key decisions for procurement professionals How to balance internal and external service provision Peter Smith Managing Ed...
Balancing internal and external service provision –key decisions for procurement professionalsA Spend Matters White Paper ...
How to balance internal and external service provision    – key decisions for procurement professionals    A Spend Matters...
of external service provision than a decade ago;        Leverage expertise, address shortage ofbut it has not been the ful...
How to balance internal and external service provision    – key decisions for procurement professionals    A Spend Matters...
Stage 1The first step is to identify work currently            information, or data that may form part of theundertaken an...
How to balance internal and external service provision    – key decisions for procurement professionals    A Spend Matters...
Part 2 Supplier Information                            Many organisations will hold some data on theManagement            ...
How to balance internal and external service provision    – key decisions for procurement professionals    A Spend Matters...
Getting accurate and robust information, right firsttime, can reduce direct costs considerably for theorganisation7. Key e...
How to balance internal and external service provision     – key decisions for procurement professionals     A Spend Matte...
About Achilles                                             About the Author - Peter SmithAs Peter Smith describes, the man...
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Key decisions for procurement professionals: How to balance internal and external service provision


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A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles, By Peter Smith, Managing Editor Spend Matters UK/Europe | February 2012

Spend Matters observes trends in procurement carefully, and there is no doubt that the pace of change facing senior management is increasing given globalisation, supply chain risks and challenges, and the pressures on organisations to perform. This paper contains important messages, bringing together our thinking in two key areas with important implications for senior procurement practitioners.

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Key decisions for procurement professionals: How to balance internal and external service provision

  1. 1. key decisions for procurement professionals How to balance internal and external service provision Peter Smith Managing Editor Spend Matters UK/Europe February 2012services for professional
  2. 2. Balancing internal and external service provision –key decisions for procurement professionalsA Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by AchillesExecutive summarySpend Matters observes trends in procurementcarefully, and there is no doubt that the pace ofchange facing senior management is increasing givenglobalisation, supply chain risks and challenges, andthe pressures on organisations to perform. This papercontains important messages, bringing together ourthinking in two key areas with important implications forsenior procurement practitioners.1. One of THE most important roles for 2. Supplier Information Management is a powerful Procurement Leaders (CPOs and similar) today example of a capability that can be provided is to optimise the use of resources from both effectively from outside the organisation, yet inside and outside the organisation, blending contribute greatly to successful delivery of them successfully to achieve their goals. procurement objectives for the in-house team. 2
  3. 3. How to balance internal and external service provision – key decisions for procurement professionals A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles In the first section of the paper, we explain: ‘candidate’ for external service provision, with ƒƒ How and why procurement executives need to significant benefits available to organisations become adept at using third parties to deliver who follow this route. some of the tasks necessary for the function’s Part 1 Balancing internal and external success. procurement delivery ƒƒ The various reasons and justifications for using 1. Introduction third parties, such as economies of scale, If we go back 30 years or so, to the beginning of expertise and leverage. the author’s business career, virtually everything ƒƒ How CPOs can evaluate and prioritise the use of that was done by a procurement function or third parties for procurement services provision department was carried out by the internal staff to steer them towards the right ‘blended’ employed by the organisation. There was little solution. in the way of computerisation; management While large-scale end-to-end outsourcing of consultants were still a fairly exotic breed; and while procurement has not spread in the way many there were other professional service providers in analysts predicted ten years ago, there are, certain business areas already well established nevertheless, many opportunities for organisations (such as consumer market research firms), there to engage third party providers to supply elements was little of that nature in the procurement space. of the overall procurement process – it doesn’t But gradually this has changed. There are now a have to be all or nothing. There has been a visible wide range of providers all positioned to assist the growth in the number of organisations using procurement executive achieve his or her aims. external providers for certain spend categories; However, in recent years, some commentators or elements of their more transactional P2P have suffered from over-excitement about processing work; or indeed valuable specialist trends, and proclaimed that full procurement elements of the overall process such as Supplier outsourcing was ‘about to take off’. The reasons Information Management, which is discussed here given by analysts for this statement have always later. The