Staying ahead of search: selecting the right agency for your needs
SEM is an increasingly important part of a marketer’s toolkit, and as ad spend and audience figures continue to rise, its importance is only set to increase. But for many marketers staying abreast of SEM and SEO trends and ensuring true value for money presents a number of challenges.
The need for a new approach to complex, global supply ecosystems
Customers are punishing companies they no longer trust. Research conducted by Proxima revealed that 45% of consumers would stop spending with a company whose supplier practices were called into question.
What's more important than growth and customer relationships?
Move over business growth and customer relationships; if slavery isn’t on your boardroom agenda you’re not only missing a trick, but you could be falling foul of the law. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, which aims to stamp out modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in the supply chain, has serious implications for vast swathes of business. Around 12,000 organisations in the UK across a variety of sectors are predicted to be affected. But with change comes opportunity – the opportunity to beef up best practice among procurement partners and tick a very large customer box in the process.
accountingWEB: Five tips for more effective budgeting
For many businesses the budgeting and planning process, although laborious, is critical for the success of the business in the coming year. Proxima's Guy Strafford offers five tips for a more effective budgeting strategy; to encourage spend effectiveness and boost efficiency and competitiveness.
Supply Management: Purchasers failing to pass on supplier insights to wider business
Supply Management highlight that 81% of procurement professionals do not pass on supplier insights to the wider business, according to a study by Proxima. The study of 40 senior procurement executives finds that there is a disconnect between information being collected from supppliers and the insight that business leaders use to make strategic decisions.
Supply Management: How to drive better commercial outcomes from digital marketing
Proxima's John Butcher explains to Supply Management that the secret is out – up to 60 per cent of digital marketing spend is wasted and, as a result, failing to deliver the promised return on investment.
realbusiness: Five strategies to maximise your budgeting process
The budgeting and planning process, although often laborious and time consuming, is one of the most critical activities of the year. Proxima's Guy Strafford gives five strategies to maximise the effectiveness of your budgeting process.
B2B Marketing: $38bn of worldwide marketing budgets wasted on poor digital marketing
B2B Marketing look at Proxima's research into the Digital Disconnect; exploring why the inability to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing means that up to $38bn of global marketing budgets are being wasted every year.
Spend Matters: Proxima - a provider to know in 2015
Spend Matters highlight Proxima as a Provider to know in 2015. Discussing our services and overall approach to procurement, Spend Matters note that "Proxima is certainly a firm to have on your shortlist for pretty much any procurement outsourcing opportunity".
Digital marketing: the blurring between agency and client worlds
It is clear to us all that times are changing in the media arena and that the lines of responsibilities (or rather outcomes) are blurring.
With an ever increasing level of sub-contracting and work sharing going on amongst digital agencies/providers, it has become harder to measure the strength (let alone the boundaries) of a solitary agency, devoid of the numerous value contributors that now feed into it.
Harnessing supplier insight to spot crises and opportunities
If like the rest of the world, you’ve been keeping a close eye on the movement in the market over the past week or so, from the sudden slump, to the rapid recovery, you may have found yourself asking the same questions being asked by nervous boards the world over. Why did no-one see it coming?
On the front foot: Procurement’s response to economic fears
For many businesses around the world, it has become suddenly apparent how close the connections between European / US and Asian economies are - with the suddenly tumultuous Chinese economy having a global impact. An impact that will no doubt continue to swing wildly over the coming weeks, even months.
The procurement community has long bemoaned its internal reputation as a relatively un-strategic cost centre. While that reputation has been, at least sometimes, well deserved, the promise of an innovative procurement programme offers benefits well beyond purchasing discounts.
Digital Marketing Magazine: Six in ten digital adverts are not seen by humans – so where is the value in digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Magazine discusses Proxima's latest research: TheDigital Disconnect which highlights up to 35% of all web activity fraudulent or artificial and 54% of online ads not even seen by a human – the truth is that between 40% to 60% of global digital spend is potentially wasted.
MyCustomer: Has digital marketing moved from high impact to high risk - and how can procurement help?
MyCustomer discusses Proxima's latest research: TheDigital Disconnect highlighting CEOs and CFOs are becoming increasingly concerned by the lack of business transparency regarding the commercial impact of digital marketing. From wasted investment to the risk associated with brand damage, digital has fast moved from high impact to high risk.
Spend Matters: 6 in 10 digital adverts are not seen by humans - so where is the value in digital marketing
Spend Matters discusses Proxima's research: TheDigital Disconnect. While digital may be the fastest-growing channel, with spend on digital marketing set to consume around 50 percent of total advertising budgets in the UK, how much of that investment is reaching the right audience?
Wallblog: Infographic - Six in ten digital adverts are not seen by humans
Wallblog provide key highlights from The Digital Disconnect infographic, available here. The infographic outlines trends from our recent research into digital marketing spend. Digital may be the fastest growing channel, with spend set to consume around 50% of total advertising budgets in the UK. But the research asks how much of that investment is reaching the right audience?
The digital debate - are digital budgets being wasted?
The importance of being able to assign tangible ROI to a multi-faceted marketing campaign that uses both traditional and digital methods is a top priority to brands, according to participants on our recent digital marketing panel discussion.
Buyers Meeting Point: Webinar notes - The Digital Disconnect
Buyers Meeting Point outline the highlights from the digital disconnect webinar, available here. Webinar panelists Mark Simester, Marketing Director at Warburtons, Charles Ping, Chief Executive at Fuel, and John Butcher, Marketing Specialist at Proxima outlined in the webinar how procurement can play a role in better managing digital marketing spend.
An executive's guide to driving better commercial outcomes from digital marketing
The digitization of media has created a plethora of new opportunities for companies to better communicate, connect and deliver goods and services to the world. However, in this fast moving environment, how many are investing in the right digital tools and channels to support key business objectives?
Aligning procurement to get more from your marketing spend
The marketing landscape is an ever evolving entity; with trends, movements and best practices as changeable as the wind, marketers face the often insurmountable challenge of constantly staying ahead of their competition. And, while there are many opinions on where marketers should be focussing their attention, or “the biggest challenges for CMOs today” (a quick google search will deliver a plethora of articles), something that will always remain a critical consideration for marketers is the ability to get more from their marketing spend.
Up to 60% of global marketing budgets being wasted every single year
LONDON, UK - 3 August 2015 - New research by procurement services provider Proxima, finds that spend on digital marketing such as search engine optimisation, mobile apps and video-on-demand services in 2015 is failing to deliver the value companies should expect. With 50% of total advertising budgets in the UK (totalling around £7.9bn), and around 30% in the US (around £32.9bn) being spent on digital marketing, poor commercial management means brand and commercial content is not reaching the right audience.
Quite often, we use this blog to discuss the increased reliance companies have on their global network of suppliers – the notion of corporate virtualization - and the importance of carefully managing suppliers and understanding their behavior and ethics. We have seen and written about many circumstances in which a supplier-related failure or business behavior has impacted a company’s reputation or bottom line. In many ways, company and supplier have become one, with the lines between the two increasingly blurred.
Leading businesses see procurement as a value, not a function
It’s not often that a story about new supply chain management software becomes a feature in a publication as respected as The Wall Street Journal. For that to happen, the deployment of said software has to represent something much more significant or herald a trend of highly compelling proportions.
Spend Matters: Proxima research - how to fix the 60 percent of digital budget spent ineffectively
Spend Matters discuss Proxima's research: TheDigital Disconnect, which explores why global companies are wasting up to 60% of digital marketing budgets through commercial mismanagement of spend, plus offers best practices for overcoming this disconnect.
The length of a relationship between marketing agency and client is often a relatively accurate measurement of a successful partnership. Though every agency-client relationship is structured differently, particularly now with so many specialist agencies in the market, recent studies suggest a typical contract length is in the vicinity of three years. That’s not a very long time, particularly when compared to the typical relationship length between company and legal representation or company and auditing firm (and also when taking into account the time it takes to on-board a new agency).
Media Post: Viewability + fraud = you're wasting a lot of money
Media Post explore Proxima's latest research into The Digital Disconnect, highlighting why global businesses are wasting up to 60% of digital marketing budgets on ineffective digital marketing activity.
Digital Marketing Show: Up to £37bn of global marketing budgets being wasted every single year
Digital Marketing Show discuss Proxima's Digital Disconnect research, which explores why companies are wasting up to $37bn of global marketing budgets every year due to ineffective digital marketing practices.
Strategy Eye Digital: Digital ad bubble in danger of bursting
Strategy Eye Digital report on the increasing disconnect between the money spent on digital advertising and the actual return on investment. Highlighting Proxima's latest research: The Digital Disconnect, Strategy Eye Digital take a look at the reasons behind this disconnect and how companies can overcome it.
US retailer plays chicken with notorious egg supplier
When a major, well-known and generally respected retail brand retains a supplier with a shady track record for food sourcing, it should hardly be a surprise when that supplier drags that retailer into a PR fiasco. In the recent case of a popular US retailer (which stocks everything from cleaning supplies to electronics to groceries), and Hillandale Farms of Gettysburg, the question of “the chicken and the egg” and which comes first is quite a literal one, as it relates to who gets the blame.
Tesco aside, supermarket-supplier relations improve in the UK
We are in an age where companies of all shapes and sizes turn to global suppliers more than ever before. There is perhaps no group of companies more reliant on suppliers than supermarket chains. Without suppliers, the supermarket chain is nothing more than a store with empty shelves, baskets and a neon sign.
