Procurement Professionals: Rubber Stampers or Mission Control


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Procurement Professionals: Rubber Stampers or Mission Control

  1. 1. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate EventProcurement Professionals:Rubber Stampers or Mission Control?How Procurement can add real value to the processof buying Business Improvement ServicesSPEAKERS: PAUL VINCENT, ACTING CHAIR OF THE CONSULTANCY PURCHASING GROUP AND MANAGING DIRECTOR,INSIGHT SOURCING SOLUTIONS. JOHN WELLWOOD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, 100% EFFECTIVE TRAINING & CONSULTANCY.CATHY JOHNSON, VICE PRESIDENT, CELERANT CONSULTING VENUE: TRINITY HOUSE, TOWER HILL, LONDON
  2. 2. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate Event“When consultants engage with Procurement Professionals it should be a meeting of minds, but too often it’s a meeting of agendas.” Cathy Johnson Celerant Consulting UKProfilesPaul Vincent is Acting Chair of the IBC Consultancy John Wellwood is an international Master Black Belt Cathy Johnson is a Vice President at Celerant Consulting.Purchasing Group and the owner and Managing who has consulted in over 13 countries, trained over During her previous 7 years in TelecommunicationsDirector of Insight Sourcing Solutions Ltd, a company 1000 people in Lean Six Sigma and run projects in and 10 years in Operational Consultancy, Cathy haswhich specialises in helping organisations buy and sell almost every area of business and industry. John set up worked across the whole value chain and led a wideBusiness Improvement services more effectively. Paul 100% Effective Training & Consultancy in 2000 to range of assignments throughout Europe in theestablished Insight in 2009, following a successful offer open, in house and online training at all levels, as FMCG, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals,24 year career in commercial and operational well as consultancy and advice in business improvement. Telecommunications and Financial Services sectors.disciplines at BT Group plc. He has over 13 years Since that date the company has worked across the globebuying and global category management experience with organisations that include BT, BAA, Caterpillar,and has been responsible for the delivery of many Volvo, Jaguar, Nissan, Renault, Norwich Union,high profile business change programmes. Trelleborg, Alstom and Valeo.2 CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT
  3. 3. t is often claimed, by internal The conference was hosted and I stakeholders and external introduced by Caroline Lumb, Head of suppliers alike, that when it the IBC and the guest speakers were comes to buying Management Paul Vincent, Acting CPG Chair andConsultancy services, Procurement Managing Director of Insight SourcingProfessionals care too much about price Solutions, John Wellwood, Managingand too little about the potential value Director of 100% Effective Training &that can be added. Consultancy and Cathy Johnson, Vice President at Celerant Consulting.It’s also perceived that they generallyhave so little knowledge, understanding It was held at Trinity House, overlookingor interest in the business issues that lie The Tower of London, and among thebehind the Improvement Project that is to organisations represented were: Americanbe put out to tender, their practical Express, Aviva, Barclays Capital, Britishinvolvement in the actual buying process Council, BT, Legal & General, Lloydsshould be restricted to the concluding of Banking Group, Manpower UK, Pfizer,formalities at the end. Premier Foods, Prudential, RWE Npower, Schroders, Severn Trent Water, Shell,In this context, and in association with the Societe Generale, Tesco, The Co-operativeInstitute of Business Consulting (IBC) and Financial Service, The Foreign Office, Thethe Consultancy Purchasing Group (CPG), Walt Disney Co, United Utilities, VodafoneCelerant Consulting was delighted to sponsor and Westminster City Council.‘The Knowledgeable Buyer -What difference would it make?’ “ The skills required to be a goodWhat combination of knowledge andunderstanding would a Procurement Procurement Professional are theProfessional need to possess in order tobe invited into the process much earlier? same as those required to be aAnd how might this subsequentlyinfluence the way each party approaches good Consultant - which includesthe commercial and contractual negotiations understanding that what peopleto ensure that the project can and will besuccessfully delivered? want isn’t always what they need.” CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT 3
