Proxima — See the change

Insight & opinion

 

Aligning your procurement mindset to the growth agenda

Ian Ingram, European Commercial Director at Proxima

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.

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Getting your procurement function in shape for 2015

Fitter, faster procurement

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.

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The Challenger banks

Ian Ingram

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”.

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The real issues keeping CFOs up at night

Ian-New

Deloitte recently published an article in the WSJ highlighting 10 Issues that are keeping CFOs up at night.

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.

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Value, values and the return to growth

Ian-New

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?

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Corporate risk: when upside is a downer

Proxma image; Ian Ingram

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.

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Summer is still a long way off for the financial services sector

Ian-New

The weather is pretty filthy, given it’'s almost summer. And summer looks like it might be a while coming in the financial services sector, too.

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Evolutionary cost management in financial services

Ian-New

Cost management techniques have been quietly evolving in the back offices of financial services businesses. It’s time for the new model to emerge.

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How to avoid value-erosion and cost-leakage in Financial Services

Ian-New

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.

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Ladbrokes Chief Procurement Officer bets on stakeholder management

Ian-New

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.

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Banks seek agility, transparency and transformation from procurement

Ian-New

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.

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Is Barclays getting holistic?

Ian-New

"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.

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Facilitating change in Financial Services

Ian-New

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.

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All change in Financial Services

Ian-New

New regulations, greater scrutiny, a more unpredictable operating environment, more severe exogenous risks... The financial services industry clearly needs to be fast on its feet right now.

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Financial Services: it’s not about the money...

Ian-New

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.

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