In my previous blog article – Getting Attention, I briefly mentioned the Decision-Making Unit so in this article I will explain to you who the DMU are, what they consist of and the impact they can have on an organisation in regards to buying and purchasing.
The Decision Making Unit are a group of people who usually come together for a specific project or purpose. The DMU usually buy advantageously for their organisation. It brings together a team of highly skilled and qualified people focused on getting the right product. Typically, there are usually seven members within the DMU.
Let me take you through these members and show you the position that they hold within an organisation.
This is usually the secretary, personal assistant or receptionist. Their main role is customer care and organisational abilities. Gatekeepers can be perceived as the link to direct mail going to their bosses. Gatekeepers can filter what information is valid or not valid to their bosses such as sales calls.
I refer to them as ‘The Playmaker’ (I did a previous article on this on my blog – https://eksmarketingviews.wordpress.com/). This could be the person who comes up with the idea or has the task of finding out more information. They can recommend suppliers but do not have the final say as to who is selected. However, there has to be close collaboration between them and the sales team as they are usually the first point of contact with customers/clients.
They have specialist expertise and are an integral part of the DMU. Like The Initiator, they may not have the final decision but can recommend suppliers due to criteria.
4. The End User
The person who may use the product day in and day out. They will focus more on the practical considerations i.e. whether it is easy to use, how quick it is to repair etc. This may involve user testing, piloting and they could give feedback to the Initiator or Influencer.
This maybe a financial director or a qualified accountant. I refer to them as ‘The Calculator’. Why you may ask? This is because they look at make decisions about payment and affordability. They also look at if a supplier and projects are within the company’s budget. Main focus for them is Return of Investment.
The name says it all. They make the overall decision to buy and rely on advice from the rest of the Decision Making Unit or make the decision independently.
This could be a qualified buying professional or an individual who fills out order forms and arranges payment.
As you can see ALL members of the DMU have a vital part in regards to the buying and purchasing process within an organisation.