Negotiation is a process in which two parties makes settlement according to their own interest and try to achieve more profit. Aim of both the parties is to settle their negotiation to an acceptable solution so that both the parties gain something from it (Negotiation Skills. 2018). In this report Waitrose & Partners is taken into consideration. It is a supermarket chain which mainly specialize in food and headquarters in Berkshire, United kingdom. Negotiation and information required in the open process will be discussed below. Apart from that RFP and contractual process will be discussed and how it is managed and monitored to make the best utilization of it will be explained. Pitch will be made to attain a sustainable competitive advantage. After that outcome of the pitch and negotiation will be scrutinized. The project discusses the reasons behind negotiation and the process of stakeholders commences. Along with this, potential outcomes of a pitching are also included under this report.
P1: Negotiation and key stakeholders during a negotiation process
Negotiation is an open process in which stakeholder try to settle down their differences to gain the most out of negotiation. There should be at least two parties while making the negotiation. The aim of Negotiation is to compromise the agreement while avoiding any conflict between the parties. However, their should be a fair decision taken by both the parties from the mutual assent (Chang, Benamraoui and Rieple, 2014). The key factors while conducting a negotiation is attitude towards one another, knowledge related to the topic and last but not the least interpersonal skills which includes communications, rapport building assertiveness etc. Waitrose have to face negotiation in daily life as they have to deal with suppliers and distributors while selling their products into the supermarket other than that they have to negotiate with their employees while fixing their salary.
The benefits of negotiation for the company is discussed below
- It reduce the cost price of the product in which Waitrose is buying thus increase in profitability of the company.
- Waitrose can bring new products hence increasing their footfalls in the market.
- Negotiation can enhance the relationships between the parties.
Why does negotiation occur
Negotiation occurs in every business as it plays an important role in increasing the profitability of the company. It happen when the parties are not deciding their outcomes and confuse between the different result that arises from a situation (Cooke and Zaby, 2015). There are three different types of outcome that comes from the negotiation which are describe below,
- Win-win situations: In this, both the parties while negotiating gain the equal amount of benefits.
- Win-lose situations: In this situation, one party gain more benefits as compare to other party while negotiating.
- Lose-lose situations: When both the parties have to deal as bounded by the laws thus ending up in loosing the benefits of the deal.
In the context of Waitrose negotiation factors in described below
- Negotiation happens in Waitrose as they have to fix their price and quantity of the product with suppliers and distributors so to buy the product in lesser price thus increase in profit for the firm.
- The company's main focus is to provide new products of different companies to the customer. Waitrose have to deal with companies so that they can sell their products through their chain.
- Negotiation occurs at the time renewing the deals with companies who are providing their products to sell in the Waitrose chain.
Key stakeholder in the negotiation process
Negotiation is done by the individual who has better knowledge about the product which they are dealing and have good interpersonal skills so to grab the most profitable deal for the company (Coppens and et. al., 2014). Key stakeholder which takes parts in negotiation process is
- Waitrose top executive: They are responsible to communicate plans and policies formulated by them to the employees in order to make easy for them to understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Shareholder representative: They are the owners of company who is responsible to provide externally support to the organisation by investing huge amount in company with a hope of getting maximum return on investment.
- Mediator: It is middlemen which passes the information of employees to the top authority as well as provide orders or instructions of Top authorities to the subordinates.
- The other party: It includes government which has power to control over existence of company by directing them to implement laws and legislation acts made by them.
P2: Key steps and information required for negotiating and generating deals
Negotiation is a long and open process in which to get the desirable outcomes, company should follow a structured approach through which the outcome would be achieved by reducing the chances of conflict (Fletcher, 2018). All the steps of negotiation process is discussed below with functional example,
Preparation and planning
This is the first step of negotiation stage in which Waitrose should prepare their pitch of negotiation by making a report on the topic. Company should analyse the data which they have gather to find out the best deal which can be generated from the deal. Key elements which should be done by the Waitrose before going for a negotiation is as follows,
- Information about the other party which includes their products, their financial status, their strategies, their strengths and weakness etc.
- Which type of outcome do the company wants i.e., win-win situations, win-lose situations etc.
- Knowledge about the topic of discussion
- Pitch for the deal
- Objectives of the negotiation deal etc
Information exchange: In this stage both the parties try to influence other thinking by providing them statistic and report made by them in the first stage. The tone of negotiation is set in the stage. All the possible outcomes will be discussed in this. Few factors which are assessed by both the parties is trustworthiness, credibility etc (Gbadegeshin, 2018). The information shared in this stage should be genuine as disseminating of wrong information will affect the Waitrose goodwill in a negative way.