Five reasons why supplier relationship management is important
Ask ten people to define “what is supplier relationship management (SRM)?” and you’ll get ten different answers. My version is that it’s a means of aligning your business appropriately with your suppliers. Yet it’s far less well understood (and adopted formally) than CRM. So why should we in procurement be bothered?
Proxima discuss why auditing needs a check-up in April's edition of in-procurement magazine from in-tend. Looking at the current reforms and regulations, Proxima's Richard James identifies the opportunities that have arisen from this changing audit market, and how companies can use these to their advantage when tendering their audit. Find the full article on page 34.
For some time, we have been talking about the opportunities for procurement and supply chain specialists to assume larger, more significant roles within their organizations. These opportunities have emerged as the supply chain has become more complex and companies grow more reliant on suppliers to fulfil their respective business promises.
The Webster's dictionary defines success in a fairly straightforward way – an accomplishment, or meeting of an aim or objective. Success in the procurement field, however, is a more nebulous concept. Perhaps that’s because procurement’s objectives aren’t usually clearly defined. Or perhaps, more accurately, it’s because procurement’s objectives are defined quite differently by its practitioners and the business leaders they serve.
Business Wire: NelsonHall launches NEAT vendor evaluation & assessment tool for procurement BPO services
NelsonHall have launched a tool to assist strategic sourcing managers in assessing vendor capability in procurement BPO services. The NelsonHall Vendor Evaluation and Assessment Tool (NEAT) for procurement BPO enables sourcing managers to differentiate between providers by showing how vendors are positioned within a specific market segment.
Influence, commercial sense and commercial excellence
In the increasingly virtual corporation, it's the support functions that knit everything together. Well - the strategic elements of them anyway. The process-driven parts have either been outsourced, or are so securely locked away in their silos that they have other, bigger problems to solve.
Aligning your procurement mindset to the growth agenda
Growth is back on the agenda. Actually, in an increasingly lumpy economy, for many businesses it never went away, despite the vicissitudes of national and regional economies. (“Vicissitudes”? Well, the UK grew robustly in Q4 2014, then posted its slowest GDP gains for three years in Q1 2015…) And with the ongoing prevalence of risk in many markets, we’re in a period where organisations want to expand, but just don’t seem ready to invest, spend and grow in the way that macroeconomic data suggests they should.
CPOs: Beware false confidence in your procurement function
A recent Deloitte survey of Chief Procurement Officers suggested that more than 50% of CPOs are optimistic about their role and confident in their department’s abilities, but also raises flags about just how much of that confidence is warranted.
New study suggests American consumers intend to punish companies involved in supplier-driven scandals
NEW YORK, NY and London, UK – May 14, 2015 – A newly published survey suggests that companies who are not actively monitoring the business practices of their suppliers, or who are engaged in questionable supplier practices themselves, are placing their reputations and their balance sheets in harm’s way.
Another Chinese supplier drops McDonald's in the fryer
In the latest example of the extent to which a geographically far-flung supplier can negatively impact a corporation’s reputation, we present the case of McDonald’s and their Chinese french fry supplier.
Creating growth opportunities through smarter supply chain strategies
It’s election time. All over the place, actually. General election fever/exhaustion (delete as applicable) is dominating headlines in the UK. And with Hilary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul (among others) declaring their 2016 presidential ambitions in the US; and Le Pen family squabbles in the run-up to France’s regional polls, democracy is headline news all over the world.
Spend Matters: How change management can change procurement for the better
In this article Spend Matters discuss why change management initiatives can have a huge impact on procurement. Featuring Proxima's research into the current perceptions of indirect procurement, the article offers insight and statistics supporting the need for improvement in change management initiatives.
Spend Matters: Influencing change - the solution to procurement's change challenges
Spend Matters and Barbara Ardell discuss influencing change in the first of this two part article; addressing the challenges that procurement faces, discussing attitudes towards procurement and featuring Proxima's research into current perceptions of the procurement function.
Is Microsoft its suppliers’ benevolent benefactor or dictator?
Last week, the technology giant Microsoft took a progressive stance with its supplier base, taking steps to ensure that the suppliers with whom it conducts business give their employees at least 15 days of paid leave each year. Sure there’s the questionable policy of corporate dictation (especially in the case of Microsoft, with its Samson and Goliath overtones). And, there’s the inevitable fine print: “this new benefits minimum will apply to suppliers with 50 or more employees in the United States. It will apply to their U.S. employees who have worked for them for more than nine months (1500 hours) and who perform substantial work for Microsoft.”
New US legislation takes aim at supply chain slave labor
In our blog and in our ongoing dealings with clients, we continue to advocate the importance of having explicit insights and knowledge into the business practices and ethics of those companies that live within one’s supply chain. We’ve pointed quite extensively to our corporate virtualization research that reveals just how much modern organizations rely on external suppliers for the services and goods necessary to not just run a successful business, but to have one in the first place. The importance of supply chain visibility has grown exponentially in recent times, as has the potential negative impact failures can have on brand and profitability.
Procurement is the 'marriage counsellor' between agency and client
I’ve been noticing more and more the disconnect between agency fee and creative output. My observation is that a significant number of buyers (more than you might think) that pay a premium on agency fees, rarely get the best creative work. This observation fuelled a recent panel discussion I sat on during this year’s Advertising Week Europe.
The evolution of the audit market - live discussion
Every five years companies in the FTSE350 will have to rotate their auditing partner, and it is interesting for me to see how that will help drive the timing of when the remaining companies that haven’t tendered, choose to tender and who they choose to include in the tender process.
Spend Matters: Why humans win over machines and speed in outsourcing
Spend Matters feature our very own Richard James, Category Director for Professional Services in their hot topic of procurement outsourcing. We look at what companies should consider when looking for a procurement company to help with outsourcing.
As key indicators of market growth point skywards and business confidence increases, boards are looking to align every aspect of their business to the wider growth agenda. But, for many of these companies, not all of their internal functions are able to shift their sights from defence to offence at the same time (or at all, in some cases). This creates a disconnect between the board’s ambition and the operational reality – a common source of frustration for many senior executives.
Proxima secures $40m in new contracts and sees significant growth in procurement consultancy services
LONDON, UK and CHICAGO, IL – February 23, 2015 – Proxima, a leading international procurement services provider, announced today that the company has kicked off the year by securing $40 million in new contracts and has increased its spend under management by a further $1.5 billion. Additionally, the company is turning its attention to growing its procurement consultancy services in response to demand from clients who are continuing to recognize the contributory value of procurement operations to corporate profitability and overall organizational health.
It’s always fashionable to muse on the parlous state of capitalism. Seven years ago, it was all broken: financial services run wild had all-but-destroyed our way of life. Four years ago, the Occupy neo-hippies were camping out to find something – anything – as an alternative to the broken promises of the market. A year-and-a-half ago? Thomas Piketty’s algorithmic tear-down of the balance between capital and economic growth.
Can procurement help CFOs navigate the statutory audit market?
It is perhaps unsurprising that more and more FTSE350 companies will start to shake up their auditing process with the new regulations now in place by the Competition and Markets Authority. However, the tender market is still at a teenage stage. While experience is bringing greater sophistication of approach, both in how the auditors are bidding and how they are being hired; companies still have some work to do in recognising what true value looks like and how to drive maximum value from their auditors.
Getting your procurement function in shape for 2015
Traditionally the aim for many of us at the beginning of the year is to get fitter; but this doesn’t just mean getting a beach body. Businesses the world over are looking to get into shape for the New Year too. Toning-up processes, cutting slack and beefing-up innovation are priorities that are making their way to the top of the agenda for many leaders for the first quarter of 2015. However, a word of caution, getting your business in shape doesn’t necessarily mean getting “lean”. There are better ways to create fitter, faster, functions for the year ahead.
3 reasons procurement needs to focus on winning hearts and minds
The notion of “winning hearts and minds” is remarkably recent. The phrase was first used by Vernon Bartlett, a journalist and MP who was reporting on British efforts in the Malayan Emergency in 1954. (It was also a cornerstone of President Johnson’s campaign in Vietnam and an evolution of George Bush’s Iraqi adventure. As a military tactic, it’s never been that successful…)
With new regulations requiring businesses to tender their audit more frequently this offers companies a chance to revisit a key supplier relationship; enabling them to run a tender that will encourage closer relationships, promote best practices and drive additional value.
This year is all about risk. We’re barely into February and the ruble’s collapse looks permanent, the Swiss franc has soared, oil continues its terminal decline and there’s so much conflicting data from the world’s major economies that most strategic planners’ heads are spinning. (And that’s nothing compared to the market analysts…)
Getting your processes right is one of the axioms of the industrial (and now digital) economy. People don’t scale well – and if you come up with a great way of working, you need to codify it. If it’s reliant on people, it’s vulnerable. If you have good process, people are (to quote former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld) “fungible”.
Are companies long-term relationships with their auditors a thing of the past? The Financial Times discusses our research into the UK audit market, and why many more companies are choosing to shop around when it comes to buying audit services.
Just one year ago the Competition and Markets Authority proposed reforms that mandate all FTSE350 companies tender their audit services every ten years; and in April 2014, this reform was also passed by the European Parliament. The new rules also require Public Interest Entities (PIEs) to change auditor every 20 years.
Many of you may already be in the midst of planning your procurement function for the year ahead, and deciding how your team will be shaped in 2016. What will they achieve? What challenges will they face? And what will be expected of them?
