formal launch of the Global Services Exchange in January 2010. At that time, just over three projects per month were submitted. Now, nearly 300 projects start on the Exchange each month.

Customers include Danone, Broadridge, Exceed, HCA, Momentive, Red Commerce, the Financial Times, Berlitz, GE Healthcare and Tyco. Over the same time, average project value has grown from approximately $1,500 in 2010 to $89,000 in Q4 2013.

Today, 4,500 projects have been submitted to the Exchange with a combined value of nearly $200 million. These have come from the US, UK, Europe, Africa and Asia with nearly 40,000 expert service providers responding.

Research Methodology

Between March 3 and 10, 2014 Blur Group commissioned a five to ten minute survey through a third-party, ResearchNow, to poll 400 procurement decision-makers at companies with at least 50 employees that use service vendors in any capacity. 211 of the respondents come from large companies, 250 employees or more. The margin of error of this sample size is +/-4.9% at a 95% confidence interval.

Contacts

blur Group plc
Lucy Davies, +44 07759635919
lucy@blurgroup.com
or
March Communications
Mike Griffin, +1 617-960-8894
blur@marchpr.com

Release Summary

Half of all U.S. procurement decision makers surveyed agree an online marketplace is an effective way to discover new partnerships

Contacts

blur Group plc
Lucy Davies, +44 07759635919
lucy@blurgroup.com
or
March Communications
Mike Griffin, +1 617-960-8894
blur@marchpr.com