What Our Clients Say

The World's Largest Company (Based on Market Value)

"I am writing to thank you for the excellent Strategic Procurement Management Training presented to Apple's supply-chain leaders.  I am pleased to report that the training program exceeded expectations in both our production and non-production functions.  The procurement professionals who participated in the training program reflected a 42% mean increase in proficiency.  Perhaps even more importantly, the student surveys reflected a near perfect approval rating on both the instructive and interactive sessions.  Apple's internal stakeholders continue to benefit from the deployment of the training principles.  The procurement team's satisfaction level among internal clients has increased by 10%.  Overall, the training program proved to be  a very shrewd investment of time and resources!"  Director of Corporate Procurement, Apple

Blue Shield Insurance Provider

"I wanted to thank you for the value our management team received from the procure-to-payment efficiency review performed by Strategic Procurement Solutions.  I'm not typically a big fan of consultants; but, from day one of the engagement, you two earned the respect of the entire Excellus Health Plan team, and unlike other consultancies our Finance Organization has used in the past, I did not have to manage your activities.  You quickly assessed our culture and developed an approach that successfully gained the trust of our employees; resulting in the capture of very-meaningful information.  The in-depth review conducted confirmed that many of our concerns were valid; however it also revealed several important findings that we didn't suspect.  All the comments were validated by supporting details and metrics uncovered during the project review.  The report documents you submitted were well-written and provided excellent validation for your findings.  Most-importantly, the report identified a menu of very-practical recommendations our company can put into action.  Our senior management team can use your detailed recommendations to customize a future-state organization that will provide us the potential to capture $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 in additional financial benefits each year.  And the 'quick hits' you identified will immediately pay your project fees many times over.  Most importantly, we can move toward a more-efficient and 'user-friendly' P2P process that will help key business owners receive superiod value from the supply chain."  Vice President, Finance - Excellus Health Care

Large Hospital Enterprise

"Thank you for the valuable training workshops, which Strategic Procurement Solutions presented to 120 of Intermountain Healthcare's sourcing, procurement, and inventory management professionals!  As you know, our supply chain has already been rated by Gartner as one of the top-ten performing healthcare supply chains in America.  So from the beginning, the bar for your training was set very high.  The three-day workshops you presented to five groups of our employees truly exceeded our expectations.  The content covered in the workshops is relevant, impactful, and very educational.  You did an exceptional job of weaving in examples, questions and exercises to keep the participants engaged and to imbed the concepts.  The pre- and post-testing scores for all participants increased by a mean of 28%!  And the evaluation surveys reflected an average participant rating of 'Excellent' (4.5 out of 5.0 possible points = 90% average).  Those were outstanding results.  As you know, we chose to include our senior leaders and sourcing professionals in this training, along with transactional procurement and materials managers, to encourage commonality of purpose and understanding across all levels of our supply chain organization.  We were frankly impressed that our most senior-level leaders all came away with new concepts and perspectives which are improving our firm's supply-chain performance.  Both our CPO and I took extensive notes on ideas that will help improvement further in the future!"  VP of Sourcing, Intermountain Healthcare

Fortune 150 Energy Company

"It was nice to catch up with you today; three years after the completion of the 360 Degree Supply Management efficiency review performed by yourself and Don Webster.  Your report reviewed HollyFrontier's procurement and materials management operations and identified very helpful and practical recommendations for improvement.  It is rewarding to see how many of your recommendations have been implemented to date.  The most important of these was the creation of a center-led strategic procurement group that has led many successful savings and value-generation projects.  That team is highly respected by executive management for the positive improvements they have facilitated.  You'll be encouraged to know that HollyFrontier has exceeded the $15 - $20 Million in annual cost reduction/avoidance opportunities targeted in your report.  That has been a significant achievement for our team!"  Vice President, HollyFrontier Corporation

Additional SPS Client Quotes...

 "I would like to personally thank you for the wealth of knowledge and experience you brought to consulting engagements at {Company}. Your willingness to share your knowledge of procurement best practices in the industry was of significant benefit, assisting us to re-engineer our process from a transaction oriented purchasing function into a strategic sourcing effort.  Of special note, are the outstanding training courses you provided both to our associates in procurement, as well as to our IT managers and executives. Benefits gained from educating our IT group on good procurement protocol have, and will continue to accrue significant long-term savings for {Company}. Your record of achievement at {Company} is impressive. To date cumulative savings achieved as a result of our "partnership" on strategic sourcing initiatives are approaching $40 million and will exceed that number when we complete current initiatives on copier technology and commercial print consolidation. Thank you again for your valuable contribution to our organization. The positive impact of your experience and professionalism will be felt for many years at {Company}". Vice President of Finance & Corporate Procurement, Top Five Managed Care Provider

"{Company} has enjoyed our business relationship with Strategic Procurement Solutions. Bob Dunn, Mark Trowbridge, and their colleagues provided very helpful procurement consulting and training services to our organization. 

During their engagement, they trained our staff concerning "Strategic Procurement Management". This instruction expanded the vision, capability, and knowledge of many of our employees regarding supply-chain "best practices" and concepts. To be honest, many of our employees already held certifications and were active ISMM members, and didn't want to go through "another" training course. By the end of the week-long training, however, they gave the program great praise. Pre and post-training test scores also increased by nearly 40%, representing a significant increase in knowledge. Strategic Procurement Solutions also conducted a strategic sourcing project for digital photocopiers. They provided excellent guidance for {Company's} cross-functional team, preparing quality RFP documents, guiding proposal analysis, and leading supplier negotiations. The project resulted in estimated term savings exceeding $25 Million and a world-class digital output program for {Company}. More importantly, there was a transfer of knowledge to our project leaders that will be used again and again. Strategic Procurement Solutions provided us with valuable insights into organizational design, personnel selection & development, and strategic sourcing principals. I'm pleased with the professional services provided to {Company} by Strategic Procurement Solutions, and would not hesitate to recommend them to other corporate customers". Assistant Vice President & Director of Strategic Sourcing, Fortune 100 Insurance Provider"