Professional Services: what are we paying for, exactly?
As supply management evolves into a strategic business function, one of the key roles procurement teams often play is to challenge stakeholders to justify what they are paying for. In “traditional” cases this is relatively easy: you can count the number of laptops you need to buy, you can benchmark the wholesale price of utilities, you can understand the need to use a recruitment agency to find new or replacement staff.
Spend Matters: Proxima gets us thinking about procurement in 2014 and 2015
Peter Smith from Spend Matters, discusses Proxima's predictions for procurement in 2015, and adds his own thoughts as to why 2015 may be the year that more budget holders attempt to "do it themselves", reducing the involvement of procurement.
Year end reflections are usually about the changes that will happen ‘next year’. 2015 will be the year when (insert as appropriate!) will finally take off... But this year, we first want to reflect on the year gone by. It’s hard not to make bold statements about how much procurement and the management of suppliers have come to the fore. Take three examples that have shaped the front page news.
Proxima's Richard James discusses why regulatory change has shaken up the sleepy world of audit and why this could lead to a key opportunity for companies to reassess their relationships with auditors.
Director of Finance speak to Proxima's Richard James about the new rules around statutory audit rotation; and why this could be a valuable opportunity for companies to revisit a key supplier relationship.
Spend Matters: Buying audit services - advice from an expert
Following their previous coverage of our research into the UK audit market, Spend Matters discuss how procurement can get involved in the complex business of purchasing audit services, and offer advice from our expert Richard James.
Procurement Leaders: Reforms shake up audit market
Procurement Leaders discuss Proxima's research into the UK audit market. The research highlights that although over half of the FTSE350 companies have been using the same auditor for a decade or more; proposed reforms by the Competition and Markets Authority are encouraging more firms to tender.
Procurement Insights: Buyers Meeting Point Weekly Update
Jon Hansen (Procurement Insights) and Kelly Barner (Buyers Meeting Point) discuss our recent webinar around the procurement team of the future, offering their own thoughts on the discussion, and the issues that it raises for the wider procurement community.
Supply Management: Top companies changing auditor more often
Proxima's Richard James talks to Supply Management about why the top UK companies are switching auditor more frequently; and why research shows that the number of companies tendering their audit looks set to rise dramatically.
This round-up of sought after research, articles, webinars and interviews offers some insight into the journey that procurement has undertaken throughout 2014 and offers some thoughts around what might be to come in 2015.
The traditional way to explain the role of an auditor is that they’re a watchdog, not a bloodhound. They keep an eye on what’s happening, sit up when something looks suspicious and occasionally bark when they see something dodgy. The job is explicitly not turning over every rock they can find to test ethics or legality - no bloodhounds chasing the bad guys through the woods here.
accountingWEB: One in four FTSE 350 companies switch auditor
Companies change many things regularly, but are usually reluctant to change their auditor. Proxima's research, featured in accountingWEB, highlights a growing trend of FTSE 350 companies tendering their audit.
Audit services: Four reasons why it pays to be a first mover
During the original dot-com boom, the idea of first mover advantage gained massive currency. Staking out a digital domain before anyone else showed up was considered the best way to guarantee success – gaining mindshare, customers, and above all, experience and personnel that would be denied your rivals.
Financial Times: Proxima weighs in on new audit market reforms
There was a strong feeling of anticipation and suspense throughout the Proxima office in London on Wednesday, as we all waited excitedly for Financial Times City Correspondent Harriet Agnew’s article - discussing the shake-up to the audit tender process - to be published. A few weeks earlier, Richard James (Category Director for Professional and Financial Services) had been interviewed by Harriet, and asked to weigh in on what impact the changes to the UK audit tender process are having on the wider market.
Buyers Meeting Point: Webinar notes - the procurement team of the future
Buyers Meeting Point reviewed our latest webinar (the procurement team of the future) and offered some additional thoughts on the discussion, in which they discuss the complex relationship between procurement and innovation.
Commitment Matters: Are organizations incapable of running successful trading relationships?
IACCM's Tim Cummins joined Proxima for a live panel discussion around the procurement team of the future. The discussion inspired Tim to go on to discuss whether or not organizations are really capable of running successful trading relationships.
Tender touches for better audits - five recommendations
Following new regulations and a deep desire to restore lost public faith in business, audit is making a conceptual comeback. The European Commission’s new rules on mandatory tendering for audit every ten years (along with increased scrutiny; demands for transparency in the audit process; and controls on what other work your auditor can do) make the process of choosing and contracting and auditor incredibly important.
Infographic: Accountants warn on audit market reforms
When analysing the current FTSE 350’s use of audit services, our research highlights the impact of the Competition and Markets Authority’s reform on the UK audit market – finding that there is more happening under the surface than meets the eye...
“The fish rots from the head”. Strong words from a recent FT article rounding up a series of accounting issues besetting large companies in the UK. Following a discussion between Proxima and respected commentator Stefan Stern; Stern argues that boards need to open their eyes to all activities in their business (from top to bottom) – but without getting involved in day-to-day tinkering.
Following my previous post, exploring the importance of social media for procurement, this post aims to address the second topic covered in the Financial Times piece - the impact of ‘big data’ on supplier management practices, and why it is essential that this concept is not ignored.
The Internet of Things - challenging human behaviour
The progress made by humanity in how we communicate has changed the very nature of how we behave – from the advent of the electric telegraph in the 1700s, to the internet being publicly introduced in the 1980s, to Wi-Fi in 1991.
Proxima client IHG nominated for CIPS Supply Management Award
LONDON, UK and CHICAGO, IL – September 4, 2014 – Proxima, a leading international procurement services provider, is pleased to announce that its client, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has been nominated for a 2014 CIPS Supply Management Award in the category of Most Improved Procurement Operation – Step Change. The nomination is in recognition of IHG’s successful transformation of its procurement function across its global operations.
3 reasons social media is important to procurement
I recently read an interesting article in the Financial Times that discussed how social media and big data are being used to help solve supply chain issues and improve supplier management practices at a number of large companies.
Spend Matters: FT highlights supply chain lack of insight and potential crisis
Spend Matters welcomes a post by Proxima's Chris Gayner summarizing the results of a recent study that portended a supply chain crisis in the UK; driven by procurement's lack of visibility into their supplier network and poor supplier relationship management.
In 1596 Shakespeare wrote the Merchant of Venice - a play in which a young Venetian merchant, named Antonio, signs an interest-free loan to help his friend, Bassanio, romantically court (with lots of money) Portia, the woman of his dreams. The catch is that if Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock (the financier in this scenario) has the right to take a literal “pound of flesh”.
Spend Matters: Proxima Ebook proposes some solutions to the procurement dilemma
Spend Matters' reviews, in part 2, Proxima's Ebook which outlines solutions to the procurement dilemma. It is not all about cost savings but changing internal behaviour, demand management, innovation and growth.
Spend Matters: Proxima asks – are businesses drowning or waving when it comes to procurement and managing suppliers?
Spend Matters' highlights Proxima's Ebook which takes the idea of an organisation as an island and business executives fishing in deeper and deeper waters to find the “fish” (the suppliers in this analogy) to help their businesses succeed.
Proxima selected by Dairy Crest for long term outsource contract
LONDON, UK - July 28, 2014 - Proxima, the global procurement services provider, announces today that it has been appointed on a multi-year contract to manage the costs of all indirect categories at Dairy Crest, the leading British dairy products company.
By now you will already be familiar with our corporate virtualization research, showing that the average company now spends around 70% of its revenues with suppliers. But what does it mean for your business, and how can you uncover the opportunities that this trend encourages?
The headline on a capital markets report looking at bond yields was worrying: “Canary in the coalmine”. Canaries were useful to miners because, although small, they sing sweetly until they get a whiff of gas and then they abruptly stop singing. The miners say a short prayer for the little bird, then get out as fast as they can.
Whilst the Deloitte list highlights some of the important issues, we’ve reached out to our own network (of client teams and readers) and come up with five additional issues that are most likely to make their way to the top of the CFO’s agenda over the second half of 2014.
At Proxima, an essential part of our work is making sure our finger is on the pulse of opinion and sentiment in our clients’ markets. It means that our advice and strategic development work is contextualised correctly within the environments in which our clients operate, which in turn enables us to find the best solutions to their challenges.
Proxima launches study into scope for change through supply chain management
LONDON, UK and CHICAGO, IL - June 23, 2014 – Proxima, the world’s largest pure-play procurement outsourcing and services provider, has today launched a new study that seeks to establish how supplier engagement can change the way that businesses operate.
There’s something a little forced about coming up with a World Cup analogy for business and procurement in light of the quadrennial football festival in Brazil. But – you’ve read this far, so it would be remiss not to give it a go.
The idea of a supply chain for a business sharing 'content' used to be so simple. But it’s not just digitization that’s shaken up the natural order of creator, publisher, retailer and consumer. It’s the way we think of middlemen.
One world, one business model – the impact of globalization
We were chatting to a management thinker the other day – a former CFO, as it happens – and he said something so compelling, yet so simple, that we were stunned. “The problem with the runaway success of MBA schools is that we’re developing a global corporate monoculture,” he said. “We’re concentrating risk in similar places around the world.”