  4. 4. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate EventGoing Against The Flow The typical Consultancy-Internal Client-Procurement Flow needs to change, says Paul Vincent. Procurement Professionals must deliver business value much earlier in the buying cycle.Executive Summary wo key challenges need to be Anticipate Business Improvement needs: Recommend the ‘best fit’ supply options: T overcome for a Procurement They will rarely feature in a category Who has your organisation used before and Professional to become ‘The strategy, so you have to be able to predict how did they perform? Are they still just as Knowledgeable Buyer.’ The first where needs may emerge during the year capable now or has something changed?is the simple question of inclusion. You have ahead by identifying those parts of your If an alternative choice is required, youto move from being engaged at the end of organisation which face the biggest have to know how widely to cast the net.the line to close things out, to being involved challenges. You need to leverage yourwhen a need is first identified. However, to management chain to learn about emerging Contribute to setting the key milestones:become an integral part of the end to end problems and track the organisational The core principle here is obviously paymentbuying process, Procurement Professionals movements of key executives - especially by outcomes or results, but this needs to beneed to show that they can effectively aid a at certain times of the financial year. appropriately applied. Projects need to bestakeholder in their decision making and relate realistically achievable and to take accountmost appropriately to the supply market. Monitor the political landscape: of the ‘real’ baseline.The second is a question of approach. You Who seems to have inherited a problem?obviously have to protect corporate terms Who needs to be rescued or wants support?and conditions to ensure that the business “The knowledgeable buyer willachieves best value for money, but you have Tune into the urgency of business needs: focus their involvement anddo this by implementing effective processes, When Business Improvement needs do influence in achieving successfulnot unnecessary bureaucracy. emerge, they’re not suited to a long, drawn engagement outcomes.” out selection exercise, so a high degree ofMaking it happen supply filtering must be done in advance. You‘The Knowledgeable Buyer’ has to focus their therefore need to recommend the selection Support the delivery of project outcomes:involvement and influence on achieving process that is most likely to deliver the ‘best Once a supplier has been selected, you havesuccessful engagement outcomes, not fitting’ choice. You’ve also got to keep in mind to help create the environment for successsimply squeezing an extra 1% from the that Business Improvement engagements are by practically supporting ‘on-boarding.’ Thiscosts which may turn out to be counter- almost always phases of work, and not all includes staying on top of how things areproductive. An ‘outcome’ rather than those phases need to be bought at the progressing and spotting potential issues‘deal’ focus will naturally help ensure same time or indeed from the same firm. before they become achieve best value for money.Achieving successful engagement outcomes Help shape the scope of work: Ensure there’s a feedback loop:means being proactive and having your radar Internal clients can sometimes be blindsided It’s important to remember that no Consultancyswitched on at all times: by the scale of the challenge and spend wants to be known for unsuccessful engage- insufficient time on root cause analysis, ments. So a feedback loop is vital. Tie feedbackThe ‘Knowledgeable’ Procurement Flow so you should be alert to the impact this to payment if you can, but be reasonable can have on the scope of work required and remember, feedback is a 2-way street. Consulting Internal Firm Client and help to qualify perceived needs. Share Things can’t change overnight, but the benefits Great Idea Need/Cost Procurement knowledge of past projects and/or external will be enormous. Youll become a trusted Facilitate Discussion Selection & Contract Terms Consulting case studies to offer advice on engagement business advisor and your organisation’s Internal Firm Client Proposition/ options. The critical thing is to help them Business Improvement programmes willNeed/Budget Cost define the specific outcomes required. achieve their optimum outcomes.4 CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT
  5. 5. Recognising The Right Partner What are the characteristics of an effective Business Improvement Consultancy, asks John Wellwood, and how can you validate them during the buying process? Executive Summary t’s never easy to find the right great website that informs you all about Validating the Consultants I Consultancy for a project. Most the different industries they’ve worked in, Not all Consultants are incredibly clever, of the time you only ever meet their key people and the case studies so don’t always believe them when they the Partners or the Senior they’re most proud of, but the truth is say they’re qualified Black Belts or experts Consultants and they won’t be doing the anyone can put together a great website, in Kaizen. It’s also a good idea to ask about actual work. Add to that the fact that every so you have to dig deeper. Will they let their last 3 assignments, their recruitment Consultancy approaches things differently you meet their past clients? Can they policy, their utilisation figures and imperative and the questions mount. You don’t want demonstrate the sustainability of their that you find out exactly who will be delivering to take any risks in case you get it wrong, solutions? Have they