"Thank you for the valuable consulting & training services you have provided to {Company's} purchasing team. During your time with our organization, your efforts have contributed to our capture of $19 Million in cost reductions. Our decentralized purchasing operations have been consolidated towards a single refined organization focusing on strategic procurement opportunities. You have trained our procurement staff, and our key client organizations, regarding the importance of a consolidated approach towards the supplier community. The hard-dollar savings we've achieved, coupled with your reasonable fee levels, have enabled us to realize a R.O.I. of "100:1". That's an impressive number, and we look forward to similar results on your future services. If you would like to use my name as a reference, I'd be happy to speak with potential clients about the positive relationship I've experienced with Strategic Procurement Solutions". Director of Strategic Procurement, Fortune 500 Health Care Corporation

"I'd like to commend you for the great job you did supporting our Purchasing Development Initiative. Your ability to accurately assess our staff, and to develop an appropriate training program that met our needs, has put us in the position where we can now respond to the strategic needs of the corporation. My staff thoroughly enjoyed the training programs you conducted and greatly appreciated how you were able to cite personal experiences and cases that they could easily relate to. Without your assistance, strategic sourcing at {Company} would only be a concept". Vice President of Administrative Services, Eastern US Financial Institution

"This letter is to recommend and acknowledge Strategic Procurement Solutions as "THE BEST" educational training organization affiliated with the National Association of Purchasing Management of {Location}, Inc. We have been working with Bob Dunn and Mark Trowbridge of Strategic Procurement Solutions for several years, and consider them to be among the most progressive Supply Management experts in the world. It is without hesitation that I recommend Strategic Procurement Solutions as the premiere supply management domain and training experts…they are proficient in consulting, training, advising, and coaching within the area of Supply Management. They are rated A+ by our seminar students…" Please free to email me at anytime should you like to discuss the abilities of Strategic Procurement Solutions". President & CEO, Top Five I.S.M. Chapter

"On behalf of {Company} and the Corporate Purchasing Department, I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for the wonderful job you did in supporting our commercial print opportunity. Your ability to understand the requirements of a demanding client and to incorporate them into a novel RFP, directly led to the capturing of more than a million dollars in cost savings. Needless to say, our Chief Financial Officer was very pleased with the results. I would also like to acknowledge the manner in which you dealt with my staff. They were made to feel comfortable by your patience and easygoing style and were impressed with the depth of your market knowledge and purchasing experience. Please feel free to add the name {Company} to your list of satisfied customers and to use my name as a personal reference. Thanks once again for all of your help". Vice President & Director, Purchasing & Administrative Services, Large Eastern USA Regional Bank


 "On behalf of the Institute for Supply Management’s <State Location> affiliate, I thank you and Bob Dunn sincerely for two dynamic days packed full of useful information on Advanced Negotiations! This confirms our record turnout of 56 participants. The seminar was very well received by our participants. The evaluations were very high. We received 17 requests for additional information about ISM and our professional certification programs, an indication that our participants were, indeed, engaged.  I would like to share participant comments on the seminar itself:

  • My first attendance to an ISM event and it was very impressive.
  • Excellent use of case studies – Real life problems.
  • The workshops took on the actual feeling that I was selling/buying – valuable information was derived especially on the selling side – which I am not accustomed to. Great job guys!
  • Very great program!
  • I was very impressed with this program. Very well put together. I enjoyed meeting everyone.
  • Interesting material. I enjoyed the discussion.
  • The program was excellent!
  • Team exercises were helpful to get other negotiation techniques.
  • Very instructional seminar. I was very impressed with the coursework and case studies.
  • Subject matter and format were good.
  • Good review of negotiation fundamentals.
  • I found the program to be informative.
  • Speakers provided significant information relating to advanced negotiations.
  • Speakers were excellent; class was excellent! Would recommend speakers to other organizations.
  • Review of stages of negotiations was helpful.
  • Good speakers, knowledgeable and very personable.

As a participant, if I may share my own remarks. The format was well designed, i.e. a thorough review of negotiation theory as well as psychological dimensions influencing the negotiation process and how to utilize this critical component to one’s advantage. The interactive use of multi-faceted case study scenarios for commodities and services common to most businesses was also very effective. Breaking up the exercises by negotiation phase with time-out to re-group helped to assimilate an understanding of the phase experientially.  Lastly, your emphasis on the supply manager as a contributor to long-term organizational visibility influenced a paradigm shift from short-term tactical thinking to strategic win-win orientation that underpins successful collaborative partnering. My colleagues involved in programming at related professional associations have asked me to follow-up with them regarding your program. I am highly-recommending your seminar as beneficial, especially in the advanced and leadership categories of their professional development continuing education programs.  If there is anything I can do for you, it shall be my distinct honor and pleasure to do so.  Best regards," President & Chief Executive Officer, ISM Affiliate <Location>

"I don’t know if you recall, but at <Company>, I used an organization called Strategic Procurement Solutions (SPS) in several projects. I cannot say enough positive things about this company and the two main principals (Mark Trowbridge and Robert Dunn). We achieved a tremendous ROI on our investment with SPS due to the reasonable cost of their services when compared to the competition, and the high rate of savings that we achieved as a result of this partnership. We initially brought them in to work on several commodity categories, but after seeing their work in that area, signed them up for several more expenditure areas. When I left <Company>, cumulative savings achieved with the help of SPS were well in excess of $30 Million! Unlike other companies I’ve used in the past, SPS doesn’t just identify the savings, they actively participate in helping the company achieve them. I would hire them again in a minute.  Take care and keep in touch!" Vice President, Finance – Fortune 200 Insurance Company

“Our team at {Company} has enjoyed working with Strategic Procurement Solutions’ staff during the last six months.  You added great value to our procurement initiative, in many ways:

  • Knowledge & implementation of supply management “Best Practices”;
  • Skill assessment testing of approximately 28 {Company} personnel who are involved in the procurement process;
  • Training of those persons in “Strategic Procurement Management”, a program which received 4.1 out of 5.0 possible points in the participant surveys;
  • Design of an improved supply management organizational structure;
  • Development of strategies to reduce companywide spending;
  • and Development & administration of a complex sourcing strategy;