Bargain: Bargaining refers to negotiating of conditions of the deals. Both the parties try to attain their purpose of the deal and how parties can achieve the win-lose outcomes or win-win outcomes. Waitrose should be very crystal clear about their objectives as what they want to achieve from this negotiation. The knowledge and the interpersonal skills are test in the step. Waitrose stakeholder work is to bargain the deal according to their personal interest and if they feel that the deal will affect the company in a negative way then they should try to modify the deal or cancel the trade according to their interest.
Conclude: In this stage, Waitrose and other party will conclude their presentation by providing their personal objectives. The summary of the deal and paper work will be done in this. Waitrose should try to attain the win-win or win-lose outcomes thus helping the company to achieve the growth.
Execute: This is the last stage of the negotiation stage in which the outcome of the deal is implement on the real scenario and try to make it a successful deal by making strategies according to the deal. The key points of the deal should be very clear as the strategies made by the parties while implement should be made in that only (Vance, Kulturel-Konak and Konak, 2014).
P3. RFP process and relevant types of documentation required
An RFP or Request For Proposal is a documentation or a formal request which is posted by an organisation to elicit responses from various vendors aiming towards addressing the needs or problems of the issuer. It plays a prominent role in operations of business organisations. Potential vendors are allowed to demonstrate solutions along with their unique benefits and allows issuers to access these offerings from the vendors (TingToomey, 2017). RFP will be very important for a firm like Waitrose so that they could enhance their service quality and satisfy more customers in the UK markets.
The process for RFP is mentioned below:
Crafting Request For Proposal Document
The most important step for Waitrose is to craft a document which could inform the potential vendors about the issues that needs to be addressed. The firm must focus on clarity for better understanding of the vendors and get appropriate responses. There are few elements that an RFP document must include, which are:
- A detailed overview of Waitrose & Partners including their processes and the products and services they deal with.
- Thorough goals for the project that needs to be addressed.
- The target market that would avail the benefits of the project.
- The project specifications and major components.
- Requirements for the projects along with its guidelines.
- Factors essential for vendor bids, for instance, cost breakdown, budget, timeline, etc.
- Information needed in references such as the number and timeline of their clients, type of contact information required and so forth.
- Delivery Instructions including the method in which they are required be delivered , point of contacts, etc.
- Identification of the selection process of the vendors along with the timeline.
For vendors, it is essential that they craft appropriate responses to the client's demands in order to make their proposal appropriate for acceptance (Sullivan, 2015). Most of the responses are rejected by the issuers as they fail to address the demands and the problems properly. Thus, it is required for vendors to respond effectively the problems client wants solutions to.
This step requires Waitrose to critically evaluate the responses and select the most potential vendors that could adequately address their issues. The proposals are needed to be evaluated effectively by the company to shortlist the best vendors for the job. This evaluation requires them to conduct an in-depth comparison of the vendors on the basis of their core strengths and differentiation factors. Such comparison would help them look past the average vendors and select the ones with effective competitive edges.
It is one of the most important step of RFP process as Waitrose would now evaluate the shortlisted vendors to determine the one vendor who could win the bid. To achieve this, the company must engage itself with the vendors and ask follow-up questions which emphasizes on the critical elements (Rakin, 2017). It is then required to set the scoring criteria. However, it is essential that the company be open to the vendors about the existing competition and their evaluation factors (Moore, 2014).
Completion of Evaluation
Waitrose at this stage must be thorough and clear about the offerings made by vendors. A side-by-side comparison of these vendors according to their scoring process would allow the company to determine the best choice for their needs. Selection of the most apt vendor must be done after internally reviewing the scores.
The final step needs Waitrose to officially select the best vendor and go ahead with the legal documentation. This step includes giving the results of RFP to legal department, crafting a detailed Statement of Work (SOW) and reviewing the contract process.
Documentation required for RFP
RFP itself is a document, requirements of which are mentioned above. However, the other main type of documentation required is Statement of Work (SOW). It must define the manner in which Waitrose would work with the vendor. To attain this, performance metrics along with the review method must be included in the document.
P4. Contractual process and ways to manage and monitor relevant documentation
Contractual management is the procedure undertaken by companies to manage contract development, its execution along with its analysis (Mejía-Arauz and et. al., 2018). The agenda of this management is to maximize firm's performance in terms of operations and finance. It also helps in reduction of financial risks. This process of contractual management generally consumes a lot of time which develops a need for Waitrose & Partners to develop efficient contractual management system.
There are various steps in the contractual process that are needed to be considered by Waitrose to appropriately manage the contractual system of the firm.
These steps are as follows:
Identification of the contract:
The firm should effectively measure the reason for binding up a contract and it must clearly articulate the reason, needs and ultimate objectives required to be achieved. It must also determine and seek to mitigate potential risks that could occur during the document's lifetime.
