The client, a large property and business-services provider, operated in a market place where strong procurement practices were key to building and maintaining an attractive customer proposition to maintain a competitive advantage. However, new business acquisitions and a growing customer portfolio meant that strong procurement practices had failed to keep pace.
Our client had enjoyed a number of years of solid growth; their service proposal offered a complete property management service, backed up by a first-class IT platform offering. The strength of this proposition saw an ever-growing positive reputation with corporate and public sector organisations. However, as is often the case, with growth comes ‘growing-pains’.
Procurement practices within the organisation had failed to keep pace with the growth of the business, and the demands it now placed on it is supply chain. Further, end-customers were placing an ever greater emphasis on procurement as part of their own tender processes.
As such, the senior leadership needed to ensure that the procurement function remained match-fit, and where appropriate, to establish opportunities to improve upon the function, particularly;
- Their approach to supply-chain management
- Their approach to working cross-functionality and the abundance of category management principles, supplier consolidation, and leveraging spend.
- Ensuring that procurement decisions were being made effectively, intelligently and efficiently, through the right balance of governance, control, and pragmatism.
- Lastly, to ensure that the team was appropriate in terms of available skillsets; business alignment; and the remit available to the team to enable them to do their job more effectively.
Our approach saw an initial detailed assessment of procurement within the client (Stage 1). Thereafter, delivery of a number of work packages for our client, following the results of our Stage 1 assessment and the presentation of our proposed ‘Change Principles’.
Stage 1 – Assessing the Maturity of Procurement – Stage 1 looked to form an intimate and detailed understanding of how procurement was undertaken within our clients business.
This process, which follows our own methodology, took into account both quantitative data, through the review of client expenditure; cost-saving opportunities; contract reviews and alike, and then applied against comprehensive assessment criteria and scoring. And, secondly, qualitative data, through the review of team structures; policies/procedures; stakeholder interviews and alike.
Stage 2 – Following the presentation of our ‘Change Principles’, Oculus were asked to deliver against a range of improvement opportunities within procurement, across the organisation.
Our solution saw a fundamental redesign of how our client procured goods and services from its suppliers, and how suppliers were managed effectively. This saw Oculus delivery;
- Newly defined internal roles and responsibilities to ensure that colleagues were empowered to make appropriate decisions, including the restructuring of the client procurement team;
- A new and refreshed procurement strategy, including the reorganisation of the procurement team in alignment to this strategy and a new way of working, based upon procurement category management principles;
- In regard to supplier management, we delivered a comprehensive supplier management strategy, including the creation of a dedicated Supplier Relationship Management team, which was separated from the Procurement function, so as to ensure proper focus and resource was provided for;
- A full redesign of how procurement and spend was governed in terms of contract signing; expenditure/deal commitment; delegated authorities and policies. This facilitated accurate, fact-based and effective decision making within a growing business;
- Lastly, the creation and short-term programme management of a whole-of-business cost-saving programme to kick-start the new procurement strategy for onward delivery by the as-new Procurement team.
- A ‘right-sized’ procurement function that is now property structured in terms of process, headcount/role and (workload) priorities.
- A new way of working that drives collaboration; empowerment; and structured decision making, without introducing bureaucracy.
- A whole of business cost saving and supplier review programme based on category management principles.
- The introduction of new talent to complement the existing Procurement and Supply Chain Management teams.