The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode 9

Stuart Haining Blog, Business News, General 0 Comments

With needy James jettisoned last week we are down to the final eight, a task all about buying. With sales people not always the best performers at buying this could be the chance for the accounts, lawyers etc. to shine at the expense of salespeople like Mark.

Team Tenacity comprising Daniel, Mark, Felipe and Katie enjoyed some fierce sparing to be team leader, with Daniel winning through against Katie after appealing to his normal enemy Mark…..and the boys seemed to be gelling at last.

Team Summit sees Sanjay step up at last and lead Bianca, Solomon and Roisin. An interesting split in techniques between the teams as Summit opt for several hours research and planning prior to going out to do deals.

Team tenacity split their budget and split the products, Daniel gets off to a great start with a 30% discount on a chicken but falls a bit flat later on with a difficult to handle diamond dealer charging them £172 for a product obtained for £50 by Summit, we assume for the same quality.

Mark sources a good deal on a sink and tries to persuade the seller to charge more to Summit if they approach him, so perhaps unsurprisingly when they do, they get a much better deal……so cheek doesn’t always work however nicely delivered.

The key purchase for Daniels team is when Felipe has the bright idea of sourcing a flat pack anatomical skeleton for £14 instead of the sub £200 price negotiated for a real skeleton by Summit. It’s a decision the team live to regret with everyone’s roles literally hanging on a skeleton.

Bianca has a strong game coming across sensibly and as a strong negotiator on the sink, real skeleton and tea purchases, Solomon was a bit of a ditherer but charming and funny as usual, he negotiated a free rope and had the sense to suggest using spare time to try and source the chicken the leaders’ team couldn’t find.

Sanjay failed to impress as a leader, his team failed to find the products, got fined and were late back, yet he prides himself on logistics and organisation. His negotiation skills were woeful too and his mini team failed to source anything but a diamond. But what a diamond…..Roisin charmed the dealer from £145 down to £50, deal of the century. If they’d lost she’d have won on the strength of that deal alone. It proves the point about non-sales people being good at sales sometimes.

So in summary the girls had a good week, sense from Katie and Bianca, Roisin probably as buyer of the series!

So who lost? Well it’s hard to say, after initial fines, Daniels team rightly hammered Summit AND they got ALL the products, with a result 30% cheaper than Sanjays crew. And this is where Sugar stepped in and messed up all credibility in the process, he was cross that a paper skeleton had been supplied (even if it ticked all the descriptive boxes) so fined team Tenacity a staggering £399, so they lost by about £100.

If they’d failed to bring anything back the going rate for a fine was about £50 based on what happened to Summit, or if they’d been fined the same price as paid for a skeleton on Summit, or even the starting price, Daniels team would STILL have won. So we think Sugar skewed the results to force a loose, hardly fair play.

Somewhat surprisingly Daniel opted for Katie and Felipe in the Boardroom, proving at least he has learnt something about man-management by manning up and not taking Mark back in. Everyone put up a spirited fight, particularly Katie, but it’s no surprise that lawyer Felipe was hung out to dry, pretty much like his paper DIY assembly skeleton…..which actually looked jolly good and a lot better than having drunk medical students mess around with your relatives.

Felipe took a gamble for sure, backed up by his team members – always a risk with someone as unpredictable as Lord Sugar, it could have been a decisive winning negotiation, it wasn’t as he writes the rules. So maybe that’s the key lesson here – in negotiating you have to live with the deal afterwards, so always a good idea to take a bit of care.

We’d fire Lord Sugar for being a cheat, but then that’s probably why he’s a billionaire and also great to watch!

Our scores on the doors now are as follows:

Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Final
James 1:2 FAV 1:2 FAV FIRED
Solomon 2:1 2:1 3:1 4:1
Roisin 3:1 3:1 3:1 3:1
Katie 4:1 4:1 2:1 2:1
Mark 5:1 6:1 2:1 2:1
Lauren 6:1 FIRED
Felipe 7:1 6:1 6:1 FIRED
Daniel 8:1 9:1 8:1 4:1
Sanjay 9:1 9:1 8:1 7:1
Bianca 10:1 6:1 7:1 4:1

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