I would certainly enjoy working with Strategic Procurement Solutions in the future, and recommend your services to other organizations needing advanced procurement support”.Manager, Indirect Purchasing, Top 5 Global Tire Manufacturer

“Thank you for a terrific class.  You have excited and energized my group about procurement!  It was great to see you and know that someone with your knowledge is sharing it. I’m happy to say that my challenge is not going to be “what” but in which priority.  You are appreciated!!  VP & Director of Supply Management - World's Largest Property Management Firm

"Thank you for the professional development services provided to (Company) by Strategic Procurement Solutions. The skill assessment diagnostic and training services received thus far have been top notch. The online skill assessment diagnostic testing performed by your company confirmed our management team’s perception about additional developmental needs of our staff members based on 24 competencies associated with “world class” procurement. The assessment also identified some previously-unknown growth opportunities for key (Company) personnel. Our Supply Chain Management group’s personnel experienced very few difficulties accessing Strategic Procurement Solutions’ Internet-based diagnostic exam, and the resulting reports gave us helpful insights to take employees to the next level of performance.  The first training presentation (Advanced Procurement Negotiations) given to our team was extremely successful. The program received very high participant satisfaction rankings (3.6 out of 4.0 possible) in the post-training survey. All the participants enjoyed & benefited from the role-playing exercises…even those of us at senior levels. Everyone gained understanding and techniques they can use in their own specialty areas.  We look forward to additional training presentations from Strategic Procurement Solutions in the future!" Director of Supply Management - Top 10 U.S. Energy Firm 



"On behalf of the {Company} Supply Management Services, I want to tell you how pleased we were with the deliverables from the Sourcing Process Training your team developed on our behalf. Throughout the course of the training development and execution, Strategic Procurement Solutions were the consummate professionals, adding value every step of the way… The training you provided was a great value-add…as the classes were well-received by all participants. I feel that we were able to meet our objectives to reinforce proper sourcing processes and techniques, and to provide helpful information and tips towards the completion of RFQ's, RFI's, RFP's and Negotiations. The exercises, case studies, and interactive activities, along with the open communications between you and the attendees, were excellent. The leave-behind manual will be a useful reference tool now and in the future. It was a pleasure working with you and your staff on this training. My team and I wish you continued success in the future of other companies, as we perceive you did with us." Vice President, Supply Management Services, Fortune 500 Insurance Provider

"Thank you for your valuable contribution to the Institute for Supply Management's recent annual conference held in Nashville. Your willingness to share your knowledge with your peers indicates your commitment to the supply management profession. The conference was a great success, and we appreciate your participation…a number of workshop attendees provided written comments as well, and they are included…

  • Presenter styles were very good. Personal survival types were good. Overall good.
  • Great presentation.
  • Great job!
  • Great information!
  • Good career advice.
  • Very good workshop. Informative. Speakers/presenters were excellent.
  • Very relevant in today's business situations.
  • Excellent presentation.
  • Good seminar. Thank you.
  • Thanks! Good!
  • Well Done.

Once again, on behalf of ISM and the conference attendees, please accept our sincere thanks for a job well done!.." Conference Speaker Coordinator, I.S.M. International Conference

"First of all, I wanted to tell you THANK YOU for assisting me on creating the Security Services RFP… Without your help, I would have not been able to create the best RFP our Purchasing Department has ever created! You were right, we saved [significant] dollars. I'm also glad we hired you to conduct our Procurement training - [compared with] all the ISM seminars that I have attended in the last 14 years, your program was by far the best! Thank you." Senior Procurement Officer, Largest U.S. Vision Care Provider

"I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation for all your efforts on behalf of . Starting with the Temporary Labor Cost Reduction and Convenience Copier Cost Reduction initiatives that were conceived last year, and continuing through the current vendor contract negotiations and detailed program implementations, Strategic Procurement Solutions has consistently demonstrated only the very highest levels of project management effectiveness and professionalism.  This commitment to exceeding customer expectations is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that your company has been often called upon to develop programs and negotiate contracts in project settings demanding considerable tact and sensitivity. Strategic Procurement Solutions has delivered solutions in a manner that not only assured the meeting of project goals, but also the meeting of these goals in a way that fostered cooperation and mutual respect between the project team participants and vendor partners all within the constraints of a project budget.  I would highly recommend the services of Strategic Procurement Solutions to any organization considering the use of professional consulting resources…" Vice President of Finance, Not-For-Profit Hospital Group

"ISM Sacramento Valley would like to thank you both for your continuing support of our affiliate. Over the years you have contributed greatly to the success of our professional development meetings by providing valuable professional presentations to your fellow members.  Presentations like yours are the mainstay of our monthly educational dinner meetings. We are so fortunate that you are willing to generously share your expertise with the rest of the membership.

Our affiliate would not be successful without professionals like you, who take time away from your business and private lives to contribute to our educational program." President, ISM Sacramento Valley

“Just wanted to send this letter to tell you how much impact your course has made to our employees. As you know, <Company>’s procurement & operational areas were not always receiving maximum value from our contractors and suppliers.  The “Contract & Supplier Management” program developed and presented by Strategic Procurement Solutions to our managers has helped us to derive much hidden value from the supply base. Initially the seminar was to be presented to 65 employees, but the perceived benefits and popular content have allowed us to expand the presentation to another 120 persons…in Procurement, Operations, and Engineering. We have received requests for additional presentations as well. With the ongoing changes within <Company> organizational structure, this seminar has empowered us to achieve greater results with fewer resources. The “Statement of Work” samples provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions will be used as a guideline for our employees to prepare better scope definitions for the supplier relationships they each manage.  After evaluating the entire course comments, our employees stated they enjoyed the course and have high praise for your delivery. It opened the minds and it also will influence the way our employees will perform their work for now on. I personally achieved success from participating in this course. Many thanks for all your efforts”. Senior Administrator, Corporate Contracts – Strategic Sourcing Group. Fortune 100 Energy Provider



