Today’s Economy is Quite Tough for Purchasing Agents — Bellwether
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Unfortunately, almost all people are now experiencing the negative effects brought by the weak economy during which the prices of commodities continue to increase. Price increase has been one of the major problems of people these days. Because of this phenomenon there are lots of individuals who keep on tightening their belt in order to compensate for such economical problems.

The effect of these problems in today’s economy does not exclude purchasing agents and travel buyers. They are affected by this occurrence as well. The economy of today is far different as compared to the others from the past. If you go back a bit in history, you will probably observe that there had always been the fluctuating financial economy. However, economies of the past were far more self-sufficient than today’s global economy. The more technology advances the smaller the world becomes and the more interdependent we all become on each other. This is also true for purchasing agents and buyers who partake in a global economy through travel to different parts of the world to conduct business.

Those travel buyers will need to maximize their capabilities and develop an in-depth knowledge this present year (2013) in order to compete within the weak markets and price increases resulting from weak markets. This warning is according to the report of ITM or Institute of Travel and Meetings.

Based on the 2013 Industry Outlook of ITM, trends in business travel will see price increases in airfare and hotel costs. Other findings show a range of increases from moderate to severe in the cost of car rentals. The weak economy within Europe and spreading throughout the global economy including the United States is among some of the toughest challenges facing business today. 

According to the chief executive officer of ITM (Simone Buckley), “In order to minimize price increases for their companies, those travel buyers have to make the most of their negotiation capabilities”. Developing their expertise in these travel areas will not only help them in their long term goals of making excellent buying decisions, but through this process they will also build strong relationships with other purchasing agents, travel buyers, hotels, travel agents and suppliers/vendors.

Understanding the main drivers, the core values, behind how others set their prices is of great value to learning how to negotiate in a better way. Whether you are looking at hotels for your travel to other areas or looking at resources needed for your production or specific parts and finished products you turn around and sell at retail, understanding how those prices are set will help you understand how to negotiate.

Price increases and weak economy have you feeling overwhelmed or trapped? Consider additional training. But wait, before you cross this idea off your list due to additional cost give it some serious thought. And then go one step further and do some research. What kind of skills could you gain that would be beneficial to you as a purchasing agent in this economy? We mentioned negotiation. But there may be others you can consider based on your industry, interrelated industries, languages, customs and other ways that may give you the advantage. So take the time to stop and consider how you can work smarter and harder to get ahead in today’s economy.

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