Proxima appoints Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall Executive Vice President, Global Commercial Operations
CHICAGO, IL and LONDON, UK – May 6, 2014 – Proxima, a leading international procurement services provider, today announced the appointment of Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall as Executive Vice President, Global Commercial Operations. In this capacity, Cooper-Bagnall will be responsible for setting the future commercial strategy and driving growth. He will be hands-on in leading the sales organization to develop new relationships and win work by clearly demonstrating the value that will be delivered for Proxima’s customers.
It’s striking how many CFOs count leadership of a cost saving programme as a major part of their role. There’s nothing wrong with making procurement more efficient and streamlining the cost base, of course. But the best finance functions treat it as part of their commercial contribution, not a traditional bit of hard-nosed accounting.
Panel session to discuss HBR article; Corporate Virtualization
Following on from our recent Harvard Business Review coverage, we’d like to invite you to join us for an online panel session – discussing practical perspectives and pragmatic insights into the trend of Corporate Virtualization.
The European Food & Beverage Market is in a state of turmoil. Increasingly regular headlines are being published around deficiencies in quality standards and growing contamination cases. The reputation and financial damage of these headlines can be critical for any business operating in an already tumultuous industry (as discussed in my previous post).
New research shows that a growing number of corporates are refocusing their procurement functions away from cost and towards strategic innovation. A sure sign that corporate management's attitudes towards procurement are shifting. (We discuss this further in our webinar). But are the smart ones just copying the companies that have always understood that this is a key source of value?
Proxima clients nominated for a Procurement Leaders Award
Since our inception, Proxima has set out to change the way procurement is both thought of and conducted at organizations around the world. Today we have more proof that we are successfully moving in that direction.
Following on from Proxima's article highlighting the corporate virtualization research in The Harvard Business Review, Spend Matters have offered their opinion on the piece; describing it as "essential reading for procurement people".
Harvard Business Review recognizes today's leaders cannot afford to downplay procurement
We are pleased to bring you the news that Proxima’s research and thinking on how commerce has evolved, and the implications for modern corporations, is now being recognized at the highest level globally.
Harvard Business Review: Leaders can no longer afford to downplay procurement
Harvard Business Review comment on Proxima's recent research into corporate virtualization pointing out procurement should be treated as a driving force for innovation and viewed as critical partners in the company’s success.
OC&C and Retail Week recently collaborated to provide a report on the UK's retail industry. Proxima's latest research around corporate virtualization was featured to help understand the figures behind retailers' spend.
Real Business: We need to talk about your suppliers
Proxima's Guy Strafford talks to Real Business about how your suppliers could hold the key to better performance this year, and why it's time to start thinking about better management of the supplier base.
Learn how Proxima applied their catalytic thinking right across a multi-billion dollar publishing client, getting right to the heart of what mattered to our client - the level of engagement with gamers. Proxima was able to broaden the supply base which greatly reduced risk and reduced the agency cost base by over 30%, money which could be immediately reinvested in the business.
Benefits for media & entertainment companies from better supply management
With the average media & entertainment business spending twice as much on suppliers than on its own people, we thought we would share some of our industry insights on the benefits of successfully getting your suppliers under control and offer a real life example of this happening at leading video game publisher – Activision Blizzard.
As the global economic recovery gathers pace, more and more businesses are turning their sights from cost reduction to growth. How well an organization’s procurement team supports this shift will materially impact overall business performance.
Any accountant will tell you that more businesses go bust in the recovery from a downturn than in the recession itself. A big reason for this is poor risk management – because managers think they can stop worrying. They can’t.
Business has changed - driven by globalization, technology and changing consumer habits. Executives have had to rapidly adapt their business models, products, and distribution channels in response to these groundswell changes. But the implications of these unstoppable forces don’t stop there. Another impact is that suppliers today are providing an ever-increasing proportion of business activities, many of which used to be delivered by direct employees and internal operations.
Proxima appointed by SAV Credit on five-year outsourcing contract
LONDON, UK - February 3, 2014 - Proxima, the global procurement services provider, announces today that it has been appointed on a five-year contract to manage external supplier costs and relationships for SAV Credit.
CHICAGO, IL - January 21, 2014 - Proxima, a leading international procurement services provider, today announced that the company has launched a formalized effort to help companies in the media and entertainment sector better manage outside suppliers and costs by expanding its online resources to include content, analysis and insight specific to the industry.
Commitment Matters: The case for an integrated commercial service
Tim Cummins' comments on a recent paper from HfS Research, which draws on research by Proxima to highlight the fundamental shift that has occurred in business operations and the challenge this represents to organization and skills.
Outsource Magazine: Q&A with Richard Jones, Proxima et al
Richard Jones, Chairman of Proxima talks exclusively with Outsource. With decades of experience right across the space and with a record of huge success behind him, Richard Jones is one of the most recognisable and respected figures in outsourcing. Richard he is involved at various levels with numerous other ventures and retains a unique perspective on outsourcing and the future of business.
Sourcing Interests Group: The definition of a "company" has changed
"Corporate virtualization" is sweeping across the global economy, transforming the ‘company’ from what it was – to what it is today, a comprehensive and complex universe of specialist third-party suppliers who are critical but sit outside the organization and all across the planet.
Supplier management is challenging. Gaining the best levels of service, quality, performance and value takes work and relies upon employing the best in class. For marketers, it’s about employing suppliers that genuinely understand your business. And if you motivate them to perform, they will want to deliver.
2014 the year of working the profit and loss harder
CFO.com recently published an article around the Eight Top Issues for CFOs in 2014*. The number one consideration was to ‘avoid choking off revenue growth’ or put another way, focus on growth oriented cost management.
HfS Research: constant focus on savings counter-productive for success
CHICAGO, IL - December 9, 2013 - A new research report released last week from global business analyst firm HfS Research endorses findings from a recent Proxima report into the trend of Corporate Virtualization, affirming that organizations continue to direct more spend outside the organization, relying on external suppliers instead of investing in labor.
Top 5 tips for managing your virtualized/extended enterprise
‘Corporate virtualization’ has taken hold across all large businesses today - the on-going phenomenon of replacing internal functions and labor with suppliers has changed the very fabric of the modern company. It has not been a planned or even conscious decision – but over the last 20 years is has been an unstoppable force.
Mending a fragmented function. Colt Technology discuss how they repaired a disjointed procurement unit
Grahame Ball, Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Officer for Colt Technology Services Group, discusses the challenges behind re-building a fractured procurement function to support increasingly dynamic business demands.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 3)
Part one and Part two of this three part mini-series have covered several reasons why non-core procurement is more complex, wider reaching and changes faster than most people imagine (compared to core or direct procurement). In this post, the final in the series, we will discuss why businesses need to approach procurement in a completely different way.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 2)
Part one of this three part mini-series discussed how non-core procurement is more complex, wider reaching and changes faster than most people imagine. In this post, we explore three further points, namely the necessary skills, knowledge and perspectives required to effectively manage non-core procurement.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 1)
Businesses are failing to get the most out of the non-core costs. Why? Well, simply put, because procurement is failing. But the issue here is far deeper than simply pointing your finger at the team of people in procurement - in fact, we would argue, the problem lies in five very different areas, which we’ll explore below.
Outsourcing is NOT offshoring – why procurement outsourcing needs an alternative approach
The procurement brand has suffered greatly over recent times, at a time when the business need for it has grown. A history of under-performance, detachment from the real business needs and an unhealthy obsession with savings have all contributed to a widespread reputational problem, that ultimately undermines the credibility of the function.
Chief Executive.net: CEOs - don't prepare the pink slips just yet
Conventional wisdom and common sense suggest that the greatest ongoing expense for most companies is labor. However, Proxima's latest research contradicts this claim. Matthew Eatough aims to dispel the myth that keeping labor costs in line will maintain or even boost profitability.
The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 2
Our previous post discussed three of the seven remedies that the competition commission proposed as part of their ruling around statutory audit rotation. In this post, part two of this mini-series, Proxima's Richard James and Guy Strafford will look at the remaining four remedies and some key questions finance / procurement teams and audit committees should be asking when tendering this high profile service.
The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 1
The verdict is in, judgement is pronounced.
The Competition Commission (CC) has delivered its final ruling on the market for statutory audit services in the UK, amending its remedies from the provisional ruling announced a couple of months back (here are our comments from July) and the reaction from the industry is generally positive.
The alignment of the procurement function to the wider corporate aims: Vodafone's Stephen Day talks with Proxima
Stephen Day, Group Supply Chain Management Director – IT at Vodafone, and Proxima discuss the importance of procurement to the wider business strategy; and the pros and cons of outsourcing, particularly in the area of procurement outsourcing.
Catalytics: the end of the unhealthy obsession with savings
We at Proxima believe too many businesses have an unhealthy obsession with savings. Whilst savings are of course important, no business ever saved its way to greatness.Procurement should be offering much, much more.
Spend Matters US: Quantifying suppliers’ contribution to revenue and profit - more than just productivity gains
Spend Matters discuss Proxima's latest research. In the report, Corporate virtualization – A global study of cost externalization and its implications on profitability, Proxima and FTI Consulting show the P&L impact that comes from increasing external expenditure (i.e., on suppliers) compared with declining labor costs, set in the context of the overall economic environment since 2009.
An example of the catalytic approach in action - the container (US)
This animation explains Proxima’s concept of Catalytic Thinking, by looking at how one man thought big and used the Catalytic Approach to challenge behavior and in doing so ended up reinventing global shipping.
3 ways Dutch businesses can get more value from suppliers
Business has already changed - our research is clear that the cost base has been largely externalized in the Dutch AEX25, as it has in the UK FTSE350, the US Fortune 500 and in other markets around the world.