"'Company' has benefited from the services of Strategic Procurement Solutions, which we enjoyed as part of a multi-faceted consulting initiative sponsored by an international consultancy.  The Strategic Procurement Solutions team was brought in to provide supply management expertise to an initiative which impacted our company operations around the world. Their professionals helped my team of Commodity Managers in achieving multi-million dollar savings, by performing a variety of value-added services…including:

  • Development & administration of a complex sourcing strategy;
  • Facilitation of Supply Management, Engineering, and Marketing discussions to simplify and consolidate SKU’s;
  • Streamlining & revision of key contract/purchase order documents;
  • Harmonization of domestic and international procurement activities; and
  • Development and delivery of supply management training on a variety of topics, at company locations in the USA, China, Mexico, and Europe

Our leadership team was pleased with the contributions of Strategic Procurement Solutions’ professionals: Robert Dunn, Jonathan Hanson, Mark Trowbridge, & Steve Hashman.  I would not hesitate to recommend Strategic Procurement Solutions as an excellent resource for companies to use in enhancing their own supply chain performance." Vice President, Supply Chain Management - Global Electronics Manufacturer

"In my role directing major client initiatives for a global consulting organization, I’ve periodically turned to Strategic Procurement Solutions to provide additional expertise in Procurement & Supply Chain performance. Strategic Procurement Solutions has contributed to the success of many of our engagements, by providing skilled professionals who have assisted teams in accomplishing Multi-Million Dollar Savings & Key Efficiency Improvements, including…

  • Strategic Sourcing of High-Dollar/Complexity Spend Categories
  • Identification & Implementation of Procurement “Best Practices”
  • Reduction of Supply Chain Interruptions
  • Redesign & Improvement of Forecasting Processes
  • Outsourcing Production to Low Cost Countries (LCC)
  • Enhancement of Supplier Managed Inventory Practices
  • Development & Installation of Supplier Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
  • Staff Training In Supplier Performance Management

Their people have sophisticated insight into supply chain issues, and work well with clients in identifying solutions which can be implemented. I would not hesitate to recommend Strategic Procurement Solutions as an excellent resource for a sophisticated company to use in enhancing supply chain performance." Director, US Operations - 400 Employee Global Consulting Firm

"Over the last three years, I’ve utilized the services of Strategic Procurement Solutions to help improve the performance and efficiency of two strategic sourcing groups which I’ve directed. Their expertise in Supply Management has been demonstrated in the following types of services:

  • Online skills testing for procurement staff, which was then incorporated into individual development planning that benefitted the procurement professional and through them procurement results. 
  • Onsite employee training in Advanced Procurement Negotiations, Strategic Contracting, and Supplier Performance Management for Procurement staff as well as Business Unit ‘contract managers’. Procurement Staff members and Business Unit participants strongly valued the training, and have put new techniques to work in their own jobs (with positive results). This training achieved overall satisfaction results of 4.65 (out of 5.0 possible) and improved the supply management skills of the persons trained and led to a greatly improved Business Unit appreciation and understanding of procurement’s mission and methods. We are planning to use Strategic Procurement Solutions for additional training as needed to keep skills up to date and to reach new employees yet to participate in such training.
  • Redesign or development of an entire library of procurement template agreements which impart a higher level of professionalism to our sourcing organization and are yielding improved supplier contracts and terms consistency across the business. These documents include 19 pro-forma contracts tailored to our company and targeted spend categories. Our attorney assigned to work with Strategic Procurement Solutions is very pleased with the quality of their work and the final document library.

I’ve worked with many SCM consultancies during my career with [multiple companies], and feel that Strategic Procurement Solutions offers strong value to its clientele.” Manager of Strategic Sourcing, two Financial Services Companies and GE Medical

"[Company] is very pleased with our business relationship with Strategic Procurement Solutions. This company’s procurement leaders have provided excellent value to our company’s supply management operations, in many ways:

  • Performed skill assessment testing and interviews, resulting in a detailed report identifying training & development opportunities for 35 of [Company’s] supply chain staff members. 
  • Trained multiple groups in Expert Strategic Sourcing, Techniques for Negotiating in Sole/Single Source Situations, and Fundamentals of Procurement. 
  • Coached cross-functional teams through complex sourcing initiatives to illustrate training concepts, including key projects which are estimated to capture $34 Million in term savings.
  • Developed and implemented procedures/tools to accurately track cost savings & avoidance.
    Conducted an expenditure analysis, which resulted in a valuable tool to help our team identify opportunities to leverage supplier relationships and streamline transactional processes. 
  • Reviewed our portfolio agreements and identified meaningful ways to improve their effectiveness in managing risk and leveraging savings. 
  • Negotiated 25 new contracts/ amendments in support of a multi-million dollar company project.

I would be happy to discuss the excellent contribution of Strategic Procurement Solutions’ supply chain experts.”  Contracts & Commodity Manager (Top 2 Global Gold Mining Company)



"You should read ISM eSide Supply Management’s most popular Top 10 articles which appeared in our online magazine during 2009 - #5 was written by Mark Trowbridge, CPSM, C.P.M.”

"This letter of reference is regarding Strategic Procurement Solutions, a firm which has provided quality consulting support to [Company] during a two year period. Their services have included the following:

  • Marketplace Review & Selection of a Procure-to-Pay Technology Suite: Working with a corporate strategy team comprised of stakeholders from [Company’s] Procurement, Finance, Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, & Information Technology areas, Strategic Procurement Solutions helped us develop a comprehensive RFP, analyze complex proposals from 11 major software providers, conduct bidder presentations, and develop a final business award justification. The selected technology solutions will help [Company] to E-enable our Requisitioning, Transactional Procurement, Sourcing, Invoice Processing, Fixed Asset Accounting, and Expense Claim processes. The support from Strategic Procurement Solutions was invaluable, as their knowledge helped [Company] to navigate through the ‘smoke & mirrors’ of the software providers, and to make the best overall business decision.
  • Sourcing of Consumable Supplies, and Technology Products: Strategic Procurement helped our procurement group to achieve savings in the challenging Hawaiian marketplace. Although we were already one of the top Hawaii-based users of these products, and were buying through the marketplace leader, Strategic Procurement Solutions was able to create a competitive environment previously unknown in our State. Their knowledge of the office supply industry allowed them to generate interest from two national-level companies to invest in our marketplace, and resulted in 24% cost savings with the finalist. More importantly, the new supply program will continue to generate additional savings through processes Strategic Procurement Solutions helped us to establish.
  • Training of Supplier Managers: Strategic Procurement Solutions is training our procurement organization and key supplier managers in advanced negotiating techniques, as well as “best practices” in procurement management.