opportunity to integrate internal and seemed convincing; economies of scale, allowing external service provision is considerable and is organisations to focus on core business, and likely to lead to significant benefits compared to a others. But stubbornly, year after year, the service delivered purely with internal resources. procurement ‘business process outsourcing’ In our second section, we look in more detail (BPO) market grows very slowly. As AT Kearney at Supplier Information Management (SIM), an said in their ‘Procurement Outsourcing1’ note, umbrella term embracing the collection, evaluation “Despite a substantial growth in outsourcing in the and monitoring of all information on suppliers past several years, procurement outsourcing is and contractors including risk evaluation, vendor less than two percent of all outsourcing activities”. appraisal and performance management. That’s not to say that firms ranging from Infosys to We explain; Xchanging, IBM to ICG Commerce haven’t made some progress and picked up some good clients ƒƒ Why SIM is increasingly important to along the way. But the market certainly hasn’t organisations, given the need to manage developed in the way that, for instance, IT or Payroll suppliers more professionally and mitigate the services outsourcing have done. ever-increasing volume and scale of risks in global supply chains; However, it is our hypothesis that procurement has actually taken a more subtle route to greater ƒƒ The role of SIM in both the transactional and utilisation of third party service providers to strategic sourcing cycles; and support its own activities. Leading procurement ƒƒ Why SIM is often a strong and positive practitioners are taking much more advantage3 1. procurement-outsourcing.html
  4. 4. of external service provision than a decade ago; Leverage expertise, address shortage ofbut it has not been the full outsource route that internal skillshas generally been chosen. Rather, they have Organisations may suffer from a lack of particularlooked carefully at which elements of the overall expertise in certain areas, whether that meansprocurement process and set of responsibilities specific spend categories or other areas; perhapsmake most sense to acquire externally, rather than technical skills relating to technology, or skills indeliver internally. finance, and market analysis etc. It may be thatOne reason for this may be the understandable the issue is driven by local skill shortages; or morereluctance of procurement professionals to hand often it is not economic for an organisation to payover their entire commercial sovereignty to an what is needed to get true experts in all the internalexternal provider, with the perceived danger of roles.losing control of strategic supplier relationships.However, they see no such threat in buying Reduce internal costs (labour arbitrage)external information or tools to support elements If this last example is about getting more capabilityof their overall activity and process, where external for the same price, in this case we are lookingprovision can add value without major risk. at finding cheaper resource to deliver perhaps a similar level of performance. Offshoring to2. Why use third parties? lower-cost countries is the classic example here;Let’s go back a step and look at why organisations originally we saw this in what were perceived asmight use an external service provider for some of activities of a lower added value nature, such astheir procurement activity, rather than delivering it P2P processing, catalogue management. Butinternally. These are the key drivers that tend to be increasingly this may include more skilled workused in justifications and business cases for taking including sourcing or technology development.that step.Leverage volume / collaborateApproaching the market with a greater volume ofspend will, all other things being equal, enablebetter value to be obtained. So transferringresponsibility for the actual procurement of certainspend categories to a provider who can aggregatevolume from a number of clients – and perhapsinclude their own internal spend in the total – mayenable all those customers to benefit from betterresults than they could obtain as individuals. Butthis driver is not merely about leveraging spendingfor lower prices. As well as outsourcing actualdirect ‘buying’, there are other activities, as wewill see later, that it may be uneconomic for anorganisation to perform individually, but becomeaffordable when executed in collaboration withothers. 4
  5. 5. How to balance internal and external service provision – key decisions for procurement professionals A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles Sort out broken processes or outsourcing all indirect spend categories. But Perhaps a less common driver for outsourcing is at the less dramatic end of the range, we can as a response to ‘broken processes’ internally. consider external provision of much smaller While most experts will advise organisations to fix elements of the overall procurement task. processes before outsourcing, and this is good This is not generally termed “outsourcing”, theoretical advice, in some cases the organisation although it shares some of the same may simply not have the time, ability or resource to characteristics. And it is not about transferring core do this. In such cases, the outsourcing may enable responsibility out of the organisation; it is about benefits to be gained through the provider’s ability gaining additional expertise and resource from to do the work better and pass on some of the outside to support the key functional activities. benefits. The bottom line, according to Horses for The type of activities and responsibilities that Sources2, is that organisations, tend to outsource organisations might look to obtain from external processes that probably aren’t very well run in the providers are described in the next section. But first place. their range, importance and the opportunity they provide for improving procurement performance is Focus on core business very significant; a fact that many organisations and Organisations may decide that certain activities leaders have not, in our opinion, fully appreciated. are distractions to their ‘core business’. While this As a consequence, we’ve come to this view. is often linked to the lack of skills described above, it may be independent to that and be a judgement One of the most important roles for Procurement that passing responsibility to an external body will Leaders (CPOs and similar) today is to source, free up management time and focus to concentrate manage, combine and blend capabilities and on whatever is defined as “core”. resources successfully, from inside and outside the organisation, to achieve their goals. 