One year on: an even more compelling case for smarter cost management
A year ago we researched the spend habits of the FTSE350. The findings of the research shocked many business leaders – especially those who thought cutting headcount was the best way to deliver sustainable cost savings. 12 months on, we ran the research again - but this time on a global scale. The results are even more interesting than before.
Corporate virtualization - 100 years in the making
2013 marks 100 years since Henry Ford was faced with the dilemma of producing his latest invention, the Model T Ford, on a large scale - in an efficient, low cost way. His answer was to invent the first mass production assembly line. In doing so, Henry Ford revolutionized the world of manufacturing. Over the past 100 years, following this monumental milestone, business has changed beyond recognition.
Today's growth is fueled more by suppliers than internal staff
Today's definition of what a 'company' is varies dramatically from person to person, business to business and country to country. However, we can all agree that a company is no longer made up of just its people, its offices and its factories.
Infographic: Ever wondered about global business’ spend patterns?
Businesses around the world have been on a journey, whether deliberate or not, of cost externalization. A significant portion of any business’s revenues are now being spent outside their own organization. What was once a labor cost, is now a supplier invoice.
A global study of cost externalization and its implications on profitability
Businesses around the world have been on a journey, whether deliberate or not, of cost externalization. A significant portion of any business’ revenues are now being spent outside their own organization. What was once a salary, is now a supplier invoice.
Commitment Matters: Have procurement practices been self-defeating?
Tim Cummins' assessment of procurement over the last 10 or 15 years, looks at many proclaiming the birth and maturing of the ‘procurement profession’ and predicted a steady rise to ‘the top table’. But in truth, how much progress has been made?
Spend Matters UK/Europe: Proxima Report – Corporate Virtualization and the central role of suppliers in business
Peter Smith offers brief summary of Proxima's latest research - calling it an essential material to have in your library – a vital tool to help stakeholder engagement and promotion of the whole procurement raison d’etre!
Study confirms reducing supplier costs more effective for improving profit
CHICAGO, IL and LONDON, UK - September 9, 2013 - Proxima today released the results of a global study of nearly 2,000 publicly and privately traded companies, examining trends in spending and implications for profitability.
WOW. Thank you all for your responses to last month's blog around the toxicity of procurement. If you only take a cursory glance at the blog, you will see that asking the question 'is the word procurement toxic?' has elicited a strong and wide ranging response.
How suppliers have changed Dutch management practices
To better understand the implications and opportunities of our latest research into the spending habits (and subsequent management practices around these habits) of modern day Dutch businesses, we have compared labor and non-labor (supplier) costs across the Dutch AEX25 over a two year period.
Even though the business environment today changes with unprecedented speed, perceptions of business continue to be rooted in tradition, more specifically - traditional hierarchy structures and the resultant management practices.
I am not the first to observe that 'procurement' has a branding and reputational problem. The word means different things to different people. I can think of several instances where, if I compare the service provided by 'procurement' in two separate businesses, you could be excused for thinking they are operating in totally different areas of business management.
So, after months of deliberation and consultation, the Competition Commission published its provisional decision on the remedies relating to the market for statutory audit services. But will this really achieve the CCs laudable objectives to improve quality and broaden the competitive market for statutory audit?
The Dutch economy is the fifth-largest economy in the euro-zone and is noted for its stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable trade surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub.
How corporate virtualization has changed the game for Dutch business
Businesses around the world have been on a journey, whether deliberate or not, of cost externalization. What was once a labor cost, is now a supplier invoice. Our latest research into the spend behaviors and patterns of the Dutch AEX25 has found that a significant portion of revenues are now being spent outside their respective organizations. A key and somewhat surprising finding from the research is the extent to which it has occurred.
The modern Dutch corporation has externalized its cost base. Our latest research seeks to understand the extent to which this has occurred across the Dutch AEX25, and explores the implications for Dutch business leaders. Below is a brief visual overview of the research (an infographic), highlighting some of the most arresting findings and important trends.
Audit tendering may not turn out as hoped without some market change
The FRC and Competition Commission are causing change in the audit market, and when combined with pressure from the corporate governance teams of the largest investors, there is now real impetus for change.
Procurement not following rules for success, time for a rethink
Every now and then a piece of fresh thinking comes out that upsets the apple cart. There's a great one in April's edition of Harvard Business Review. It references a study conducted by Deloitte, which identifies what the rules are followed by companies that are truly successful over a long period of time. The research reveals surprising results. And here is why...
Q2 wrap-up: The issue with supply management and a call for change
This round-up of sought after research, articles, discussions and interviews offers some insight into the challenges and concerns of senior executives looking to understand total cost management in their business - and the role that suppliers play.
Proxima helps Activision Blizzard create value and achieve sourcing success
With pressure to control costs mounting, Activision Blizzard turned to Proxima in 2012 to better manage costs, supplier and partner relationships and sourcing efforts more efficiently. And in just over a year, the partnership yielded significant savings to the business.|
The impact of ‘corporate virtualization’ on your supply chain
The FT recently ran a piece called "Businesses unaware of supply chain risk*" which followed on from the Bangladesh garment factory fire (killing over 600 people, spurring a fierce public reaction). And just this week, days after the FT article was published, news of a Cambodian shoe factory collapsing, killing at least two people, hit our headlines. These catastrophic events come just weeks after the horse-meat scandal and within memory of the Japanese earthquake disrupting car supply chains.
Faltering growth means proactive supplier engagement is required
Something has to change. Retailers face being subsumed by the economic conditions, drawing on increasingly limited funds for reinvestment back into their businesses. But sustained sector growth seems a small dot on the horizon. There will always be the trend-buckers and those that insulate themselves from the worst of the high street maelstrom, but for everyone else, it is time to think differently about how profits can be boosted from sources closer to home.
Managing cost to generate growth and unlock competitive advantage
Today, businesses are exposed to dynamically changing market conditions, regulatory pressures and increasingly intense competition (particularly from international markets). And since 2008, companies have focused heavily on headcount reductions and slashing budgets to improve balance sheets. But once these traditional means of cost reduction had been exhausted, there was, among some senior management, an attitudinal change to the concept of cost management.
How to avoid value-erosion and cost-leakage in Financial Services
Cost management and 'cost-out' is critical for any business. As such, cost as a metric will always be near the top of the agenda for any business assessing the performance of their procurement or sourcing function. However, driving costs out of a business is not a one-off project - it's a continuous, evolving process.
It's not my fault. It wasnt me. Sound familiar? These are common excuses weve used since childhood. And while they may pass in many circumstances of private life, they dont often fly in the corporate world. Pointing the finger usually doesnt protect shareholder value nor avert corporate reputational damage.
With so much activity going on outside the direct control of an organization, it is in hindsight no surprise that there has been a reduction in the level of transparency of spending behaviors, and an increase in potential risks (both reputational and financial).
Ladbrokes Chief Procurement Officer bets on stakeholder management
Supplier relationships are obviously vital to a sound procurement strategy. But for Clive Rees, Chief Procurement Officer at betting giant Ladbrokes, keeping internal stakeholders close is just as important.
Banks seek agility, transparency and transformation from procurement
Procurement adds value by offering transparency into where and how a business spends it's money. But when it offers "an understanding of what is driving a particular spend pattern where the demand is coming from and how can it be managed effectively," it can really start to deliver both strategic and tactical benefits.
March is budget month in the UK for the Government. And, unusually, it also is in the US. It is also usually the pivotal point in the year - as it becomes clearer whether the budget is going to be met or if it is time for remedial action. This March is shaping up to be no exception.
There are some strict rules about the scope and execution of statutory audit. Things undoubtedly got tougher for the profession in the wake of the Enron scandal that brought down its auditor, Andersen. But interestingly, while there are now stricter rules around auditor independence from management and limits on non-audit services an auditor can provide, many of the issues that scarred audit then still linger.
The world of audit is in a state of flux. For a start, the long-standing grumbles about the Big Four (Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG and PwC) dominance in the world of corporate auditing has resulted in debates about regulatory reform domestically and in Europe. Even the Competition Commission is getting in on the act.
"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got" - Albert Einstein. Time and time again organizations launch into programs with the aim of reducing costs from the supplier base. It's a perfectly rational thing to do. Who wouldn't want to get the cost base in a fitter state?
The world is full of buzz words: big data, cloud computing, phablets, wantrepreneur. Some have substance sitting behind them and go on to become mainstream (phablets are coming - mark my words!). Others are created not to describe an innovation, but to describe a new concept that is hard to articulate (just try asking someone to articulate what cloud computing is. It's fun listening to them attempt it).
January, traditionally long and cumbersome, seems to have raced by this year and to exhibit classic stagnation characteristics. The best evidence of stagnation is conflicting economic indicators. If the economy is flat, this is not actually because nothing changes. The average is a net of things improving and things deteriorating, which in this instance are cancelling each other out.
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." That's an old saying attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, and it's been particularly pertinent over the past five years. A more modern meme is the "new normal", but I think they're closely connected. And a good illustration of how and why is the news coming out of Barclays.
Within a short span of days late last month, we learned that in the final quarter of 2012, the US economy contracted for the first time in three and a half years - the nations gross domestic product shrinking by .01 percent.
Sector spotlight: Energy (p2) - the opportunity for energy providers
With consumers becoming increasingly sceptical of their energy providers, more mobilised by the value for money they achieve on their household costs and more able to take their business elsewhere, energy companies must do what they can to ensure that their business is match fit.
