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Insight & opinion

 

Supply Management: Purchasers failing to pass on supplier insights to wider business

Supply Management: Supplier insight study

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.

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Five reasons why supplier relationship management is important

John-Hatton-Portrait.png

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?

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Spend Matters: How change management can change procurement for the better

Spend Matters: Influencing change

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. 

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Spend Matters: Influencing change - the solution to procurement's change challenges

Spend Matters: Influencing change

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.

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Spend Matters: Why humans win over machines and speed in outsourcing

Spend Matters: More top companies tendering audit services

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.

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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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3 reasons procurement needs to focus on winning hearts and minds

Procurement 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…)

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Quick procurement wins for 2015

Quick procurement wins are key to success

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…)

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Procurement Insights: Audit tendering process will force procurement professionals to go beyond traditional boundaries

Procurement Insights: Audit tendering forces procurement beyond boundaries

Procurement Insights' Jon Hansen looks at how mandatory audit rotation will force procurement professionals to go beyond traditional boundaries.

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Procurement 2.0: Moving beyond data and process

People don't scale

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”. 

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Spend Matters: Proxima gets us thinking about procurement in 2014 and 2015

Spend Matters: Proxima gets us thinking about procurement

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.

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The Accountant: Audit needs a check-up

The accountant: Audit needs a check up

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.

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Director of Finance: Audit needs a check-up

Directorof Finance: Audit needs a check-up

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.

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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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Spend Matters: More top companies tendering audit services in response to new reforms

Spend Matters: More top companies tendering audit services

Spend Matters discuss our research into the UK audit market and why new reforms are forcing companies to learn more about the audit tendering process. 

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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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Commitment Matters: Are organizations incapable of running successful trading relationships?

Commitment Matters: Are organizations running successful 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.

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Are you buying what you want...or what you need?

Guy Strafford and Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall Math Men and procurement

“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. 

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3 reasons big data is important to procurement

Guy Strafford: Big data's impact on procurement

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.

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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 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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New way of looking at an old problem

Proxima blog

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).

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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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Demand driven models at Alcon Novartis

Proxima image; Alcon Novartis logo

Vipin Rikhi, Finance Director, Business Planning Analysis for Alcon Novartis, talks with Proxima about demand driven procurement models and their impact on the business.

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Real Business: We need to talk about your suppliers

Proxima media mention; Real Business

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Spend Matters UK/Europe: External resource management - is this the new name for procurement?

Proxima media mention; Spend Matters logo

Proxima's Guy Strafford asked the very provoking question - does procurement need a new name?

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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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Some important questions for business leaders (US)

Hear why the conventional approach of beating up suppliers and pushing them away means there is real and untapped value sitting in companies across thousands of suppliers.

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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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Spend Matters UK/Europe: Procurement isn’t aligned with strategies for business success – Guy Strafford comments

Spendmatters300

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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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