3. The growth of procurement service providers 4. Prioritising the options for third-party The typical procurement function in a large provision organisation will almost certainly have many more So if this is a key role, how should a procurement activities performed by third parties than there were executive determine what can most productively ten years ago. There will be technology platforms be delivered by third parties? We recommend a in use, probably with external support or consulting structured analysis of the range of options available around their use and every chance there will be across the whole procurement landscape; but in some consultancy involvement somewhere around our experience, very few organisations carry out the function; research, benchmarking, networking this sort of consideration. Decisions are made or information service providers will feature. on an ad hoc basis, or those driven by a crisis or There are now many options and opportunities perceived crisis in a particular area. It is clearly within the overall procurement process to consider better not to wait until events dictate hasty action, third-party delivery of services that contribute to so we recommend strongly a pro-active approach overall procurement effectiveness. At one extreme to evaluating the options and structuring the best there is full BPO type outsourcing; perhaps mix of provision. moving all P2P activities to an external provider;5 2. Horses for Sources. The undisputed facts about outsourcing. May 2011
  6. 6. Stage 1The first step is to identify work currently information, or data that may form part of theundertaken and develop a map of the processes qualification and supplier selection process – it isand activities undertaken by the procurement also an intrinsic part of that process.(and related) functions. This does not need to be Similar analysis might cover support areas withinbroken down into every detailed step, but should procurement, or the human resources aspects;be considered at a level that relates to how the do we want to manage recruitment and trainingmarket might offer to provide such services. internally or use external experts for instance. ButFor example, consider the P2P (purchase to the key is to identify a range of options in the firstpay) process. As well as the option to use a place.fully outsourced end-to-end service, there areoptions at every stage in terms of either carryingout the activity internally or sourcing from external Stage 2providers. Having identified the potential activities that could be sourced from third parties, the next step is toƒƒ Supplier registration / enablement assess which would show the greatest benefits ifƒƒ Supplier information, verification and master that step were taken. data management Here are the main issues to be covered in suchƒƒ Developing and maintaining supplier and / or analysis. internal catalogues ƒƒ How strong is the current internal capability inƒƒ Processing requisitions and purchase orders that activity?ƒƒ Invoice handling and management of payables ƒƒ Is there potential for improving capability if it isƒƒ Spend reporting and analytics not currently meeting needs?Within the strategic sourcing cycle, we have ƒƒ How well-developed and capable is the marketthe obvious option of outsourcing the entire for external provision of that service?responsibility for some or all categories. But there ƒƒ Are there clear benefits (direct cost saving orare also many potential sub-sets of the whole clear impact on procurement performance) fromprocess which can be provided by third parties: for external provision because of the provider’sinstance, capability or the effect of aggregation?ƒƒ Market and supplier research ƒƒ Will we give up the chance of gainingƒƒ Pre-qualification process competitive advantage if we source externally?ƒƒ Auction / complex sourcing processes (e.g. ƒƒ What are the practical issues around moving to optimisation) external provision – cost, effect on staff (TUPEƒƒ Elements of post-contract supplier management etc)? (e.g. audits or benchmarking) Applying these key questions to the range ofSome activities fall under both the P2P and potential services can help to determine wherestrategic sourcing headings; Supplier Information the maximum benefit may be available, and helpManagement is one of those, which we will to clarify the nature of those benefits, as in theconsider more fully in part 2 of this Paper. It example below, (which shows just two potentialfeeds both the transactional process, being a key areas of external provision).element of the supplier registration / enablement This type of analysis can be applied in a structuredpart of the cycle. But in terms of providing input manner across the range of potential service areasthat can be considered as part of the strategic and can help determine where the external marketsourcing cycle – for instance, risk related may bring the most value. 6