There are nearly 4,000,000 economic statistics produced in the US every year, according to Nate Silver in his excellent book The Signal and the Noise. Choosing the ones which give the most accurate or best insight is always a challenge.
Regulatory forces are the most obvious driver of change in financial services. There is no doubt that the Mortgage Market Review, Basel III, the Independent Commission on Banking, the Retail Distribution Review and other regulatory factors have added substantial cost and complexity to running bank operations.
Fiscal cliff, growth in EU, executive pay – welcome to 2013
Happy New Year! We at Proxima hope that 2013 has begun productively and happily. There has certainly been no time to ease into the year gently - 2013 definitely has picked up seamlessly from where 2012 left off which, in our eyes, means continued opportunities and increased potential for enhancing value for our clients.
The financial services sector might have thought the worst was over by the start of 2012. Blamed for the global economic meltdown that was entering its fifth year, and made pariah in the court of public opinion, bankers in particular must have been hoping the worst was over.
Following on from a previous post on this topic, the Shareholder Spring should turn its attention away from executive pay, and towards an area that has a far greater opportunity to improve profitability and shareholder returns - third party costs.
Global myths of procurement outsourcing: Series summary
This is a round-up of all the posts in our global myths of procurement outsourcing series. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed comments and offered insight towards dispelling some of the common myths that circulate around procurement outsourcing. Hopefully we have gone some way to help achieving that.
We recently hosted a webinar - discussing the findings of our latest research - The £10 billion profit opportunity - and their implications on business today. This post recaps the discussion and poses some thought prompters for what looks to be another turbulent 12 months ahead.
Global myths of procurement outsourcing: Myth 4 - PO results in a loss of control and increased risk
This is often cited as a reason why people are reluctant to even consider procurement outsourcing. Yet it's an unfounded fear. As any CFO that has outsourced will tell you: control goes up. Risk comes down.
Announcement: Jeroen Huisman to strengthen European Team
LONDON, AMSTERDAM - December 3, 2012: Proxima, a leading international procurement services provider, announced today that it has appointed Jeroen Huisman as a Client Services Director, further strengthening its continental European client team.
The changing nature of business (pt 9): Creating a cost-conscious culture
While 88% of finance leaders believe that their focus on total cost savings has increased, according to recent research, 71% of them are continuing to see indirect costs growing and labor costs shrinking. And yet headcount reductions remain a top priority for cost reductions
Global myths of procurement outsourcing: Myth 3 - PO damages stakeholder relationships
Successful procurement outsourcing hinges on a provider's ability to successfully engage with stakeholders. You can have the world's best sourcing engine, but it's nothing if it doesnt engage well with the business, and deliver what the business needs.
Cost management: lessons from the Sales department
Having spent some time at ProcureCon, it is good to be reminded that many organizations have got over the initial challenge of getting good spend data. Quite a number of CPOs referred to having got to grips with this early in their tenure. However, I think that this is only the start of the journey - not the destination.
This month's roundup of news and views from around the world was significantly dominated by business, political and natural happenings within North America. However, recent research within the UK might aid in clearing some of the fog that lies ahead for large corporates going into 2013.
The changing nature of business (pt 8): The rise of the shareholder
In 2011, JP Morgan published a report showing that shareholder activism in companies worth more than $1.6 billion / £1 billion increased by 90% in the first three quarters of the year. Without meaningful change in performance expected in the immediate future, executive remuneration in particular is likely to remain a highly contentious issue.
Sector spotlight: Energy (pt 1) – the rise and rise of an industry
In response to a new Ofgem report, warning that the high level of spare capacity in the UK electricity market is "set to end quite rapidly over the next few years", UK Energy providers have begun to hike their prices, spurring the UK governments interest around Energy conservation.
The changing nature of business (pt 7): You can’t shrink your way to greatness
When a company announces a swathe of cost reductions, there are two ways investors can look at it. Many might cheer: management is making savings - and that means theyre shoring up earnings. But theres a different way to see it.
The changing nature of business (pt 5): Introducing the Profit Enhancement Index
We've already seen how non-labor costs are 4.8 times higher than labor costs. But our analysis of FTSE 350 data also reveals the potential enhancement to profitability that can be brought about by proportionally lower reductions to the non-labor cost base.
Global myths of procurement outsourcing: New series introduction
In this post (part 1 of our latest series), I would like to offer a simple definition of 'procurement outsourcing' and set the scene for why Finance, and other business leaders, should be placing a greater emphasis on managing their cost base.
The changing nature of business (pt 4): Sources of profitability
Our research shows that in the FTSE-350, labour consumed on average 12.9% of revenue in 2011. In contrast, non-labour costs consumed 68.3% of revenue. The difference between these two percentages suggests that bringing non-labour and third-party costs under greater control represents an opportunity for leaders to make more meaningful improvements to their profits than the traditional focus on labour cost.
Why labor isn’t working (as a way of boosting struggling earnings)
Apple is the world's largest company - and happily, for those who care about such things, it's both an innovator and a manufacturer. A symbol, if you like, for progressive capitalism in the 21st century: neither pure-play service business nor industrial-age dinosaur.
The changing nature of business (pt 3): Who’s really responsible for cost management?
If you talk to a CFO about 'costs', you'll be listened to. It's clearly the CFOs area of responsibility. Yet if you talk about 'procurement' to a CFO, in most cases you will get very little air time. And yet, they're the same thing. How has this situation come about?
New research - "an absolute must read for everyone in procurement"
New research, the £10 billion ($16 billion) profit opportunity, highlights the opportunity to boost growth and protect shareholder value in the face of stagnating revenue streams. Peter Smith of Spend Matters dubbed the report an "absolute must read for everyone in procurement" we are also hoping it is a "must read" for any business leader concerned about the management of costs within their respective organizations.
Proxima to analyse findings from major research study in online webinar session
LONDON - 10 October 2012. Proxima, a leading international provider of procurement services, invites you to an online presentation and discussion around its recent research study, The £10 billion profit opportunity on 21 November 2012.
The changing nature of business (pt 2): Economics remodelled
Economic models use a sequence of assumptions and simplifications to describe how the world works - or more specifically to explain human behaviour. Recently, economic models have received a bashing for their inability to accurately offer clarity around major global economic events. Putting another nail into modern economics seems a slightly vindictive task, as there are so many nails in there already it is hard to know where to put another .. But I'm going to have a go anyway.
New series: the changing nature of business (introduction)
Management teams across the globe are filled with MBA-carrying executives - so let's assume they're all 'smart cookies'. Yet in the simple area of cost management, there are some very illogical behaviors going on in large corporates.
NEWS ALERT: “No savings – no fee” model fails to deliver. Again.
The recent news that Somerset County Council is in litigation with the IBM-led Southwest One consortium* has prompted me to dust off a blog I wrote a year ago condemning contingency fees models as a way to engage with a third party.
I've had numerous conversations with CPOs in my time who have said they are very proud of achieving a 10x, 20x, or even 30x ROI on their team cost. And research has claimed that world class procurement functions achieve a ROI twice as high as the average. But both of these measures are not only far too simplistic, they are misleading and are forcing the wrong behaviors in our business leaders. And here's why...
How smarter cost management can help the FTSE 350 delight their shareholders
Business has changed. Since the last major recession, we’ve seen the rise of globalisation, the internet has become all-pervasive and assumptions about the strength of our financial systems and governments brutally undermined. Management teams can no longer rely on the tried and tested methods for working through a tough economy.
As summer draws to a close, we see business and economic leaders returning to work and we can all be grateful that the Paralympic Games are staving off the effects of potentially damaging post-Olympics blues. I suppose it is worth beginning with a question. Has anything changed over the summer.
Understanding strategic vs tactical procurement outsourcing
Research undertaken by Proxima & NelsonHall found that many procurement outsourcing engagements, when led by the CPO, are tactical in nature (single categories, short term, department focussed). Conversely, outsourcing engagements are far more strategic (longer term, business focussed) when the CFO or even CEO are involved.
Proxima signs procurement services contract with CSM for management of third-party expenditure
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 4 September 2012. Proxima, a leading provider of end-to-end procurement services to global, blue-chip corporations, today announced that it has signed a strategic procurement services contract for third-party expenditure with CSM.
As I write this, five days into the Olympic Games, the pinnacle of global sport and the spotlight on London is well and truly switched on. The reality, of course, is that the City has been in the spotlight for some time now, but this past month has shown what's good in our business community and where we sometimes let ourselves down.
Does your procurement function exist to deliver savings? Then you’re doomed...
I am surprised by just how many people, including senior executives of many blue chip organizations, think that the purpose of procurement is to deliver savings. And it's evidenced by the performance of many procurement functions being measured predominantly on a savings metric. But this is an out-dated way of doing business. Think about it logically: budgets are not spent to achieve a saving. So procurement is misaligned to the needs of the stakeholders they serve if they are targeted on achieving savings.
Outsourcing / BPO / Offshoring / Near Shoring / Right Sourcing / Right Shoring / Jersey Shoring all of these terms, bar one, have become synonymous with the negative stigma (often hyped by sensationalist media owners) of sending local jobs to low cost, developing countries to be computerized/industrialized as much as possible and then resold back to the initiating business.
Global concerns over increasing market uncertainty
With the summer break around the corner, I write once again amid very mixed outlooks. Political and economic headwinds of varying velocities and natures are creating a number of distractions on both sides of the Atlantic, which continue to dampen down the prospects for meaningful growth.