ever operated in a the programme. You might get the ‘A Team’ but at the same time, you’re looking for similar culture to yours? And what about in the pitch, but will you get them in the something different. their people? Are they employed from a trenches? If not, make sure you meet or diverse range of backgrounds or are they talk to the people you will get. Time isn’t normally on your side either. all company clones? When Business Improvement needs arise, Validating the Consultancy people want action and they want it fast, Influencing Skills: This is one of the One of the most interesting questions here so you cant draw out the process. That’s biggest differentiators. A 100% effective is whether or not they use their approach to why it’s important to get a feel for the market Consultancy must have fantastic people Business Improvement in their own business in advance. We all agree that price alone skills and an ability to build confidence and - and if not, why not? How do they measure isn’t a good measure of quality, but what is? rapport at all levels of your organisation. successful outcomes for a programme and Business Improvement projects require a are they prepared to open up about past“You might get the A Team change of behaviours and people need to programmes that didn’t hit their targets believe that those changes are for the and explain where and why things went in the pitch, but will you better. So don’t be afraid to ask yourself wrong? It’s all about risk-reward, so what get them in the trenches?” the very human question ‘Do I get on with guarantees are they prepared to offer that them?’ because if you don’t, the chances what they say will work will work? The characteristics of a 100% are no one else will either. There’s no magic wand in any of this, it Effective Consultancy: takes time, effort and a gut instinct. You Philosophy: The best Consultancies Technical Ability: The nuts and bolts - can have to look beyond the showmen and always want to pass on their knowledge they run different methodologies and if see the real people. Effective consultants asap and help the business elsewhere. they can, will they be sustainable? Do they are experts, coaches and trainers. They don’t have a rigid model or a singular really understand your issues and your way of doing business, they adapt to the culture? Have they got war stories? Effective Business Improvement clients culture and way of working. They Consultancy Outcomes understand the risk-reward relationship Character: All projects involve teamwork, Results of Quality of the Acceptance of and will put their money where their so are they actively looking to learn from improvement + solutions = the organisation projects mouth is. They’ll also won’t be afraid tell your internal clients? Will they challenge you if they can’t do something. Honesty their assumptions and draw the best out comes right at the start. of them. It’s vital that they do because Through the Through use of the effective change being open and honest is the quickest right tools & management & History: It’s a given that they’ll have a way to build effective teams. techniques influencing CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT 5
  6. 6. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate EventEnsuring A Win -Win Scenario Consultants and Procurement Professionals want to deliver the best Business Improvement Programmes, says Cathy Johnson, so how do they help each other achieve that?Executive Summary hen we begin talking to about what it is they’re trying to achieve a lax target with lots of support can haveW organisations about Business and then help them define the process the same effect. Equally, if you give a Improvement initiatives we they have to go through to find what Consultancy a target which is too easy, it’s often find that the outcomes they’re looking for. Is it just a skills gap not challenging and you probably won’tthey want are ill-defined or not defined at they’re trying to fix? Or do they want a get the best out of them. So it’s importantall. They might be clear about how many programme that significantly changes to know exactly which behavioural changespeople they want trained, or how many things? Slicing the opportunity into four are going to drive the programme and thenprocesses they want changed, but that’s all manageable chunks makes these conver- work with the Consultancy to get the rightabout the inputs. What’s more important is sations much easier and can be done balance of risk and reward.the end game. What will the organisation either with the Consultancy or internally: The second thing to remember is that forlook like when the programme has finished a Consultancy to be able to commit to theand how will people behave differently? Discovery: High level view of the improvement final outcomes in the process, they have to opportunity and the business case. clearly understand how your organisationDefine the Precise Outcomes works, what the size and scale of changeYou can’t get to where you want to be if Baseline Analysis: Quantification of is that they’re embarking on and what theyou don’t know where you are. So every improvement potential. levers are that theyre going