  7. 7. How to balance internal and external service provision – key decisions for procurement professionals A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles Outsource area Positives Negatives Conclusion End-to-end category Outsourcer has Give up chance to Possibly worth management for greater capability in derive competitive pursuing for some ‘tactical’ spend these categories advantage from these categories – move to categories categories market testing phase Can aggregate with with a view to a pilot other client volume to Outsourcer needs get better value managing – careful alignment of goals Lower operational cost (shared resource with other clients) Supplier Information Better quality of Payment to Highly beneficial from Management information if a outsourced provider a cost and quality specialist is used by buyer or suppliers point of view; few downsides. (n.b. More up-to-date, Lack of direct control Forrester3 report accurate broader identified 41% savings range of data in pre-qualification Resistance from costs plus other suppliers to providing benefits) Lower cost; in-house data to third parties option can be very expensive Take advantage of better IT systems than likely to be available internally Support for suppliers completing the process 3rd party validation of data adds credibility Potential for global visibility of its supplier ecosystem7 3. The Total Economic Impact of Achilles Supplier Information Management Solution, Forrester Inc, August 2011
  8. 8. Part 2 Supplier Information Many organisations will hold some data on theManagement top 100 or so key suppliers, and a small amount5. What is Supplier Information Management? of data will be held on all suppliers (at leastSupplier Information Management embraces the enough to facilitate payment of invoices) but verycollection, evaluation and monitoring of information rarely is information consistent, up-to-date andon suppliers and contractors including factual comprehensive. Moreover, supplier informationcompany information, risk evaluation, vendor is often distributed in different parts of theappraisal and performance management. organisation, at corporate, divisional or operational level and, all too frequently, is housed in multipleSupplier information management marries systems in silos that are not always connected. Notthree sources to create a universe of supplier to mention the different information requirements ofinformation. different departments, regional locations.ƒƒ The supplier’s view of themselves (e.g. who Aberdeen Research4 recently suggested that they are, who owns them, size, capabilities and ‘due to multiple systems, supplier information is qualification). often prevented from providing a holistic pictureƒƒ Third party or objective information about of a supplier due to lack of a unified supplier supplier certifications, accreditation, financial management process.’ The survey reported or other data (e.g. reports and accounts, that 50% of respondents were found to be using insurances, references and other objective between two to three systems that contain supplier qualification). information.ƒƒ Information from the buying organisation (e.g. Why is it so difficult to get this right? Largely spend, performance, bid history). because gathering and managing data is a labour intensive and time-consuming activity. Information changes, grows or becomes out-of-date constantly, so work needs to be continuous and ongoing. While tools to help automate the process have become much more useful and more widely adopted, there is still a certain amount of laborious work which cannot be fully automated and needs to be carried out in order to refine and verify data. To be positive, the good news is that there are tools and technology available now that can help organisations obtain and manage good quality data to help mitigate these risks. Yet our experience is that senior managers in most cases assume their organisation holds more and better data about suppliers than is actually the case. That is true even for basic administrative details, and even more so for complex, variable or time-related information. 4. Aberdeen Group. The year of the supplier, perspectives on 8 supplier management in 2011. May 2011
  9. 9. How to balance internal and external service provision – key decisions for procurement professionals A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles 6. Why does Supplier Information ƒƒ Supply chains are longer and more fragile, and Management matter? vulnerable to events such as natural disasters In a recent research report, Jason Busch of ƒƒ Supplier financial viability, and related Spend Matters US5 described the challenges that operational viability, due to weakening balance customers want to solve with Supplier Information sheets, failures amongst their customers etc. Management. ƒƒ Supplier quality and performance risk including ƒƒ How can I bring more suppliers onboard, more traceability of components or raw materials quickly without increasing risk or the potential ƒƒ Greater regulatory and legal risk e.g., the Bribery for non-compliance? Act ƒƒ Can I build a single platform to monitor ƒƒ More pressure from investors and a desire for my supplier facing interactions just as the stronger corporate governance commercial organisation can on the sales and customer service side of the house? ƒƒ Growing “corporate social responsibility” agenda highlights operational and reputational ƒƒ How can I rapidly gain a common view into risk in the supply chain supplier information to rapidly take action to identify and implement cost reduction But it isn’t just about risk management, important opportunities for my supply base? though that is. Enforcing organisational policies and standards includes elements of risk ƒƒ What are the best ways of creating auditable management as we described above. But it goes trails of correspondence and information beyond that in making sure we obtain consistency capture with suppliers in the event that we need and (where it is important) control including that to later rely on this information? single view of supplier information and data across ƒƒ Are there ways that we can reduce costs