Waitrose must consult an attorney or In-House Counsel during presence of uncertainties. The firm must also consider using a pre-drafted template by its legal team. This would ensure the inclusion of all the necessary terms and clauses along with up-to-date information. The company must emphasize on detailed proof-reading of the contract to ensure correct use of language, tenses and punctuations (Maddux, 2016). They could also use automated systems to ease this process.
This is an inevitable step and recurring in nature despite of planning, research and preparation. It is crucial to be trustworthy and transparent while negotiating the contract. Waitrose must research the needs of other party each time to simplify the process of conversation and develop a healthy long-term relationship.
Approval of Contract:
This stage follows up after negotiation. Contracts at Waitrose must have all the necessary requirements fulfilled before undergoing audit procedures or getting approval from managers. To simplify the procedure, the firm must set up approval workflows on a contractual management platform to save time and efforts of personnels drafting the contract.
For contracts to be effective, it is necessary that both parties agree and easily make it official. If Waitrose is coming into an agreement with a company which is situated in a different part of the world, it would be easier for the firm to use electronic signatures to eradicate the delay during urgencies.
Revisions and Amendments:
It is very necessary for Waitrose & Partners to continuously revise their contracts and make necessary amendments whenever required. Systems like contract lifecycle management so that both the companies could easily track the necessary modifications made in the contract and add effective amendments thereafter (Jeong, 2016).
Reporting and Auditing:
Regular audits of the contracts would assure Waitrose that value is being realised and obligations are being met. These audits are necessary to identify the compliance of both the parties towards the agreement terms and during uncertainties and risks (Horton, 2016).
Ways to manage and monitor relevant documentation
For an organisation like Waitrose & Partners, it is of vital importance to manage and monitor documentation as being a supermarket chain operating on a large scale. There are large number of documentation on a daily basis which are required to be managed effectively. Since the rise in technological advancements, the firm could increase its effectiveness while managing documentation is by going digital. This requires the firm to convert their existing documents into digital documents and generate new documents using digital platform. This eradicates the use and wastage of paper and keep the files safe during misshapen (Hemilä, 2015). There are ways in which Waitrose could manage and monitor their documentation digitally:
- Strategically naming and storing files.
- Effective synchronisation of documentation to be effectively accessed and monitored.
- Using efficient quality control systems that can not be bypassed under any circumstances.
- Storing the documentations using cloud storage that would safeguard the files even after they get deleted from the servers.
P5. Developing an appropriate pitch
A pitch refers to the presentation given by the employees or managers of an organisation to its investors. The medium of a pitch however could be letter, e-mail, or an impromptu conversation. The agenda of a business pitch is to secure the funds as well as resources that are required to ensure sustainability as well as enhance profitability. For a successful business pitching, it is essential for the presenters to inculcate the competitive advantages of the company. These advantages would allow the firm to ensure engagement of investors from the company. It is also essential in case a new product or service is launched. Investors need to determine the factors that could assure them of higher returns of their investment (Haddad, 2014). Waitrose need to apply key principles while pitching that helps it to gain competitive advantages. However, it is very crucial for the presenters to be clear about these principles to ensure a long-term interest of the investors in the operations of the firm.
The principles essential for sustainable competitive advantages in Waitrose & Partners are mentioned below:
This step undertakes creation of brand loyalty which ensures a long term customer relationship that could be beneficial for the firm. Customers tend to stick with brands they are forever loyal to, regardless of price and quality of their products. Waitrose have a wide range in the UK markets and it is acknowledged in the country and beyond that. People have a strong loyalty towards the firm as well as its offerings that create a competitive edge in the market (Greenwood, 2018).
As mentioned above, the firm operates about 500 chains in the UK itself. With such expanded business, the firm surely has strong networking with vendors, architects, designers, chefs and so forth. The firm has also established online channels to facilitate online delivery of the company's products. This would enable the company in developing effective online networks as well that could help it hire effective international employees as well as develop international connections.
In modern scenario, investors are interested in firms that innovate their offerings and the methods of their production and distribution. This is one of the most crucial principle that is needed to be included while pitching the investors. Waitrose has been very effective in innovating its methods and products to attract customers and enhance its competitive edge. For instance, the firm was the first supermarket chain that sold organic food in 1983. Moreover, another innovation that helped it grab attention of the public was introduction of 'myWaitrose Loyalty Card' that was different from that of its competitors like Tesco. It didn't allow them to collect points rather access to offers and exclusive competitions.
A crucial factor to gain a competitive edge hiring effective and efficient employees and building internal strength. Waitrose is known to have effective recruitment and leadership structure that help the company in hiring as well as training talented individuals. Moreover, the personal goals of the employees are integrated towards the collective goal of the firm which helps them in working together. Such collaboration and channelising of efforts allow Waitrose to gain such a competitive advantage over its competitors. The presenters of the firm must involve all these points to pitch the investors and develop their interest towards the company and its activities.