to have to useBusiness Improvement programme must to actually achieve those changes. So theystart by examining the processes that Design & Deploy: Process improvements will need as much upfront raw data as youcurrently exist. How are they being managed defined and quick win installations. can give them.and how can they be improved? What aboutthe people? What skill sets do they have Implementation: Financial, operational Sustainability must be a Key Outcomeand what are they capable of achieving? and behavioural results delivered. There’s little point in anyone engaging a Consultancy to drive quick upticks if theNot every Consultancy comes in because Balance the Risk and Reward cost savings are then going to disappearyou need their skills or knowledge. There are two things to remember here as the organisation drifts back to its oldSometimes you need quick results, from a buying perspective. The first is that way of working. Nor is there any point inmomentum or a project management delivering results cannot be done by the engaging a Consultancy that drives thingscapability, but by having a collaborative Consultancy alone. It also has to be done incredibly hard for a while and thendialogue around what’s important to you, by your internal clients, so whether they leaves without having transferred anywhat we’re trying to achieve and how we like it or not they have a real stake in the of their knowledge into the organisation.get to that result, you’re dramatically programme. As soon as you put aincreasing the chances of success. So from Consultancy in a position where they’re An effective Consultancy needs to bea Consultancy perspective, the earlier in going to be paid by results only, you’re continually making itself redundant bythe engagement process that these honest, automatically putting your internal client embedding Continuous Improvement intoopen conversations take place the better. in the same position - and they might not the organisation and leaving behind a team thank you for that. of internal ‘Change Agents’.Divide the decision process into moremanageable chunks Giving someone a tough target with very Achieving this requires them to guarantee:Procurement Professionals must encourage little support means you can end up driving Engagement: Defining what needs totheir internal clients to be very precise the wrong behaviour and giving someone change, with what benefit, and then6 CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT
  7. 7. selling the change to those who simply So you want a Consultancy that will manage Business Improvement success is adon’t believe it can or must happen. the emotional journey, as well as managing function of what you put into a project the other results, because there’s a huge and how it’s going to be delivered. It’sTraining: Training people in the initial difference between people saying ‘We also a matter of working collaborativelytools required for change. know what a KPI is’ and ‘We know what it to bring in different skill sets at different means to use this KPI.’ Asking a consultancy times, asking the right questions throughoutGuidance coaching: Spending time in whether they regularly put something like the process to both the Consultants andthe relevant work place to monitor this in place also adds an extra level of your internal clients, having clearlyprocesses and challenge NVA activities credibility when it comes to finding defined outcomes and a hard end gameand the root causes. Coaching the teams, out more about their successful projects, to achieve them. That’s how Procurementdelegating the monitoring task to supervisors because the journey of delivering a Professionals deliver the best value backand managers and coaching them in how programme is just as important as the to the drive change. programme itself. The fact that a project has been closed is one piece of information,Coaching the coaches: Ensuring that the but information about how that projecttaskforce and clients are coaching their was closed is significantly more important.people and challenging targets.Coaching sustainability: Testingsustainability. “The task of a good Business ConsultancyDefining and tracking results to ensure ROI.How do you know you’re going to get theROI you want? Consultancies will all tellyou they can get it, but how are they goingto monitor this and show that during the is to make themselvescourse of the project they’re actuallydelivering what they said they would vs redundant.”what they said they would cost over theproject duration. And it’s not just ROI onthe input costs of their daily rate, it’s ROIon your total investment. The underlying journey means measuring progress alongAn absolutely robust tracking system is the way is critical to ensuring the results are deliveredtherefore essential and it must include anevaluation methodology that shows your Developing Experience Practice & Learning Performinginternal financial people that the improve-ments that have been sold to you arehitting the bottom line. Similarly from an Ownership PRIDEoperational, bottom up perspective, the 100% Take-overpeople within the project have to understand SELF-CONFIDENTexactly what actions they’re going to have Giving HOPEFUL Understandingto take to deliver those improvements, so Contributing 80%they can see the direct impact that activity on MISTRUS Watchingthe ground is having on your financial results. CAUTIOUSLY DISBELIEF Compliance POSITIVE Protecting 60% EngagingManaging the Emotional Journey of ChangeOrganisations often struggle with thisbecause it’s not very tangible, but there is Use UNCERTAINTY 40% Co-operatinga direct correlation between results and Acceptancehow you manage the emotional journey 20% ANGRY Withdrawingthat people go through. Many changeprogrammes fail apart at the ‘disbelief’stage shown on the chart opposite. CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT 7
