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aul Barker heads up the procurement department at music and entertainment retailer HMV.His

department looks after all the non-trade spend in the organisation and uses e-sourcing technology to effectively interrogate critical categories and drive down costs. Barker provided Retail Technology with a progress update since adopting Wax Digital web3 e-sourcing in 2011. “A common misconception about retail is that the focus for expenditure is only on goods for resale, but indirect spend is a watchword for the High Street too,” he said. “At HMV we treat the sourcing of indirect goods and services as vital to our operations; that is why five years ago we set up a specific procurement department to take control of this spend.” Despite making headway with savings in the first few years, last year HMV decided

that it needed a far more intuitive and cost effective software platform to make the likes of e-auctions a strategic mainstay. “Bringing in Wax Digital web3 has already allowed us to reduce our procurement software cost base and is proving much easier to use than our previous package from Ariba,” reported Barker. “Web3 eSourcing is already playing a vital role in helping HMV achieve its next procurement targets,” he continued. “Tenders now take just three hours to set up instead of four days and new suppliers are on-boarded with ease. It is so simple to use and the feedback from users has been consistently high. Successful auctions and RFPs have already been conducted; for example a recent e-auction saw us realise savings of around 30% on air-conditioning units.”

Wax Digital has also provided the procurement department with access to much greater spend visibility through its partner DU360. “Every quarter it interrogates all of our spend data, highlighting areas where we could generate further savings,” Barker explained. “While 80% of our indirect spend comes from the major categories, it is also helping us to tackle the long tail, which makes up that extra 20%.” Taking into account the current

trading environment and existing savings of between 12% and 15% in key spend categories, such as utilities and marketing, HMV is now looking to consolidate non- trade spend. “Of course, we will still be trying to get extra value where possible and feel that working with a good sourcing tool can drive further reductions of around 5%,” he concluded.


NetDespatch technology to streamline the processing of thousands of orders purchased from its online store. The five-acre exotic plant nursery

in Richmond, Surrey now relies on integration from its Orderwise stock management system to its parcel carrier, provided by NetDespatch using its ‘Connector’ application to stream order data securely to the NetDespatch web-based parcel shipping platform.This enables automatic order capture, fulfilment and carrier label production in real-time as customers buy their plants online.The information is also relayed to The Palm Centre’s local APC Overnight depot, Wey Group International. Robert Besant, trade manager at

The Palm Centre (pictured), explained: “After customers purchase their


selected plants on our website, the information they key in automatically streams through to the Orderwise system; this, in turn, activates order fulfilment procedures, prints the labels, and books the parcel collection with the courier. Also, using NetDespatch’s Connector means that we have flexibility in how, when and where we print labels.” Besant added: “We chose this

integrated solution based on exhaustive research of the software marketplace. When it comes to fulfilling a customer order, we can now do it in three clicks. We believe it to be the best fit for our operation as it replaces a lot of manual, time-consuming data entry processes that can create bottlenecks for order fulfilment and will save the business the cost of employing a dedicated orders administrator.”

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