My staff has enjoyed working with Strategic Procurement Solutions’ representatives, and has benefitted from their experience. Their overall work quality is excellent, and we will probably utilize them again in the future. I am confident in recommending Strategic Procurement Solutions to other procurement groups.” Chief Procurement Office, 2nd Largest Hawaiian Banking Company

"Anyone with fifteen minutes to spare this week should sit down and take a close read of Mark Trowbridge's excellent analysis on improving negotiating leverage in his recent article published in Supply Chain Management Review. This is one of those once in a quarter articles where the Cliff Notes or a quick skim will not suffice. Spend the time and read all of it for yourself. In it, Mark presents seven ways of improving your negotiating strength, nearly all of which are relevant across industries (although anyone involved in manufacturing will want to take an even closer look at a few of the suggestions). If you begin with the premise he quotes from Benjamin Franklin that "Necessity never made a good bargain," then we need to take action to improve our operating leverage. The difference in some of Mark's techniques relative to others you might read about is that they're aimed at changing the basis of negotiation rather than simply improving the negotiation itself. "That's because these techniques can alter a supplier's perception of your relative strength in the negotiation process," according to the article.  Perhaps the best summary argument in the entire piece comes in the form of Technique 3: Prepare the Team to Fight the Tough Battles. Here, Mark writes that "when my firm trains supply management groups in advanced negotiation strategies, we drill home the principle that 75 percent of negotiation time should be spent outside of the room -- that is, in researching data to be used in negotiation, preparing negotiation strategy, planning team member roles, taking caucus breaks, and so on. Put another way, you need to follow the Boy Scout motto of 'Be Prepared'." So remember: whether you improve your hand from "negotiating all TCO elements before entering into a relationship" (Technique 5) or "conducting should-be cost analyses" before confronting your suppliers (Technique 4), be sure to invest the majority of your negotiation time prior to even starting a back and forth with your suppliers. Ironically, this was a lot of the thinking behind the extensive preparation for early reverse auction approaches at GE and FreeMarkets before the concept got lost in a fast pounding auction gavel”. Jason Busch, President of Spend Matters, Supply Management Commentator

"Jason, I second your recommendation. This is one of the best articles I've ever seen on negotiations. I sent it to all of my colleagues. Great work, Mark!” Principal, Top 5 Supply Chain Consultancy

“Truly a great article!” Spend Matters, Supply Management Blog Comment

“During my professional career in global strategic sourcing and supply management, I have had the good fortune to work as a consultant under contract to Strategic Procurement Solutions on three different occasions early in my career. Since then, I have also served as the executive in charge of five major corporate initiatives involving global strategic sourcing and, in those roles have directly managed four of the top six international firms with recognized practices in this space. My point is this: None of those organizations bring more to the table than Strategic Procurement Solutions and its Principal, Mark Trowbridge. Mark is a recognized thought leader in strategic procurement with an extensive network of seasoned and successful professionals in supply management at the ready. I would strongly recommend that any organization considering an initiative in supply management include Strategic Procurement Solutions in its search and evaluation process to help ensure the best possible ROI for their business.” CPO Top 10 US Clothing Retailer

“Strategic Procurement Solutions has done an exceptional job in a recent Purchase-to-Pay Benchmarking assessment for my company. Mark Trowbridge and the Strategic Procurement Solutions team provided many key insights on how our organization can improve its overall P2P and Supply Chain Management processes. They have also performed outstanding training services for our contracts and procurement personnel. They brought to us Great Results, Personable Team Members, and High Integrity. Director of Contracts, Top 15 Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Company



“Mark Trowbridge is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the procurement world that I have had the privilege to work with. He came to my company as a business consultant to provide guidance with supplier evaluations, supply chain selections, and successfully delivered Multi-Million Dollar Cost Reductions as we strived to move our company forward with strong supplier partnerships. Since our first meeting Strategic Procurement Solutions has provided my team and I with valuable training that supports "Best in Class" procurement processes and this training has enabled me to improve the overall output of my team. I highly recommend Mark Trowbridge and his company Strategic Procurement Solutions, LLC.”Director of Procure-to-Pay Operations, Leading Telecommunications Industry Information Provider

“Mark Trowbridge is highly effective at teaching strategic sourcing, contracts management and negotiation skills to supply chain organizations. I engaged Strategic Procurement Solutions when we developed a new supply chain organization through a consolidation of disparate companies acquired over time. The training efforts were useful to create a common mindset and establish a platform to better leverage the company's spend.” Director of Corporate Services, Leading North American Energy Generation & Distribution Enterprise

“Mark has @always provided great workshops and presentation for our affiliate. I highly recommend him. He always delivers Great Results, Expertise, and Creative Solutions.” President of Top 20 ISM Affiliate

“Mark Trowbridge is one of the best ‘listeners’ I've ever encountered in the world of business. His passion for giving back to the profession and assisting others is one of his many strengths. I've worked as a consultant on behalf of Strategic Procurement Solutions on two assignments; he is both compassionate and extremely knowledgeable…which was a refreshing change from many consulting/staffing firms.” Procurement Leader, Top 3 US Energy Utility & Vice President of Top 15 ISM Affiliate

“Mark Trowbridge is fantastic! He is the hardest working procurement professional that I have had the privilege of knowing. His knowledge of the process, theory, and most importantly the strategy of applying procurement best practices left me in awe of the results we received through strategic sourcing. If you are lost in your world of cost reduction, value analysis, or contract negotiation; do yourself a favor and call Strategic Procurement Solutions. You'll be glad you did!”Procurement Leader, 4th Largest Global Automobile OEM

"Mark Trowbridge led our Contracting Management Group while I was at Bank of America and drove amazing results in both contracts management and strategic sourcing. Not only was he a complete Subject Matter Expert but he took the time to build solid relationships and learn the business of those he supported. As a result he was able to lead his team in driving breakthrough results that were sustainable. His passion was a key factor in our success” EVP & Director of Corporate Services, Leading Global Banking Conglomerate

"Mark did an excellent job in presenting & discussing all aspects of the training".