  8. 8. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate EventExtracts from the Q&A n the Q&A session, delegates of as much intellect as they think they have. particular path, then I find that in my I probed the Speakers’ interlocking Let me tell you a story. It’s a true story, so experience you get traction. themes and the impact they had Ill try and not give too much away. SeniorQ& on the Procurement - Consultant managers who engage Consultants often The third thing is, never ask them what- Internal Stakeholder relationship. completely lose their mind in terms of they want. I would really never go and say, what represents good value for money. how can I help you? What you need to doRosalind Barbier, Senior Procurement I had a situation where a senior manager is go in and say, this is what I understandManager at a FTSE 100 Financial Services wanted someone to help them run the about your needs, the type of partnerCompany, asked how many ‘Knowledgeable politics of their Leadership Team and you’re looking to work with and this isBuyers’ Cathy Johnson had come across when I was approached to rubber stamp, how I can offer you value. Now obviouslyas a Consultant? I thought the decimal point was in the wrong you need to pick different types of people place in terms of the numbers that were to do it with. We talked earlier aboutCJ: That’s a really tricky question to answer there. They wanted to pay a particular spotting the dynamics of different peoplein a room full of Procurement Professionals. individual thousands and thousands of moving to different roles. If you say thatBefore today obviously, I have specific pounds on a retainer to do something which to the people who actually need you, forexperience of just 2. One worked in an wasn’t particularly difficult or challenging. example someone who takes over a neworganisation which weve worked with Why? Because that person had a reputation. area, you’re giving them some informationfor 8 years, so that’s a real partnership. They almost had some kind of underwriting that they don’t have. They’re going to beIt’s a significantly large organisation and recognition within the organisation that churning over the stones, you give themthis individual works with all sorts of made it important to engage them. the information they don’t have, theyconsultancies, but he understands where won’t have been impacted by the spin ofwe add value and that its not just about When I spoke to them about what it was their leadership team that everything isthe input, its about the output. The other they were actually getting, why they were great and all of a sudden you become aone is someone who has a very broad paying this money, all those sorts of trusted advisor. It’s not an overnightview of what it means to deliver this type things, they started to open up. So you’ve change though. Youve got to keep at it.of thing. At the other end of the scale, got to be prepared to have what I call aI’ve come across a lot of people who just real business conversation. Rather than Caroline Lumb, Head of the Institute ofgo through the typical tick sheet and if saying I cant work this through from a Business Consulting, wondered what Johnyou ask any questions that are off the tick Procurement benefit, try and approach Wellwood thought about the impact ofsheet the response is ‘Well I’m not really them on a business level and say, what e-portals on the process of Consultancyhere to answer outside questions, so I’m are they giving you that you haven’t got, selection?not going to answer that.’ I’ll just qualify that you really need, and that meansthat by saying that I work primarily in the you’re prepared to spend 2, 3, 4 times JW: There’s obviously a place for e-portalsprivate sector. I’ve have some experience more than you have to? You’ve got to be because it allows procurement to collatein the public sector and when you’ve got prepared to have that conversation. information by asking very precise questionsa system whereby you have to explicitly about what a Consultancy can offer, butjustify what you’re buying and how, the The second point is that in a lot of the problem is that it plays very much intosystem is likely to be more rigid. instances, they really are just focussed on the hands of the big guys - because they the immediate requirement, so they dont have all the stuff you ask for. The smallerSophie Dixon, Senior Procurement think of things. Insurance, indemnity, companies may or may not. The otherManager at American Express, wanted intellectual property, they dont think problem is you’re asked questions in thesePaul Vincent’s view on how best to about that because all they want is some- things which you try and fill it in, but if youengage with internal stakeholders? thing that’s going to help them. So if you don’t know the organisation because you’ve can actually highlight some of the things never worked with them before, how canPV: I would suggest 3 things. First, don’t which theyre taking a risk on, how you possibly answer a question about howbe afraid. They are not always in possession vulnerable they are by going down a we might deploy, when we don’t know8 CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT
