Viewpoint June 2013


Future Purchasing Viewpoint
Mark Webb

Mark Webb

Managing Director, Future Purchasing

Welcome to the June edition of our FP Viewpoint. Today we celebrate the retirement of one of procurement’s true innovators – Jon Hughes . As Chairman of FP and other key roles with QP Group and ADR, Jon has made a massive contribution to procurement thought leadership and practice over the past 30 years. In truth, most procurement organisations are benefiting from the tools, processes and ways of thinking that Jon has originated – an astounding achievement that was formally recognised when he was awarded the Swinbank Award by The UK Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply in 2006.

It has been a privilege to work with Jon on a day-to-day basis for the past 10 years. All of the FP team have been influenced by his creativity, commitment to excellence and enthusiasm for helping clients to transform their procurement capability. Not to mention his extensive knowledge of superior wine!

Jon is a peerless collaborator and together with his wife Jack they have translated this passion into an innovative and successful horse racing venture. Once again Jon is leading the way but this time in the colourful world of horse racing - Owners for Owners Racehorse Partnerships.

We wish them continued success with their new venture and also look forwardto working with Jon as our innovation sponsor.

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This Month

This month we are pleased to share the fourth part of our 2012-13 Category Management Survey

Read Part 4 here Link arrow

If you would like to find out more, please contact Simon Brown - Director Category Management.

Category Management

Our clients experience significantly improved financial results as a direct outcome of applying category management principles to their external spend.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Simon Brown - Director Category Management.

On to Pasture New!

After 30 years in the rather arcane specialism of procurement transformation and change management, I decided it was definitely time to move on to some newer pastures, even though I’m intending to maintain an advisory link with Future Purchasing in the years ahead.

Whether the next phase of my life is about retirement or not will probably be in the lap of the gods. However, all of the Viewpoint readers who know me well won’t be at all surprised to hear that I’m already pursuing my long-time interest in horse racing and indeed have set up a collaborative venture, Owners for Owners, to do that.

Three decades are a long time to spend in any subject area. Without any doubt, when I left university and started thinking about a career I could never have envisaged my deep involvement with procurement. Having studied organisational and social psychology I naturally found myself in the world of human resources – or rather “the labour office”, as it was then termed in the automotive industry. Rose-tinted spectacles from being a Woodstock generation hippie student at Cambridge were soon shattered as I found myself up against the scarily anarchic trade union shop stewards of the time, most notably represented by Red Robbo. Little did I know that this was going to stand me in very good stead when dealing with the procurement community.

I wouldn’t dare suggest that many buyers at the time were equally inflexible, narrowly focused on a very limited range of goals and totally unable to perceive the broader need of building value in business. But actually on reflection I probably did perceive procurement in that way. And, alas, maybe a few still are. However, very significant strides have been made in recent years and I’d like to feel that the organisations I have been closely connected with have benefited from the innovations in business strategies, operating models, processes, tools and techniques that I have championed over the years

When I first came into consultancy I felt that I needed to kick on and benefit from the innovations that were being made. I thought that radical change would take place inside a decade. Well, thirty years on, I now realise how long it takes for innovative practice to diffuse across organisations and sectors. I suspect there will be a similar reaction in another thirty years’ time. So on stepping down from the chairmanship of FP, I’d like to encourage everyone in the field to pursue procurement transformation with the same vigour, passion and good humour that I’ve tried to bring to the subject. Certainly I know that my colleagues in FP will most definitely be doing that and I wish them and their clients all the very best fortunes in the years ahead.

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Category Management Survey: Part 4 LEAD

The 2012-13 Category Management survey provides detailed insight into the best practices that separate Category Management Leaders from Followers

The report follows the FP Category Management Building Blocks. In Part 4 we focus on LEAD : how the most successful organisations set up their governance and operating model to embed Category Management and to ensure sustainable, long term benefits.

These findings and recommendations cover:

• What is LEAD and why is it important?
• Are Category Management roles and responsibilities for   
  Procurement and stakeholders clear and unambiguous?
• Is Category Management aligned and connected to your   
  organisation's broader goals?
• What is the level of stakeholder support for Category
• How to accelerate Category Management capability with

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