Proxima — See the change

Insight & opinion

 

Leading businesses see procurement as a value, not a function

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.

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The search for procurement catalysts is on

Catalytic procurement

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.

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Looking for commercial excellence in all the wrong places

Guy-New.jpg

What drives excellence? Is it the relentless drive for customer delight? Is it the fanaticism of engineering to “get it right”? Is it the single-minded pursuit of maximum profitability?

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Buyers Meeting Point: Webinar notes - the procurement team of the future

Buyers Meeting Point: 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.

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The Internet of Things - challenging human behaviour

Guy Strafford - The Internet of Things

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.

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3 reasons social media is important to procurement

Guy Strafford - Proxima

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.

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The Challenger manifest: fortune favours the brave

Guy Strafford

Over the centuries, the development of thought and constant challenge of the world around us has enabled mankind to achieve some amazing breakthroughs, which have transformed our lives:

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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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Your procurement team is drowning

Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall

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?

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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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The next step to supplier success

Guy-New

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.

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How to uncover your hidden treasures within indirect procurement

Proxima blog; Guy Strafford

Alsbridge have written a whitepaper outlining why business leaders should look to managed service providers to drive out hidden treasures within their indirect spend.

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One world, one business model – the impact of globalization

Supplier Management

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.”

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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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A moving feast for the Dutch Food & Beverage Market

Dutch food and beverage industry

For Dutch food and beverage (F&B) businesses, improving margins is a constant challenge and breaking out of the commodity trap is the name of the game.

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Harvard Business Review recognizes today's leaders cannot afford to downplay procurement

Harvard Business Review

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.

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Harvard Business Review: Leaders can no longer afford to downplay procurement

Proxima media mention; Harvard Business Review

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.

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10 questions senior executives should be asking about their cost base

Questions

Over the past few weeks we have written about the journey towards corporate virtualization that many media & entertainment businesses have been on over the past 10 years.

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Proxima success story: Game on

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.

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Benefits for media & entertainment companies from better supply management

microscope-and-globe

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.

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The shifting sands of procurement

Shifting sands of procurement

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.

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Proxima success story: An energy boost for professional services

Learn how Proxima applied their catalytic thinking right across a multi-billion dollar global snack business and reduced the professional services cost base by a tasty 10%.

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Media & entertainment’s journey of virtualization

Media and Entertainment's journey of virtualization

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.

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Showing procurement's true value

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

I hope your 2014 has got off to a positive start – it seems there is an air of positivity covering global economies – with green shoots well and truly growing at pace in US and UK markets.

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Getting your extended enterprise working as one. Harmonising your suppliers and your business objectives

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

The modern business now consists of a small central core conducting a large virtual orchestra of suppliers. 

The maestro leading this symphony is procurement.

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Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 3)

Non-core costs

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.

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Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 2)

Non-core costs

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.

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Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 1)

non-core costs

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.

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The broken bridge between business need and business supply

Supplier Management

On average, two thirds of any business’ activities today are performed outside of their organization by third party suppliers (see this research for more detail).  And it’s a growing trend.

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The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 2

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

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.

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The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 1

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

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.

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Proxima success story: Clear proof - the bottle (UK)

When it came to reviewing the cost of manufacturing a bottle, Proxima took a Catalytic Approach. We looked beyond the contract itself to the entire context of what the bottle achieves for our client.

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Procurement is broken (US)

Suppliers are integral to the modern company, and they know more about your supply chain, risk, governance and innovation that you do.

But where is procurement in all of this? Proxima explains...

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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.

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Catalytics: A new level of thinking applied across your business (US)

 

This animation explains Proxima’s concept of Catalytic Thinking, by looking at how one man changed furniture retailing forever by thinking about his customers’ behavior and answering their needs.

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Proxima success story: Clear proof - the bottle (US)

When it came to reviewing the cost of manufacturing a bottle, Proxima took a Catalytic Approach. We looked beyond the contract itself to the entire context of what the bottle achieves for our client.

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Proxima client success story: Cold hard proof, the refrigerator (UK)

This animation tells the story of how Proxima applied their catalytic thinking right across a major retail business and delivered hundreds of millions to their bottom line.

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Proxima client success story: Cold hard proof, the refrigerator (US)

This animation tells the story of how Proxima applied their catalytic thinking right across a major retail business and delivered hundreds of millions to their bottom line.

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Corporate virtualization - 100 years in the making

Guy-New

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.

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Today's growth is fueled more by suppliers than internal staff

Supplier Management

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.

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Infographic: Ever wondered about global business’ spend patterns?

Non-core costs

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.

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How suppliers have changed Dutch management practices

suppliers impact on dutch business

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.

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The Dutch market: looking outwards

Proxima blog

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.

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With so much of your business activity being done by people not on your payroll, who’s controlling the talent?

animated-men

The media sector, along with many other sectors around the world, is experiencing a shift in where talent and expertise now sits within a business...

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New rules for cost management

New_rules

How 'corporate virtualization' is changing the game for Dutch businesses

Reducing non-labor costs could increase profits among Dutch AEX25 companies by billions of euros a year, a new report has uncovered.

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Procurement not following rules for success, time for a rethink

Guy-New

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...

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Proxima helps Activision Blizzard create value and achieve sourcing success

Activision_Blizzard_logo

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.|

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Faltering growth means proactive supplier engagement is required

Finance-Chart

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.

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Proactive protection amid uncertain times

Guy-New

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 one’s which give the most accurate or best insight is always a challenge.

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The changing nature of business: What next?

Proxima blog

This is the concluding chapter for the changing nature of business series. We hope you have enjoyed the series and the research.

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