  9. 9. “ Senior managers who engage Consultants often completely lose their mind in terms of what represents good value for money.” Paul Vincent anything about your culture, we don’t results. So the conversation about benefits mechanism across the Project Management. know anything about how youve worked realisation, monitoring progress and ‘having If that’s seen as a collaboration between in the past or how you want to work now? something to work against’ comes up very the Client and the Consultancy and for&A I think it’s best to use the e-portal as a early. The other question that comes up early example, from a procurement perspective, way of getting to know people to find a is ‘You might say we’ll make a significant the right metrics have actually been set range of Consultants or Consultancies saving, but how are you going to cash the up to measure success, it’s a dynamic that you would have as a panel to choose cheque?’ So we also build in a rigorous process and you can have a conversation from. Then when you actually have a Programme Management structure that says that says ‘The goalposts have changed requirement, you would get 3 or 4 of them it’s absolutely essential that we track various because of these reasons.’ in the room to explain what’s going on, KPIs weekly - and that’s non-negotiable. what your requirement is and fill in the We won’t change the baseline of where we’ve human side. The majority of projects will have a steering come from, but we will amend the activities group of some kind and they will using and outcomes that we’re trying to work All consultancies have a fantastic client those KPIs and we actually challenge and towards to make sure that we don’t just base and they all have fantastic case studies. coach that process right the way through. rigidly go down the rail track of ‘This is So meeting them enables you to dig deeper, So everyone understands what the objectives the project’ when the business has already because I think we’ve all got an inbuilt are at the definition stage. If you split a turned off in a different direction. So it’s ability to assess whether people are any project into 4 milestones, I’d say that it really important to have a regular dialogue good or not. So when you meet them, you probably takes until milestone 2 before about ‘Is this really what we are still trying to might end up thinking ‘You’re going to put something is really understood, milestone achieve?’ If the outcomes or the objectives that guy in my site?’ He’s never worked in 3 before you start getting the kick back on change, the programme needs to reflect our industry before or he’s never worked ‘well we’re not really sure if that’s come that, but not in a way that lets either the in this kind of culture before’. through, because now we’ve understood how business or the Consultants get off lightly. to measure it’ and by the time you get to Another dynamic is how many projects have the end of the project it is there. It’s been Jonathan Self, Buying Manager they actually completed? To complete a internalised and it’s now a sustainable way Construction at Tesco, asked Paul Vincent project they have to come up with a solution of working. It’s not easy, but it’s a process if the concept of ‘The Knowledgeable and they have to implement it. You would we insist on going through. buyer’ really was that revolutionary? define what a completed project is right at the start - we’ve reduced this or increased Nick de Voil, Director, De Voil Consulting, PV: Evolutionary might be a better word. that and we’ve run it for 6 months and had wanted to know if Celerant ever had What we’ve been talking about today are no problems and so on. The control point is Clients whose objectives change during 2 key points. The closer integration between that the project is complete when the solution the course of an engagement? Procurement and Consultancy, and linked is embedded in the organisation. That tells to that, the point about risk-reward in the you whether or not they’ve had enough CJ: We have Clients who try to change the process. The way I see it, if the Business influence to get everyone to accept it. results or the outcomes that theyre looking Improvement and Procurement functions to achieve. We have a lot of organisations are closer in terms of the objectives and A Consulting industry delegate, asked where the circumstances change during the what we’re really trying to achieve, then the the floor how they educated their users course of the