Proxima — See the change

Insight & opinion

 

Aligning procurement to get more from your marketing spend

Aligning procurement with marketing

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.

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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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Procurement Leaders: Big company supplier squeeze - a disturbing trend continues

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Proxima's Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall submits a guest post to Procurement Leaders, explaining why in the sometimes complicated area of supplier management, a disturbing trend is emerging.

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Procurement is the 'marriage counsellor' between agency and client

Procurement as a 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.

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The evolution of the audit market - live discussion

Procurement can help CFOs navigate audit market

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.

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ICSA: The right firm and the right terms

ICSA: The right firm and the right terms

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.

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Spend Matters: Buying audit services - advice from an expert

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.

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Global Banking & Finance Review: Competition Commission reforms make audit a procurement challenge for FTSE350

Global-Banking

Global Banking & Finance Review cover our research into the UK audit market, highlighting why the reforms by the Competition and Markets Authority are creating a challenge for procurement.

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Procurement Insights: Buyers Meeting Point Weekly Update

Procurement Insights: Buyers Meeting Point

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.

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Supply Management: Top companies changing auditor more often

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.

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accountingWEB: One in four FTSE 350 companies switch auditor

Accounting Web: One in four 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.

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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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Gaining competitive advantage through effective supplier management at Norland

Norland

Rachel Lee, Group Procurement Director, for Norland Managed Services speaks with Proxima about leveraging supplier relationships to create a competitive advantage.

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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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Sales and procurement – a corporate paradox

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

Sales and procurement are two ends of the same activity. So why, in non-core procurement, are they like the prince and the pauper separated at birth?

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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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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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Commitment Matters: The case for an integrated commercial service

Proxima media mention; Commitment Matters

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.

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Risks and rewards at Coventry Building Society

Proxima interview; Coventry Building Society

Feike Brouwers, Chief Risk Officer for Coventry Building Society, discusses the challenges behind running a successful risk function in a constantly evolving business environment.

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Outsource Magazine: Q&A with Richard Jones, Proxima et al

Proxima media mention; Outsource Magazine

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.

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Top 5 tips for managing your virtualized/extended enterprise

Supplier Management

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.

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Mending a fragmented function. Colt Technology discuss how they repaired a disjointed procurement unit

Proxima image; Colt

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.

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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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The Drum: Procurement departments now 'friends to agencies and marketers' says Coca-Cola

Proxima media mention; The Drum

Proxima's John Butcher discusses the evolution of marketing procurement with Coca-Cola Europe's procurement director

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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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Outsourcing is NOT offshoring – why procurement outsourcing needs an alternative approach

Proxima image; Guy Strafford

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.

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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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Horses for Sources: Can HR ever overcome its obsession with the automation of obsolete processes?

Proxima media mention; Horses for Sources logo

Horses for Sources comment on Proxima's research, and explain why HR departments should look at cutting costs, not jobs, to improve their contribution to the wider business.

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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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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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Procurement Leaders: Auditing reform - does re-tendering deliver value?

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Mandatory audit rotation – a sourcing challenge

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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 CC’s laudable objectives to improve quality and broaden the competitive market for statutory audit?

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New rules for cost management

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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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Audit tendering may not turn out as hoped without some market change

Guy-New

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.

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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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"Waiter, is that pork in my moose lasagne?"

is-that-pork-in-my-moose-lasange

It’'s not my fault. It wasn’t me. Sound familiar? These are common excuses we’ve used since childhood. And while they may pass in many circumstances of private life, they don’t often fly in the corporate world. Pointing the finger usually doesn’t protect shareholder value nor avert corporate reputational damage.

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Source for Consulting: Procurement consulting - a crucible of change?

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Business has changed. Has yours?

Guy-New

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.

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Global myths of procurement outsourcing: Myth 5 - PO means off-shoring

global-myths-of-procurement-outsourcing-v1

This myth is partially true - and partially a myth.  The offerings of many outsourcers are about off-shoring jobs to a low cost country, e.g. India.  However, not all providers operate this way.

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Global myths of procurement outsourcing: Myth 3 - PO damages stakeholder relationships

global-myths-of-procurement-outsourcing-v1

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 doesn’t engage well with the business, and deliver what the business needs.

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Global myths of procurement outsourcing: New series introduction

global-myths-of-procurement-outsourcing-v1

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.

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Spend Matters US: Procurement BPO with a category and customer-intimate twist (part 3)

Spendmatters300

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The changing nature of business (pt 3): Who’s really responsible for cost management?

Proxima blog

If you talk to a CFO about '‘costs'’, you'’ll be listened to.  It'’s clearly the CFO’s 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?

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