Powering your business through procurement outsourcing
This whitepaper, which is the third and final whitepaper in the series, investigates outsourcing as a strategy to augment existing capability, enhance expertise and enable procurement to power your business.
Proxima increases annual client spend under management by $3 billion at the half year
LONDON & CHICAGO, June 25, 2012: Proxima, the leading procurement services provider, today announces that it has secured several major new client assignments during the first half of 2012, including significant new arrangements in the US, and several contract renewals.
Driving commerciality through customer satisfaction at Daily Mail
Nick Jenkinson [NJ], Head of Procurement at A&N Media (the B2C division of Daily Mail and General Trust) discusses procurement's changing proposition from process hungry ‘road-blockers’ to customer focused ‘Commercial Enablers’.
Does the SAP / Ariba deal signal the end of AP outsourcing?
The SAP / Ariba deal sent shock waves across the procurement community - prompting mixed reactions. Some practitioners are concerned about the impact of a virtual duopoly on the market, while others are embracing the benefits that are inherited from the combination of two market leading procurement technology platforms.
It may be the Jubilee weekend, but who is your 'king'?
As we here in the UK prepare for a long-weekend full of festivities in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee (marking 60 years on the throne), I began to reflect on the importance of experience and knowledge particularly as it relates to business.
Reducing marketers' scepticism of procurement's value-add
A few articles have begun to crop up around procurement's relationship with various business stakeholders (their customers) - with finance being a primary focal point. However, another pot has begun to bubble from discussions heating up around the value procurement teams' can deliver their marketing department.
Driving Fujitsu’s growth agenda: aligning business supply with business development
Andrew Croston (AC), Chief Procurement Officer (UK and Ireland) at Fujitsu discusses how building business-wide communication, collaboration and relationship strategies into the functions overall operations, procurement has been able to act as a true partner to finance, operations and business development teams – embedding itself into the very core of the business.
Deloitte have published a high-level report, on what North America's top finance executives are thinking. This post takes a look at how CFOs can potentially overcome some of the growing challenges associated with new M&A activity during a sluggish economy.
How your business can apply more intelligence to the budgeting process
Over recent months there have been several articles written on the topic of Finance and Procurement coming together for the greater good. Following on from this theme, this post looks at what value Procurement can bring to the overall budgeting process.
Part of our job as a service provider is to think about the future of procurement, so that we build solutions to problems organisations don't know they have yet. I want to share with you one major change we predict will occur over the next 10 years.
Understanding the wants and needs of the North American CFO
The need for Procurement to better serve their Finance colleagues has never been greater. However, one of the biggest challenges lies in educating Finance in how procurement can help power business - and I stress business. Procurement needs to be having business conversations with its stakeholders - not procurement conversations.
Q1 in review: A need for innovative cost management
The first quarter of 2012 has come to a close, but familiar challenges persist. This post, taken from our latest e-newsletter, looks at some of the themes which clients and many others have raised with us, and from which we have drawn a number of observations.
Can better cost management really improve profitability?
Many UK businesses are facing deteriorating financial performance as a result of challenging economic times. Now, more than ever, the focus on cost management is at an all-time high as business leaders try to safe guard profits while maintaining competitiveness and generating value for stakeholders.
Do you feel procurement is under-appreciated & under-invested in your organisation?
Our recent research has found that, in many cases, the traditional procurement skill-sets drive the direction of a procurement function - focussing on year-on-year savings. Too little focus is on influencing behaviours and achieving alignment between procurement and the business units.
I find the days and weeks around the Budget a singularly extraordinary time of year. Perhaps inevitably, I approach the budget from the perspective of how it will affect our clients and partners, but, given the breadth and range of sectors our teams cover, this encompasses a great deal.
Clive Rees (CR), CPO of Ladbrokes (a leader in the global betting and gaming market) discusses the changing role of procurement in supporting mergers and acquisition (M&A), enhanced SRM and a much greater focus on understanding the overall business.
Procurement outsourcing - powering business improvement
The rebranding process we have recently gone through has given us amazing insight into the relationships we enjoy with our clients, and I'm very thankful for everyone's support and well wishes during the change. It has also enabled us to reflect on what our clients and the wider business community want and need from a procurement outsourcing partner.
This whitepaper, the second in a series of three, examines why many businesses fail to drive maximum benefits and efficiencies out of their indirect expenditure.
Proxima, in conjunction with NelsonHall, ran a research study (involving 120 FTSE 100 CFOs and CPOs from UK, Europe and North America) to investigate the perceptions, attitudes and desired outcomes of Indirect Procurement to catalyse a common sense that procurement could and should play a greater role in most businesses.
ING Direct: Refocusing on the core - a CFO perspective
Feike Brouwers (FB), former Chief Financial Officer for ING Direct discusses his role in bringing the distressed UK business back afloat during the financial crisis, Barclay's acquisition of ING Direct and how cost management is a top priority for all involved in financial services.
Proxima expands into North America as it opens Chicago office
CHICAGO, IL – 13 FEBRUARY 2012. Proxima, Europe’s leading procurement services provider, has today announced the latest step in its expansion plans with the opening of its first office in the United States.
The face of Proxima: an overview of our new creative elements
Week two into our transition to our new brand at Proxima, we continue to hear positive feedback and comments. Today we thought we would offer some insight into the creative aspects of our new brand identity.
Banking fees: a bigger problem than banker's bonuses?
It is around this time of year that the earnings of individuals in the financial services sector come under close scrutiny and, following the storm whipped up by those of Stephen Hester, CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, this year promises to be examined more sharply than most.
On Monday 30 January 2012, buyingTeam announced that it was transitioning to a new brand name and identity - Proxima. I have received an influx of commentary around the new name and I thought I would take some time to explain the rationale behind the Proxima brand name.
Change in the procurement services sector as buyingTeam becomes Proxima
LONDON, UK - 30 JANUARY 2012: buyingTeam, Europe’s leading provider of end-to-end procurement services, announces today that it is to transition to a new brand and, from 20 February 2012, will be known as Proxima.
LONDON, 30 JANUARY 2012: buyingTeam, Europe's leading provider of end-to-end procurement services, announces today that it is to transition to a new brand and, from 20 February 2012, will be known as Proxima.
Deloitte has just released the findings from their latest CFO Survey. Not surprisingly the results were pessimistic to say the least. The report identified that the single strongest priority for 50% of CFO respondents, who ran UK facing businesses, was to reduce costs.
Over the last few days a lot of airtime has been given to the government's "crackdown" on "excessive charges" levied by airlines, other retailers and even the government's own agencies to process payments made by debit and credit cards. Consumers, championed by Which, have been rightly up in arms about the fact that these charges seem to bear little relation to the costs incurred and that these organisations appear to be profiteering from these extra fees.
As we approach the end of another year, so too we approach the end of our Redefining Procurement Series. In this post, our final post for 2011, we will look at the potential inhibitors and ultimate benefits of looking externally for procurement support.
Before we dive into our end of year review and given 'tis the season of sharing and being thankful, I (on behalf of everyone here at Proxima) would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and contributions to our e-newsletters, our website and our vision of a world in which procurement has been redefined - from a decentralised, tactical function to a strategic business partner.
Proxima's Guy Strafford appointed to Board of CIPS
LONDON, UK - 28 November 2011. Proxima, Europe’s leading procurement outsourcing specialist, is pleased to announce that Guy Strafford, Chief Client Officer, has been appointed to the Board of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS).
10 reasons why gain share fee models should be avoided
Gain share fee models (otherwise known as contingency fee models, or 'no-win no-fee') initially appear attractive to organizations when seeking to engage with a procurement services provider (PSP). However, they are frequently the road to ruin. A closer inspection of such fee models shows why.
It is no secret that UK Retailers are having a tough time at the moment. Although year-on-year sales have increased 0.6%, consumer and business confidence is still low as we enter the festive period. The most recent sign of deteriorating confidence was M&S' announcement that it plans to make suppliers contribute towards its own £600m refurbishment programme.
Redefining procurement series: Procurement outsourcing (part 4) – the marketplace
My previous post, in the Redefining Procurement Series, took a comparative look at the options available to business leaders for managing indirect expenditure more effectively - with outsourcing coming out as a very viable option. Today's post will quickly review the global procurement outsourcing marketplace.
Defying commercial logic - a question of priorities
Recently, I have noticed that in certain industries, the accepted norm contradicts logic. Large businesses have an opportunity sitting within their businesses to improve their bottom line through better management of costs. But to date the accepted norm is to not take advantage of procurement.
Redefining procurement series: Procurement outsourcing (part 3) – your options
Last week's post, in the Redefining Procurement Series, discussed why you should even consider outsourcing procurement. The post finished with the challenge most procurement teams face when looking to drive maximum efficiencies and value out of indirect expenditure. This post will take a comparative look at the options available for managing indirects effectively.
Our previous post in the Redefining Procurement Series offered a brief overview of successful Procurement Outsourcing and how it differs from the traditional BPO we have grown to know. This post looks at the fundamental question of why outsource procurement at all?
Current perceptions of the indirect procurement function
Proxima conducted a research study, in association with NelsonHall, involving 120 CPOs and CFOs from global FTSE 100 businesses to understand the perceptions, attitudes and desired outcomes of Indirect Procurement within business today.