project. Where for example, a setting of that risk -reward relationship and clients to achieve the best level gross scenario is in place that says ‘We’re with the Consultant against the outcomes of benefits from the Consultancy going to improve by X% and sell Y% more will be that much easier. So revolutionary programmes they purchase? widgets’, then unfortunately those Y% is probably the wrong word, evolutionary widgets can’t be sold because there just is the way I’d see it. Having said that ‘The CJ: We’re in a fortunate position because all isn’t the market for them. That happens Knowledgeable Buyer’ is still revolutionary of the programmes we work on are outcomes quite regularly and that’s where I go back for the majority of organisations. based and we make a commitment to those to the absolute need for a benefits tracking CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT 9
  10. 10. The Inside TrackNews & Reviews of the latest Celerant Corporate EventReviewsAfter the conference, Celerant hosted a Corporate Dinner where delegates could exchange ideas on ‘The Knowledgeable Buyer.’Rosalind Barbier of the high degree of sensitivity or confidentiality What did you find most useful about today?Senior Procurement Manager around these projects, Procurement doesn’t necessarily The thing that I really value is that it’s good toFTSE 100 Financial Services Company hear about them until quite a long way down the get out of your own little box and meet with chain. So another challenge is to pull Procurement like-minded professionals. A lot of the topicsWhat are the challenges of buying Business closer to the centre of the business. It needs to earn touched on today reinforced what I was alreadyImprovement services in your organisation? respect in the business as a trusted business partner aware of. There are always some nuggets that comeFirst of all, it’s about having visibility of the and a true commercial partner. To me that would out of it, but what’s really good is the networkingpipeline of requirements. That way you can give be Nirvana. opportunity. Its good to pool experiences andyour internal stakeholders a measured view on knowledge and it makes you realise that you’rethe best way to define those requirements, the So ‘The Knowledgeable Buyer’ not alone with these way to source solutions and the best way to is the way forward?define what success looks like. Yes. I think we’ve all got a very good vision of what What’s also been really good about this forum is ‘The Knowledgeable Buyer’ is, the question is how the bringing together of the buyers and the providersI believe that Procurement should be involved do we achieve that? I believe it’s an evolutionary - and recognising that we have a lot in commonin the buying of Business Improvement services process, particularly when you remember that and we can help each other because we’re actuallyand in most major projects they are. The challenge procuring Business Improvement services is quite unexpected allies. Assuming the Consultancy hasis about having advanced visibility of what might a new thing anyway. Procurement started off buying good intentions, we are completely aligned as tobe on the agenda, because projects sometimes seem very concrete things, but with Consultancies or what the outcome should be. What’s more, if weto come out of nowhere. Clearly they can’t come out Legal Services there’s a much greater human factor get this right, the potential for helping businessof nowhere, but they often seem to. Then, because involved. That’s part of the evolution. and the broader economy is really excellent.Procurement Category Manager capability within the Procurement function and function who are, I would say, already ‘KnowledgeableUtilities Sector its a slow burn, but I think we’re getting there. Buyers.’ It’s the opportunity to actually demonstrate I’ve been looking after Consultancy Spend since that and add real value that is the challenge.What are the challenges of buying Business the beginning of the year and we have made real What did you find most useful about today?Improvement services in your organisation? progress. It’s almost a case of ‘Show me, don’t tell I think the general interaction has been really good.It’s about influencing our internal stakeholders. me,’ so we’ve worked on a number of initiatives Although it sounds rather glib, it’s almost the caseThat’s the big issue for us. Historically, Procurement this year, on a number of tender activities where that what I heard today wasn’t necessarily anythinghaven’t really managed Consultancy Spend. weve been able to demonstrate value, and from new, but a reinforcement that as an organisationThe company itself has grown primarily through that we’ve secured more opportunities to support we are not alone with this issue. Not necessarily theacquisition, so people have come from very different the business in its requirements. challenges that we face in this particular category,backgrounds and from different organisations that but hearing other people from other companies anddo things very differently - and they’ve been allowed We don’t just have to provide a framework, we also the Consultancies who have a lot of the sameto do