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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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: 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.