the whole organisation. and errors by automating traditional vendor Robust and accurate supplier information also management roles and supplier interactions? enables and assists us to determine the best ƒƒ How can we systematically reduce our risk and suppliers to meet our needs, making sure their exposure to the supplier financial and credit capabilities fit the requirements of the buying crisis? How do we know when to take proactive organisation. That in turn leads to commercial action? With what group of suppliers? advantage – after all, choosing the best suppliers Assuming that this sort of information management is probably the single most important role of platform can be achieved, what does it allow the the procurement function in terms of creating buyer to do? It informs the whole procurement competitive advantage. cycle, from choosing the best possible suppliers, Finally, a process for delivering good Supplier evaluating and managing risk, enforcing global Information Management increases internal policies and standards, and enabling insightful efficiency considerably. Aspects such as spend analytics. Even focusing purely on supply minimising the time that is spent on searching for chain risk management, we have seen a huge information, checking, inputting and updating it, growth in the emphasis on this topic recently, answering supplier queries, carrying out checks which is not surprising when we look at some of on accreditations; all of this can be very time the key issues facing buyers. consuming, and therefore expensive. 5. Spend Matters Compass Series: Leveraging Supplier9 Management Platforms for Multiple Goals: Risk Reduction, Supplier Diversity and CSR. 2010, Volume 4
  10. 10. Getting accurate and robust information, right firsttime, can reduce direct costs considerably for theorganisation7. Key elements of a Supplier Information 8. Supplier Information Management as aManagement resource strong candidate for external provisionSo what should we be looking for in a SIM We’ve discussed the state of Supplier Informationsolution? In the research series mentioned above, Management in organisations and our view that inJason Busch also outlined the key elements that many cases, it is not as good as it should be. Soa SIM solution should have in terms of underlying when organisations look at utilising external servicecapabilities and features6: provision, it may not be an “outsourcing” exercise... all Supplier Information Management solutions anyway – that assumes something is being doneshould have the following underlying capabilities internally already, which, as we’ve seen, is oftenand component features: not the case. But whether or not there is anything internal to outsource in the first place, we can useƒƒ Supplier portals for basic registration and as a the checklist in section 2 of this Paper to assess single location to manage a profile and related whether SIM appears to be a strong candidate for information taking advantage of external service providers.ƒƒ Supplier self service as part of a portal And the answer is a resounding “yes”. Why is that? capability, enabling suppliers to access and ƒƒ Firstly, it is an important activity and some update information online themselves rather aspects of it are essential; it feeds into both the than having to call a supplier management team transactional P2P cycle and the strategic sourcing member at the customer organisation or category management process. It is not anƒƒ Workflow and process management tools that, optional process; it needs to be carried out and is at their most basic level, allow procurement a critical dependency for many other aspects of teams to route requests and automate successful procurement. registration and information gathering ƒƒ Service providers have the opportunity to leverage processes, manually intervening by exception their work across multiple clients-obtaining reliable rather than for each item requiring attention supplier information is time-consuming andƒƒ Data enrichment capability that provides therefore expensive, so spreading that cost makes additional information and validation outside of sense. And much of what is needed is common just supplier-provided information, for instance to all the potential buyers who may be interestedƒƒ Integration into third-party systems in a certain supplier. So the economies of scaleƒƒ Internal portal/dashboard views of supplier are obvious in terms of engaging a provider who activity, ideally customisable, based on role, can aggregate their clients’ requirements in the function etc SIM field.ƒƒ Report and visualisation capabilities that ƒƒ Linked to this point is the geographically provide standard reports dispersed nature of most large organisations’ supply chains. The work to gather the dataƒƒ Additionally, state of the art Supplier Information therefore becomes even more onerous for any Management should provide the flexibility for individual organisation, as the suppliers are likely information to be captured to adapt to changing to be domiciled in a wide range of countries requirements and according to a risk matrix around the world. determined by client and sector needs ƒƒ Obtaining, verifying and managing supplier information is complex and requires a degree of skill and experience. It is not merely an administrative task that can be fully automated. For an organisation to develop such experience internally is therefore expensive, and the right skills are scarce. 6. Spend Matters Compass Series. Supply risk management - segmenting the technology and contact landscape and choosing 10 the right category of solutions. 2010, Volume 4