Procurement outsourcing, which has been predicted for many years to take off, is finally moving into the mainstream. More and more large organisations are waking up to the fact that significant improvements to the bottom line are possible through improved management of non-core or indirect expenditure (otherwise known as GNFR in the retail sector). As top-line growth is hard to come by in the current economic climate, the opportunity is simply too good to ignore. Read the top ten tips to consider when embarking on your procurement BPO journey.
European Business Review: Outsourcing, debunking the myths and unveiling the realities
Proxima explains that there are firmly entrenched misconceptions that surround outsourcing, and they are holding many companies back from maximising the potential benefits from this fundamentally important tool.
My most recent post in the Redefining Procurement Series talked about how outsourcing has risen to be a key element in how businesses operate today. I will now discuss one specific type of outsourcing - Procurement outsourcing, (also known as Procurement BPO).
Translating the benefits of procurement for internal stakeholders at BP (part 2)
The first part of our interview with Andrew Collopy [AC], Global Procurement Director, Downstream at BP concluded with a discussion around communicating the benefits of procurement internally and reducing stakeholder scepticism. Part two continues the internal validation conversation plus looks at how procurement can breakaway from it's typecast as a tactical buyer.
We are quickly approaching the end of our Redefining Procurement Series, with the final chapter focussing on Procurement Outsourcing. Today's post aims to set the scene for the subsequent posts in the final chapter.
In the first part of our interview Tom Kinnaird [TK], Head of Commercial and Procurement Service at WPP concluded with a lengthy discussion around talent management. We now delve deeper into the procurement life cycle, stakeholder engagement and being seen as a value adding operation.
Friday response: 16 ways to successfully influence change
Dom Del Borrello, Client Director in the Melbourne office of Vantage Performance has recently published a thought piece around change management - highlighting 8 ways to influence change. I thought I would bring 8 additional ideas to the table.
Proxima's Ian Thompson elected CIPS Councillor for South East Region
LONDON, UK – 8 August 2011. Ian Thompson, Managing Director Support Services at Proxima, Europe’s largest procurement outsourcing specialist, has been elected to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s (CIPS) Council. Elected by CIPS members to represent the South East, Ian’s three-year term as councillor will run from November 2011 to October 2014.
Part one discussed the importance of strategic planning and some tools that can be used in developing your strategic plan. We now look a little deeper under the surface and dig into the actual make-up of your procurement operation.
Tom Kinnaird [TK], Head of Commercial and Procurement Service at WPP discusses how applying a pragmatic approach to procurement can achieve high levels of compliance and improve stakeholder engagement.
Over the past few months, I have used the catch-phrase 'strategic business partner' repeatedly - looking at developing the capabilities within the procurement operation around leadership, stakeholder engagement, communication and talent management.
Surrounded by business closures, law suits and a plethora of compliance / regulations, many C-level executives have reprioritized risk mitigation and aversion tactics much higher up their agendas. Increasingly, given that virtually anyone in an organisation can purchase something, there is a growing need for procurement to get involved in big ticket items as well as educating stakeholders about the impact of risk on business objectives.
Balancing cost reduction with future demand at Siemens
Dietmar Harteveld [DH], Director of Indirect Material for North West Europe at Siemens discusses how functional calibration and deep stakeholder engagement can help drive savings today and help understand where tomorrow’s value is really coming from.
The surge in crude oil prices driven by tension in Libya has forced many organisations, that are high consumers of oil or reliant on oil, to look further across the energy sphere towards alternative energy options.
If I can, for a moment, direct your attention back to one of my previous posts around reducing stakeholder scepticism. The post talks generally about how to better engage with your stakeholder, gaining their buy-in, enabling you to increase your influence over their budgetary decisions. This is the first step towards being seen as a strategic partner of the business.
My last post in the Redefining Procurement Series closed with the question "who is this business partner and where do they come from - someone inside the business or external to the organisation? From a procurement background or not?". This is actually part of a much wider question of - how are organisations, post economic crisis, structuring their procurement operation?
My past 2 posts in the Redefining Procurement Series were focused around the need for procurement to develop high levels of Stakeholder Communication Skills. However, the fact of the matter is there is a shortage of people with the right skills and experience to successfully communicate with the wide variety of stakeholders that exist within any business. Given your average category manager's role is to go out into the market and get the best value for money, there is no wonder the internal communications element has fallen by the wayside.
Redefining procurement series: Stakeholder communication (part 2)
My most recent post in the Redefining Procurement Series placed procurement as a hub within the business highlighting interconnectedness with other key stakerholders. We will now delve into the thrilling second part, looking at developing stakeholder buy-in (we will focus on developing buy-in from individuals in the next post).
Redefining procurement series: Stakeholder communication (part 1)
My last post in the Redefining Procurement Series finished by stating that the key to being a great leader is understanding your stakeholders needs and drivers and adapting your approach and metrics to their unique needs. With this established, we now need to understand how procurement can (and should) engage with the various departmental stakeholders and forge close working relations.
Where is the value in better management of GNFR for retailers?
Following on from my first post in the UK Retail Series (in which I asked how can UK retailers look to safe guard themselves over the coming 2 years?), I would now like to look a bit closer at the importance of the supply chain.
Overcoming forecast uncertainty and volatility at Innocent Drinks
James Davenport [JD], Finance Director at Innocent Drinks discusses the challenges today's FD's face in light of increasingly volatile markets and procurement's role in alleviating some of that volatility.
Redefining procurement series: Relationships and building trust
Up to now, our Redefining Procurement Series has looked at procurement's trajectory towards a leadership role within an organisation and touched on the who, what, when and why. Now we will look at the how - how can procurement be seen as a leader, an influencer, an advisor and a trusted/respected strategic business partner?
I have recently read with great interest the latest Ernst & Young ITEM Club report, which forecasts UK consumer spending growth rates slowing to 2.0% p.a. until 2020, which (no doubt) will have major implications on UK retailers top-line growth figures
The 2011 European Shared Services & Outsourcing week event wrap up
Proxima recently attended SSON's European Shared Services & Outsourcing Week to find out how high procurement really is on the outsourcing community's agenda and what the opportunities are for greater focus on procurement within global business services.
Achieving higher ROI with fewer people at AXA insurance
Stephen Wills [SW], Director of Group Procurement at AXA Insurance discusses how strategic business partnering allowed AXA to achieve more savings as a ROI year-on-year, while reducing absolute head count.
Redefining procurement series: Procurement as a strategic business partner
Looking back over the past three years, UK Plc (as well as global business) has seen some radical changes in light of the economic crisis - most notably how cash flow and costs are managed across the business.
Contracts, courage and change: Procurement as a leader
Tim Cummins (TC), President, International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) in a recent interview, discusses procurement’s role in proactively leading the charge towards the boardroom… and not waiting for a golden invitation.
Industry update: procurement's new role in pharmaceuticals
Coming off the back of what was a turbulent year for everyone in the pharmaceutical industry, not only were poor economic conditions forcing everyone to batten the hatches, but new stringent regulatory hurdles and looming patent expiration dates have caused the entire industry to look inwards and either insulate or expand.
A finance perspective of procurement within pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca
An interview conducted with David Powell (DP), Senior Director of Global Finance Processes, AstraZeneca discusses how Procurement has gone from being the poor cousin, to a partner at the heart of business decision making within AstraZeneca.
The amount paid to bankers will continue to be a hot topic while we wait for more of the banks to report their 2010 results. But less time is spent on why investment banks in particular continue to be able to pay large bonuses, and the implications for UK and global plc.
Supply Management: Bank charges should face procurement’s scrutiny
The amount paid to bankers will continue to be a hot topic while we wait for more of the banks to report their 2010 results. But less time is spent on why investment banks in particular continue to be able to pay large bonuses, and the implications for UK and global plc.
To start with, lets get some clarity around what ‘indirects’ are - also known as ‘non-core’ and ‘Goods Not For Resale’. All these names are negative, nondescriptive words. None capture the true meaning of this spend.
Amid the cuts, Local Authorities can’t have it both ways
Last week, 90 Liberal Democrat councillors wrote to The Times remonstrating about the speed and direction of Government spending cuts. They argued, understandably, that their already ongoing spending reduction programmes had gone overlooked by Central Government and that its annual three per cent budget savings stood at odds with "runaway" spending on Whitehall.
Pan-european savings delivery - procurement's holy grail or can of worms...?
The challenge for indirects - Companies with operations across a number of different countries are facing new and increasing challenges in indirects. Indirects are hard enough to handle in just one country, but addressing them in many geographies, simply makes the challenges of the variety of suppliers, diversity of stakeholders and the multiplicity of processes even harder.
Universal Music renews award winning procurement partnership with Proxima
LONDON, UK – 01 March 2011. Proxima, Europe’s largest procurement outsourcing specialist, today announced the renewal of its partnership with Universal Music UK, signing an extended three-year contract worth in excess of US$2 million.
Direct v indirect procurement - market intelligence survey findings and whitepaper
The purpose of this research was to find out the perceived differences between the procurement of direct and indirect products and services. It has revealed some fascinating results for procurement professionals.
Guy Strafford, Chief Client Officer at Proxima explains for such a widely adopted business process, outsourcing is often misunderstood. Many business professionals are failing to appreciate the potential benefits.
Sourcing Focus: Public sector efficiency targets - outsourcing's angel or demon?
The UK chancellor announced £15 billion of efficiency savings to be made over the next three years. For organisations such as the NHS, this announcement will have significantly increased the weight on managerial shoulders.