"I liked the workshops and felt that would help keep my interest level up"

"I enjoyed the personal illustrations from real world experiences shared by Mark. Thanks for a great 3 days."

"Great Job!"

"Very informative. Really ood overview."

"Especially enjoyed the team activities and exercises."

"Great class. Learned a lot and enjoyed the stories and exercises."

"Good course. I liked the increase of knowledge in this area. Thanks for inviting all departments to participate together."

"Thank you!"

"Great job! Thanks Mark."

"Our instructor was very knowledgeable and personable. Excellent class!"

"Great class. I learnt a lot - My responsibilities don't usually involve sourcing but it was nice to learn the different aspects of sourcing."

"Enjoyed class. Great value to the team."

"Terrific presenter style. Perfect mix of hands-on vs. seat time."

"Was leary when I was scheduled & so relieved after we started. It was so instructive and I learned A LOT!! Thanks Mark"

(Smiley Face) "Very good!"

"Super good Job!"

"I would have liked even more time on some items - but will review on my own time - update. You did a great job! 


"Great use of real world examples." 

"It was fun, interactive, and informative."

"I thought Mark did an excellent job with his presentations and his information was very informative."

"I thought the workshop was informative and well delivered."

"Mark did a great job sharing his work experiences with the group."

"Great job!"

"Overall it was very good and informative. Worth my time."

"Provided a level playing ground to begin Procurement transformation."

"I thought the presentation was very well done. It puts the entire supply division on the same knowledge base."

"Mark was a great teacher - personable, incisive and observant. I really appreciated his insights & examples and how fast he picked up on our corporation and its processes."

"Bob was wonderful and explained things perfectly - we learned so much! THANK YOU"

"Bob is wonderful to interact with. He allows our personal experiences to come into the conversation and relates them back to the materials in information presented."

"Did a good job customizing to our industry!"

"I thought the negotiation sessions provided me with a lot of knowledge that has immediate real world application."

"THANKS!! The group exercises were great!"

"Great classes!"

"Great, thanks!"

"On a 5 point scale, this gets a ‘5++++’"

"I'm very happy I participated in this class. Bob's guidance was priceless!"


"Mark:  This letter is to thank Strategic Procurement Solutions for its assistance in reviewing [Fortune 150 Oil/Gas Corporation’s] supply management activities across our corporate facilities and our subsidiaries’ refineries, transportation company, and asphalt company.  You and Don Webster accurately assessed our people, processes, policies/procedures and existing technologies. The written report and its attachments suggested opportunities that exist for us to improve [Corporation’s] and its subsidiaries’ supply operations by developing a center-led organization and empowering it with equipped personnel, technology tools, and processes.  One great area of importance to the assessment was the online skills testing. Also helpful were the personal interviews you conducted with each stakeholder in the process. The illustrative quotations in the report helped our management team to understand the potential benefits of a more strategic approach to procurement.  The substantial cost reductions an empowered team can achieve, as well as the operational efficiencies a superior supply chain can impart, are significant opportunities for [Corporation]. Thank you again for your help in this analysis project.  Regards," VP of Procurement Services [Fortune 150 Oil/Gas Enterprise]


(Corporation) has been very happy with the services provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions during the last two years. They have helped us transform our Corporate Procurement group into a more-proactive organization, which is deeply-impacting companywide expenditures and providing our internal stakeholders with greater value.  Our management team was introduced to Strategic Procurement Solutions when a larger business management consultancy brought in to fulfill that firm’s cost reduction commitments. Strategic Procurement Solutions was able to deliver more than $5 Million in annual savings. But more-importantly, they went beyond the original project scope by personally coaching our procurement team members, providing helpful tools and techniques, performing “lunch & learn” training, and developing helpful strategies for procurement savings outside of the targets identified.

After the project of the larger consulting firm, we have had Strategic Procurement Solutions perform additional services that have also exceeded our expectations.

Some of the highlights of Strategic Procurement Solutions’ services include:

  • Cost Saving Highlights: Identified and began to capture $2.9 Million in credits from a supplier a business unit had dealt with for more than a decade; Identified more than $500 Thousand in benefits through supplier base consolidation and pCard program expansion; Captured more than $700 Thousand in additional cost reductions in our temporary labor, office supplies, printing, and other administrative expenditures; and Developed a strategy for selling receivable uncollected accounts valued between $3 and $11 Million.
  • Expansion of Procurement Group Impact: Educated our senior executives on the value of a unified approach to procurement; and Chaired executive conversations with “maverick” company groups, which helped pave the way for Corporate Procurement to build value-added relationships. 
  • Organization Design: Redesigned the Corporate Procurement organizational structure and personnel assignments; and coached management on “best practices” for procurement structure.
  • Staff Placement & Training: Recruited a highly-talented sourcing manager who has received very favorable reviews by our executive management in the interview process; and 
  • Presented multi-day training workshops in Advanced Procurement Negotiations, Supplier Performance Management, and other topics with top ratings from our participating employees. 