P6. Assessment of the potential outcomes of a pitch
The presenters make their best efforts to pitch the investors. It depends on their skills and abilities which determine the success rate of their pitching. Any pitch has four potential outcomes that have an impact on the firm's post-pitch strategies. In context of Waitrose & Partners, these outcomes are mentioned below:
It is very necessary for companies to impress investors through extensive efforts and skills. This is because it creates a better brand image in the market which could expand their customer base and ensure appropriate resources for any strategy in the future. One effective strategy for the presenters could be using the elevator pitch, This method helps enables presenters to give precise description about the company or the product idea in a short span of time. It indicates that any pitching effort could have two outcomes. This could be either positive or negative. In case of acceptance, further two outcomes generate in front of the firm. Either no-shop agreement is required to be signed by them which refutes the firm to interact with any other investors. In case the company doesn't sign the no-shop agreement, the firm could approach investors which would be beneficial if prior investors pass on the deal.
It is rare for companies to receive a clear 'no' from investors. There are many factors which makes investors reject the company's offerings or strategies. One main reason for rejection is because the presenters were ineffective in communicating about the company or its offerings. Another reason could be that investors neglect the elements presented to them. In whichever case, rejection is bad for a firm. It is good only in one aspect. That after rejection, the firm could focus on other investors and develop their strategies accordingly.
The most common outcome of pitching is hearing no response from the investors. This is one of the most inappropriate response that add to the tension as well as time of the firm. It hinders the decision-making process of the company and no new strategies could be developed while there is no response from investors. To cope up with this, the firms must analyse the interactions with their investors. This way they could appropriately approach them and get a clear response that could save them time as well as efforts.
Come Back Later:
Mostly, this response is received in case the investors speculate a scope of improvement from the company. They wish to witness the firm hitting few milestones before the investors could engage in their business activities. Waitrose in such a case must strengthen the company and formulate strategies that could help them achieve those milestones. It can later approach the same investor or a different group after attainment of the set targets.
P7: Determining ways in which an organisation can fulfil their post-pitch obligations, highlighting and potential issues
Pitching can be defined as a tool which is used by organisations to find the cause of the issues that are taking place in the business and find ways to resolve the issues in effective manner. It helps the owners and other concerned persons of a company to take effective and immediate actions so that all the functions and activities can be managed and operated appropriately. It is essential for a business enterprise to implement the pitching process in an appropriate manner so that it may result positively and may lead the organisation toward success that may help to attain all the organisational as well as personal goals of employees.
For this purpose the managers of Waitrose are suggested to identify and pursue significant process so that all the desired aspirations can be acquired by them. Post pitching is used by the organisations when they are willing to evaluate the results of the actions that have been taken by the management in past. This is a beneficial technique that helps to empower the business and motivate to achieve all the business goals. Post pitching can help the employees of Waitrose to find such ways that are required to perform all the tasks effectively. All the business activities can be operated in more effective manner with the help of post pitching as it helps to complete the tasks in a specific time period.
As Waitrose is following appropriate ways to implement this process in the organisation so that business can be operated effectively and appropriately. Various issues may take place at the time of pitching all of them are as follows:
- Failing to address concerns: It is very important for the business organisations to address concerns in the pitching document because it is required to be more competitive in the market. If the managers failed to address the same than it may result negatively and affect organisational ability to deal with problems.
- Projecting wrong image of business: Sometimes the managers project wrong image of business while documenting the information in pitching. It is not done intentionally but by mistake as they do not the sufficient information of the matter which is required to be recorded or not recorded. This may affect the market image of business and organisation and investors will not show interest in the organisation. Investment and funds will also be reduced in upcoming period (Cenere and et. al., 2015).
- Too much dependency upon formal pitches: Some of the business owners think that they may only collect funds for the organisation from formal pitches but it is not true most of the funds can be acquired from informal pitches. If the managers of Wait Rose are willing to enhance investments for the organisation than they are required to follow informal pitches in which they may interact with the investors appropriately.
All the above mentioned issues may take place in an organisation and affect the operational capacity to perform operational activities.
Thus, it is concluded, that companies must emphasize on developing effective pitching and negotiation skills to enhance the resources and funding required to conduct management operations of the firm. To attain effective and profitable deals, it is of vital importance that its information as well as its steps are well evaluated. Companies must strategically follow all the steps in Request For Proposals along with necessary documentation. Automated procedures and techniques could be very helpful while creating and executing contracts and to manage relevant documentation. To get the best investors for an organisations the presenters of the company are required to apply a range of skills and principles for competitive advantage to pitch an impressive deal from the investors. The company then must develop effective strategies according to the outcomes received of pitching. Lastly, organisations must fulfil all their obligations from a pitch while identifying and eradicating potential issues likely to occur.
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