We already have a good deal…do we really need Sherwood?
Based on the Morgan Stanley study, if a company has not used outside assistance, they are sacrificing 49% better discounts. Even if you have used another firm we have repeatedly found additional savings for our clients. We eat, drink and sleep contract negotiations which makes us pros. So isn’t the possibility of saving you more money and making you look like a hero worth exploring in more detail? We think yes.
We’re under contract with our vendor. Do we have to wait until it expires to work with Sherwood?
Nearly all of the companies we work with are in the midst of a contract with their vendor. Your shipping contracts contain a 30-day out provision. If circumstances change – either for you or the vendor—then either one of you can give 30 days notice to get out of the contract and make changes. If you knew for a fact that your vendor could have offered you 30-40% better discounts, wouldn’t you consider that to be a change in circumstances? Our clients do.
We have other priorities right now, won’t this take too much time?
Clients generally spend between five and ten hours total, over several weeks, participating in this initiative. Sherwood does the lion’s share of the work. If renegotiating leads to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in savings, is that five to ten hours a good time investment? We think so.
We have a good relationship with our vendor right now so do we have to change?
Our clients only change vendors if they want to—it is completely their decision. Your relationship with your vendor is critical. If we harmed client/vendor relationships, would we still be in business after 20 years? Relationships are two-way. If you knew you were overpaying by 10-15%, how would you feel about that relationship? On the other hand, if the vendor knew that they could offer you better discounts, and by doing so they would be strengthening their relationship with you, it would make sense for them to do so, right? Often your representative, the one you work with, is unaware of the best contracts or discounts available. By working with us, we can help them leverage better deals for you.
We have internal staff handling negotiations, could we really use Sherwood?
Almost every client we work with has internal purchasing staff—we expect that. Negotiating contracts is just one of many of their responsibilities. Negotiating with these vendors is all we do.
Won’t it look bad if we hire you? Will my company still need me?
Once every three years (the typical client-time between negotiations) clients do the best job they can based on available information. Just in the past three months we have negotiated 15 contracts with your vendor. All your company contracts require daily vendor management. We focus on the negotiations. Overall the company will benefit and yes, they’ll still need you.
Won’t our confidentiality terms mean we can’t work with you?
We have worked with hundreds of clients over the years and this has never been a barrier. In fact, the vendors even provide a three-way non-disclosure document just for this scenario. We enter in an NDA with each one of our clients, which prohibits us from disclosing information. In many cases our professional services agreement creates an agency relationship for us to work on behalf of our clients just like outside legal counsel or accountants do in other parts of your business.
How does your fee model work?
Clients only pay us if and when there are savings. There are no up-front or hourly costs and if there are no savings, there is no fee. After our work is done we review the billing and show you the savings. A contingency fee model forces us to work smart and we also have a common goal with our client—to achieve the best possible result. If there are better discounts or improvements in your contract today your vendor is keeping 100%.