  11. 11. How to balance internal and external service provision – key decisions for procurement professionals A Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by Achilles provided from external sources cover everything from outsourcing of specific spend categories, partial or total P2P outsource, or key areas such as Supplier Information Management. ƒƒ External provision can bring a number of benefits, ranging from taking advantage of provider economies of scale or labour arbitrage, to utilisation of scarce expertise. ƒƒ Given this, an absolutely central role for the CPO is to optimise the blend of activities performed internally and those delivered by external providers, across the whole procurement eco- system. CPOs should be analysing activities in a structured manner to develop, and then Supplier Information Management using a collaborative model regularly review, their strategy for achieving this optimal blend of service provision. ƒƒ Supplier information is potentially high impact, ƒƒ Supplier Information Management (SIM) is high risk, and high value, so expertise is vital. an interesting - and growing – example of It has become clear over recent years that an important activity which can be sourced understanding the supply base is vital, not only from external providers, with resulting benefits for purely commercial reasons but as a key to the customer organisation. It is gaining element in risk management and mitigation. a higher profile as organisations better Many organisations have learnt to their cost understand supply chain risk issues, but also that unawareness of what is happening in their the commercial benefits that are enabled by supply chain is not an excuse that customers, supplier information. media or investors accept lightly. ƒƒ That growth trend is likely to continue; and firms ƒƒ While effective SIM is important, it is generally in the SIM field who can offer a combination not perceived as ‘core’ business or a of strong technology, customer service, and likely source of competitive advantage, so global reach are likely to thrive as more and outsourcing does not sacrifice such potential more organisations realise the critical impact benefits. But organisations taking advantage suppliers can have on their business. Knowing of external provision can still apply their own and understanding more about those suppliers particular intelligence and strategy to the will increasingly be seen as a strategic information obtained in order to drive such imperative for procurement, finance and advantage. business leadership. We can see from this analysis that SIM is a ƒƒ Supplier Information Management, on the face very strong candidate for using an external of it a simple activity, is all about creating a service provider, and we have seen very single, consolidated source of information – strong growth in SIM solutions and service enabling an organisation to collect, maintain providers over the last few years. and aggregate information from all sources 9. Conclusions within the business. This transcends master ƒƒ There are many options for external service data management – and creates a means to provision to supplement activities performed leverage all information enabling the entire by the internal procurement function, and the enterprise to gain the necessary insight and range of providers available across most areas opportunities. of interest is growing. Services which can be11
  12. 12. About Achilles About the Author - Peter SmithAs Peter Smith describes, the management of Managing Director, Spend Matters UK/Europesupplier information isn’t often considered a core Peter has 25 years’ experience in procurementactivity, it’s labour intensive, repetitive and many and supply chain as a manager, procurementbusinesses don’t have the resources to devote to director, consultant, analyst and writer. He editsthe task. This can leave organisations exposed to Spend Matters UK/Europe, and with Jason Busch,supplier non-compliance or unexpected failure. the founder of Spend Matters in the US, hasAchilles offer a Supplier Information Management developed it into a leading web-based resourcesolution to provide businesses with one source for procurement and industry professionals.of accurate, up-to-date and validated supplier Peter is also Managing Director of Procurementinformation. The solution encompasses Excellence Ltd, a leading specialist consultingeverything from finding and selecting potential firm, and is recognised as one of the UK’s leadingsuppliers, through to pre-qualifying, evaluating experts in public and private sector procurementand monitoring performance. Each of these performance improvement. Peter has an MA inis an important step towards the continuous Mathematics from Cambridge University, is amanagement of risk throughout the supply chain. Fellow and was 2003 President of the CharteredThousands of buyers use Achilles every day to gain Institute of Purchasing and Supply, and hisvisibility of their suppliers, and with operations in 23 first (co-authored) book, “Buying Professionalcountries and 20 years’ experience, they can do so Services”, was published by the Economist Bookswith confidence whilst unlocking tangible benefits in June 2010*. Before moving into consultancy, heof cost reduction, increased process efficiency and was Procurement Director for the NatWest Group,risk reduction. the Department of Social Security (the DSS), and the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, and held senior positions in the Mars Group. Spend Matters is thankful for the support of Achilles, our sponsor for this paper. Spend Matters sponsors have no additional opportunity to influence the content or research of Spend Matters material or products relative to other software or services providers. Further information on this topic and others can be found at the website, or we can be contacted at psmith@spendmatters. com. Reproduction of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. *Buying Professional Services (Czerniawska and Smith, Economist Books, 2010). Achilles Group Limited 30 Park Gate, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4SH, UK T: +44 (0)1235 820813 F: +44 (0)1235 8211093 E: W: 001-02/2012 Printed on ‘Evolution’ Satin which is 75% recycled and uses ECF pulp