We have been extremely pleased with the services provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions. Director of Corporate Procurement, Six Thousand Employee Publishing Enterprise

"In a prior role in senior management with a global consulting firm, my old firm utilized Strategic Procurement Solutions on numerous occasions to provide our generalist consultants with supply management expertise. I was privileged to work with them, as they helped our firm deliver Tens of Millions in Cost Reductions to several global client enterprises.  Now in my current role as President of [a US Metals Producer], I have been pleased to introduce our senior management team to Strategic Procurement Solutions. In a highly cost-effective project, they provided us with meaningful and practical changes which are projected to reduce companywide expenditures by more than $1.6 Million annually. And more-importantly, our supply chain will perform at a higher level of efficiency…allowing our company employees to focus on their primary responsibilities. Strategic Procurement Solutions has done a great job performing the following services for [Company]:

  • Conducted a companywide supply chain efficiency analysis which identified numerous opportunities for improvement;
  • Sourced MRO Supplies, Maintenance Services, Packaging, Telecommunications and Transportation Services; all generating significant cost savings which provided us a R.O.I. of better than 15:1 on their fee base;
  • Designed an improved procurement organization/process to be employed across our enterprise;
  • Worked with our company Legal Counsel to create/refine a high-quality portfolio of template agreements for use in standard procurement actions;
  • Created written procurement policies and procedures to guide companywide procurement activities; and provided our company leaders “best practices” Strategic Procurement Management training.

It is without hesitation that I recommend the services of Strategic Procurement Solutions. President of a US Metals Company

"Mark – We want to let you know how much we appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with [Top 5 US Hospital Organization] 115 Supply Chain Employees] during the Procurement Base Camp Training. Thank you for the time and effort you devoted. You did an outstanding job and we feel it was a great success! All the Best"  Signed by All Seven Directors of 120 Person Health Care Supply Chain Organization 

"This letter is to confirm the value that the [Blue Shield Healthcare Company] has received from the professional development services provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions during the P2P transformation process through which you’ve helped us to navigate. During the initial assessment you performed for our P2P operations, we really benefitted from Strategic Procurement Solutions’ Online Skills Diagnostic Testing that was administered for all our procurement, contracts, and payables staff members. The results of that diagnostic were meaningful for our senior management team, as we’ve made organizational decisions and planned development activities for our team.  Both our procurement and line-of-business owners enjoyed the excellent training workshops presented by Strategic Procurement Solutions. The topics were Advanced Procurement Negotiations (2 days), Expert Strategic Sourcing (3 days), Strategic Contracting (2 days), and Supplier Performance Management (multiple sessions of 2 days each). All of the training workshops received very-positive feedback from the participants, with the average post-training survey score being 4.5 (out of 5.0 possible points). The training manuals all contain high-quality content, and will be useful references for our team as we move forward (I used my sourcing manual just today, as I prepared a presentation for our executive management). We especially enjoyed the practical examples and role-playing exercises used to illustrate the training concepts being taught.  Thank you again for some great training!" Corporate Director of Procurement & Sourcing Services, Blue Shield Health Insurance Company


Thanks for presenting your firm’s Strategic Procurement Management training program to 40+ of [Global Consumer Goods Manufacturer’s] procurement leaders in our Americas and Asia Pacific regions. The three day workshops you presented in Florida and Guangzhou provided some great concepts and best practices to those two groups of [Company’s] supply management professionals, which will be an important part of our future procurement success. Both groups learned many new techniques which will empower them in reducing cost and improving supplier performance.

The training content and the many case study examples made the instruction come alive. The participant surveys indicated a high level of knowledge and best practice was received from the two presentations.  It was especially-beneficial for my management team to have each participant make a formal presentation the day following their training session to outline techniques they intend to incorporate into the region’s procurement cost-reduction strategy. Those presentations identified between $5 Million and $7 Million USD in saving opportunities. I am very hopeful each regional team will follow through to capture those identified benefits.  Thanks again for some Excellent Training! [Company] will look at retaining Strategic Procurement Solutions again for any future procurement training.

Warmest Regards, Vice President of Global Procurement, $6 BB Multi-National Consumer Goods Producer

"Mark Trowbridge CPSM, C.P.M., MCIPS of Strategic Procurement Solutions LLC has been a featured speaker at our ISM chapter dinner meetings and shared many of his “real life” experiences in Supply Chain from around the world. Mark also led a very informative workshop for ISM [Location] titled “Innovative Trends in Technology Contracting” which was our affiliate’s highest-attended seminar in the past few years, and received excellent ratings from all participants.

ISM [Location] considers Mark to be a leading professional in Supply Chain and is outstanding at providing HIGH VALUE in a very organized and easy-to-understand format. So far, Mark has facilitated other two workshops with an exceptionally high turn-out and ISM [Location] is partnering with Mark to present future workshops and even CPSM Exam Prep sessions next year.

On behalf of ISM [Location] we HIGHLY recommend Mark as an exceptionally-knowledgeable trainer and engaging speaker. His “real world” stories and experiences bring the concepts to life and dramatically increase retention of information. Both seasoned and early-stage Supply Chain professionals learn so much from Mark Trowbridge. Very Best Regards," President of Top 10 ISM Chapter

The [an Investment Banking Group] recently engaged Strategic Procurement Solutions to perform a procurement efficiency assessment for [Company], an Ohio manufacturing firm into which we have an ownership interest. We were extremely pleased with the insightful evaluation performed by Mark Trowbridge, one of that consulting firm’s leaders.  The project began with a simple advance request from Strategic Procurement Solutions for information easily provided by Century Die’s management team. During his onsite time at our production facilities, Mr. Trowbridge toured our operations, conducted interactive interviews with key employees involve in the supply chain, and mapped key procure-to-pay processes. Very quickly, Mark identified areas of opportunity and diligently pursued additional information to clarify his suspicions.  He presented a detailed written report to [Company’s] president and me that reviewed the assessment approach and findings. The report then concisely-described groups of recommendations that the management team can use to capture significant cost reductions and to enhance supply chain performance. All of the findings and recommendations were supported by data and employee quotations, which provided even greater weight to Mr. Trowbridge’s observations. Of great importance, nearly all of the improvements can be employed without outside assistance and will prepare [Company] for continued growth into the future.  During my career, I have worked with many leading professional advisors. I would not hesitate to recommend Strategic Procurement Solutions to any organization seeking to evaluate and improve their supply chain operations. Their services are excellent! President [Investment Banking] Group

"Bob – I wanted to put into writing our executive management team’s pleasure regarding your support of [Mining Enterprise] over a two-year period. The procurement consulting services provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions have been outstanding.

