Richard Benyon

Recent Posts

Are you simply using the "volume control" for your scopes of work? Or are you making sure you have the right mix?


Bored, tired, listless? Is your agency evaluation process getting  stagnant?


You are about to embark on your agency partnership road trip. What's the most important thing you need to take with you?

Why run agency evaluations? What's your reason?

Click below to view a short Decideware Innovation Snippet that answers that question!

A few years back I attended an excellent ANA course in San Francisco. The day's workshop, 'Optimizing the Client/Agency Relationship', focused on relationship management and was run by Joanne Davis, a leading light in this space. One of the key learnings I took from the day was how important it is to be a 'great client'! So how does this apply to agency evaluation?



Agency Management Leaders

This year's Procurecon Marketing conference was held in Nashville, with just under 200 agency management and marketing procurement practitioners in attendance. The size of the conference was perfect for networking, and we had the pleasure of hosting our first Agency Management Leaders dinner, with 20 marketing procurement directors and senior managers getting together to trade ideas and make new connections. Much of the value of these industry conferences occurs outside the official sessions, so it was a pleasure to help facilitate some of these discussions in a less formal environment!

What is agency evaluation feedback success???

I was recently researching the "people-centric" aspects of Agency Relationship Management, especially focusing in on how and why to collect feedback. I found a great definition for success.


At a recent ANA West Coast committee meeting, Olga Payne (Nestle Purchasing Manager) and Richard Benyon (Decideware Inc CEO) presented a one hour case study on how Nestle has successfully applied Business Intelligence to their Scope of Work program.


Back in 2007, Adweek highlighted the 50 year relationship between Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett and insurance giant, Allstate.

At a time when so much is written about the decline of long term client - agency relationships, this one receives plenty of interest.

The article reveals the five things Lisa Cochrane, Allstate EVP of integrated marketing and Nina Abnee, Burnett EVP of account management learnt from having survived and subsequently prospered from a difficult period in 2003.

They identify 5 important learnings to building a successful long term client – agency relationship:



Most managers in Strategic Relationship Management (e.g. Marketing Agencies or Strategic Suppliers) can list a fair number of reasons why relationship evaluations should be conducted on a regular basis.   A typical list is shown below.   The problem with these sorts of lists is that the benefits are all a little theoretical and lack direct practical relevance.   Forget the theory, how do relationship evaluations really help?   What practical help can I get from them?


This is the second article in a series inspired by a book published by Harvard Business School Press called "Managing Performance to Maximize Results". It is a compilation of articles, all based around Human Resources Performance Management - and in many cases the ideas and practical examples have direct parallels in the area of Strategic Relationship Management.


I am currently reading a terrific book by Harvard Business School Press called "Managing Performance to Maximize Results". It is a compilation of articles, all based around Human Resources Performance Management.

What drew me to read it was to investigate parallels between HR Performance Management and Strategic Supplier Relationship Management.

A great deal of theoretical research and practical study has gone into the manager/employee performance management process and I believe we can leverage this body of work to apply to the domain of supplier relationship management.

11 Tips for Feedback Success


What is feedback success???

I was recently researching the "people-centric" aspects of Supplier Relationship Management, especially focusing in on how and why to collect feedback. I found a great definition for success ...

"Creates and/or reinforces focused, sustained behavior change and/or skill development in a sufficient number of individuals so as to result in increased organizational effectiveness."

Here are some tips that were elicited from research performed by the Multisource Feedback Forum. Carol Timmreck and David Braken created 11 guidelines for initiating and sustaining 360 feedback in performance reviews.

As part of the Scope of Work survey, the WFA & Decideware explored the entire Scope of Work process, including skills gap, approval, budget, rate cards and process standardization. Below is a summary by the WFA of peer recommendations regarding Scope of Work management:

WFA Peer Recommendations

What recommendations/ watch-outs would you give to peers managing the SOW process?

  • Be realistic about your starting point. Identify where you want to drive to and phase the best practice behavior that you want to achieve starting with largest spend buckets and work your way down.
  • Align with marketing on a single SOW template for all agencies. (SOW setting + on-going management). Get clear expected deliverables and “priority projects” list per brand. Decide whether this will be global, regional, local and which agencies it does not apply to and why.
  • Design SOW formats that can easily be self-serviced by Marketing / Marketing Operations. Develop common templates, but allow for minor alterations to suit a variety of commodity areas. Get all stakeholders/teams that have vested (similar) interests in managing agencies bought-in to this template.
  • Don't just count campaigns; take other needs into consideration such as required resources. Check agency time sheets regularly (not just to monitor, it’s a learning tool as well). Build the SOW into the same template and process for obtaining the costs.
  • Involve marketing procurement at the beginning to obtain the right balance between senior/junior, rate-card, resource talent, etc.
  • Develop a database for tracking/reporting/comparison etc. Automate where possible. Use system support and contract management tools to assist you and help drive structure and compliance. Set up a regular reconciliation template/process.
  • Be attentive to comparing different agencies, even those that are similar but doing different jobs. (Also watch out for standards like “working/non-working” ratio per project as they are not standard at all).
  • Get a clear RACI on what is marketing’s job and what is procurement’s. Ensure those roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.

For more information please contact Steve Lightfoot s.lightfoot@wfanet.org

Download the WFA/Decideware Scope of Work Survey