continue with that. So to get that stakeholder have to provide the framework that’s right for issues and problems. For me it was almost abuy in to look at something in a more aligned our company. It’s all very well having theoretical reassurance that even if we don’t have all theand commercial way has been quite a challenge. ideas about how things would work, but it’s got to answers, we’re not unique. work in practice. Not every model fits every company.I would say that we’ve developed very goodrelationships with the Consultancies that we use So ‘The Knowledgeable Buyer’when we’re engaged. It’s that issue of up front is the way forward?engagement. We’re often engaged at the end and we Absolutely. I think we’ve got a lot that we can givecan add value there, but it’s the end to end process in this area. Talking specifically about our company,that I’m more interested in. We have a great of we’ve got a number of people in our Procurement10 CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT
  11. 11. Principal Category Manager drawn some key areas, particularly in finance, So ‘The Knowledgeable Buyer’Telco Procurement Company where there have been some pretty strong wins is the way forward? for us. And therefore we’re perhaps more trusted Definitely. The other angle of course is thatWhat are the challenges of buying Business in those areas. In other areas, people are being many of the consultants are also our customers.Improvement services in your organisation? employed and it’s a specialist area and they don’t If you route that into the broader relationship,It’s about credibility. As a buyer you need to build necessarily know anything about Procurement. you’ve got a customer relationship, a supplierinternal credibility and demonstrate that you can They like to take a decision and get on with it relationship and a Business Improvementadd some value. Once you do that, you can get and not be held back by process. So it’s very much relationship going on. Those things can’t exist asyourself engaged at the early stage of a project about selling the value of what the process adds, static concepts, so you have to take a balancedand be involved where it counts. A great example rather than stepping in and saying ‘No we’re not view of how youre going to work with theseof this for me was where someone in the organisation going to do this, because we’re the police.’ organisations.had recently pre-selected. It came through to my teamand they said: ‘We just need to put this contract It’s also recognising that it’s not just about cost, What did you find most useful about today?in place.’ But we went back and challenged their because it’s not a commodity you’re buying. What was great for us was to hear a Consultancyassumptions. Now in the end the result didn’t There’s a deal we’re closing at the moment for say ‘These are our experiences of the Procurementchange and the price didn’t change, but the guy example, where the supplier that we’re going to function, good and bad.’ That’s really useful andfed back to us that what was brilliant was that go with is by no stretch of the imagination the something you don’t necessarily hear people being‘You challenged us to think about things and you lowest cost supplier, but they’re the ones who know too honest about. It was nice to hear that and thenforced us to write down what the requirements the most about the subject and can deliver what have a conversation afterwards to tease out somereally were. Now we know what it is we’re going we want. In this instance, we’ve also been very more of the get - we didnt really know that before.’ It’s that ingrained with the business owner, so we’ve beenkind of thing you have to leverage. Sometimes able to step through their concept and it waspeople are looking for help and sometimes they’re not. great because there’s a relationship there andIt depends on their motivation. At Vodafone we’ve we’re a trusted advisor. “ Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill CELERANT CORPORATE EVENT 11
  12. 12. For over 20 years, Celerant Consulting has delivered successful, sustainablechange for world leading companies. Our expertise covers the entire spectrumof the Operations Management ecosystem, with a core focus on PerformanceImprovement and Behavioural Change Management. Every project is a strategicpartnership where we get down on the ground to identify and analyse a Client’smost significant business challenges, then work with them to drive up results.We implement customised solutions that capitalise on existing systems, processesand people - and deliver substantial benefits. We change business for good andover 90% of our Clients say they would work with us again.Americas + 1 781 674 0400 Belgium + 32 (0) 2 762 52 38 Denmark + 45 35 45 90 01Finland + 358 10 396 8800 France + 33 (0) 1 56 69 53 00 Germany + 49 (0) 211 58 33 00 33Netherlands + 31 (0) 20 570 5400 Norway + 47 22 43 29 23 Sweden + 46 (0) 8 670 6579United Arab Emirates + 971 (0) 2 406 98 77 United Kingdom + 44 (0) 20 8338 5000celerantconsulting.comCelerant Consulting Holdings Limited. Registered Office: Avalon House,72 Lower Mortlake Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2JY, United Kingdom.