At the start of the initiative, your support of our Director of Information Technology in negotiating separate licensing and service support agreements related to the SAP enterprise resource planning software was outstanding. The changes your company suggested for the relationship proved to be extremely beneficial, and eventually achieved nearly $500,000 in additional savings. As importantly, changes to the SAP hosting entity’s proposed contracts made the deal more understandable for everyone involved, and will give [Mining Enterprise] ‘teeth’ in managing the future relationship. Those changes also put reasonable limits on the ‘risk’ we will be exposed to, by providing us with options that can be exercised commensurate with future business changes. Our legal counsel especially appreciated the wording changes recommended by Strategic Procurement Solutions.  The procurement staffing support provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions was also very important during a critical time for our company. Your contracting professionals and you provided great value managing supplier relationships in rescheduling capital equipment valued at $80 million dollars. And your team provided invaluable procurement expertise as the enterprise adjusted operational schedules to accommodate governmental permitting timelines.  Thank you again for your involvement with our company. This experience just adds to the other positive benefits I’ve had in the past working with Strategic Procurement Solutions." Chief Operating Officer, Multi-Site Mining Enterprise


"The State of [USA State] provided professional development training for 87 purchasing specialists, representing 37 state agencies and higher education institutions. Your …Expert Strategic Sourcing in Governmental Procurement™ program…contained content-rich instruction, customized for the State of [Location]. To meet the needs of the State, four sessions were offered to maintain an instructor-student ratio of 1.20 to 1.25. You instructed participants about various “Best Practice” techniques and tools employed by leading global supply management organizations. The participants enthusiastically embraced the knowledge, strategic insight, tools and techniques shared. These new-found strategies will allow them to cost-effectively source all direct and indirect products/services for their organization.

Many of the attendees responded to a voluntary evaluation at the end of their training session. The responses represent 77% of the number of attendees that provided their perspective and comments on the training provided. Of these responses some notable comments were:

  • “This was an outstanding class. Far better than any other training I’ve attended. I stayed interested and engaged all the way through.”
  • “Mark was extremely engaging. I really enjoyed the class!”
  • “Many excellent real life examples and thinking outside of the box. Thanks!!!”
  • “Team work was a great way to engage w/attendees & share ideas!”
  • “Mark was a great presenter that kept it interesting & moving”

The [Location] State Purchasing Office has received extensive positive feedback on your Expert Strategic Sourcing in Government™ training. These strategic sourcing concepts have already made a positive impact within the State’s procurement community. A representative of higher education expanded the scope of a proposed solicitation to incorporate needs at other entities – truly, a strategic approach!  Many thanks for a successful engagement." State Procurement Office Director 

"Over the last three years, I’ve utilized the services of Strategic Procurement Solution to help improve the performance and efficiency of two strategic sourcing groups which I’ve directed. Their expertise in Supply Management has been demonstrated in the following types of services:

  • Online skills testing for a procurement staff, which was then incorporated into individual development planning that benefitted the procurement professional and through them procurement results.
  • Onsite employee training in Advanced Procurement Negotiations, Strategic Contracting, and Supplier Performance Management for procurement staff as well as business unit “contract managers”. Procurement staff members and business unit participants strongly valued the training, and have put new techniques to work in their own jobs (with positive results). This training achieved overall satisfaction score results of 4.65 (out of 5.0 possible) and improved the supply management skills of the persons trained and led to a greatly improved business appreciation and understanding of procurement’s mission and methods. We are planning to use Strategic Procurement Solutions for additional training as needed to keep skills up to date and to reach new employees yet to participate in such training.
  • Redesign or development of an entire library of procurement template agreements which impart a higher level of professionalism to our sourcing organization and are yielding improved supplier contracts and terms consistency across the business. These documents include 19 pro-forma contracts tailored to our company and targeted spend categories. Our attorney assigned to work with Strategic Procurement Solutions is very pleased with the quality of their work and the final document library.

I’ve worked with many SCM consultancies during my career with companies like GE Medical and American Family Insurance, and feel that Strategic Procurement Solutions offers strong value to its clientele. Director of Strategic Sourcing, Top Ten US Insurance Provider

"Dear Mark – Thank you for the excellent services that the [Name] Healthcare Companies organization has received from Strategic Procurement Solutions throughout the P2P transformation project you team helped us to design. Your firm helped us progress through the following important stages of improvement:

  • Design of the new Procurement & Sourcing Services organization.
  • Communication to suppliers and internal operations about the new organization’s mission.
  • Improvement of companywide procurement policy & procedures.
  • Tailoring of a new P&SS departmental procedures manual.
  • Creation of position descriptions for all staff roles.
  • Design of a comprehensive Procure-to-Payment (P2P) process improvement strategic plan.
  • Assistance with the creation of a Sourcing Oversight Council made up of senior company leaders, which will oversee the strategic sourcing and cost reduction projects you helped us to identify.
  • Design of an executive dashboard report comprised of key metrics to measure the improvements being implemented.
  • Procurement skills testing and training.
  • Creation of a library of pro-forma procurement template agreements which are improving our contracting processes.
  • Development of a complex RFP to select eProcurement, ePayables, Contract Management, and eSourcing technology solutions (including your insightful recommendations of the firms which became the final contenders in each category).
  • Creation of a comprehensive supplier management process which evaluates criticality and risk and evaluates departments through the appropriate management techniques using the designed toolkit.

The services provided by Strategic Procurement Solutions have been top quality. I would not hesitate to recommend you to other companies desiring to improve their supply management performance!" Corporate Director of Sourcing Services, 9,000 Employee Healthcare Enterprise