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MADE IN THE EAST MIDLANDS


Unlocking the hidden opportunity of procurement


By Mark Wood (pictured), Owner/Director at Alliance Procurement Solutions


Most manufacturing businesses focus on their outputs, and understandably so. Fulfilling orders, ensuring quality, and delivering on time are key drivers. Add in the management of people, managing customer expectations, and the financial performance of the business, it’s little wonder that senior management teams can become stretched. But there is an equally important side to the


business that can get overlooked – and that’s its inputs. Typically a business can spend 40% of its turnover on the products and services required to meet customer requirements and to keep the business functions operable, but all too often this does not get the focus it requires. This can be costly for a business, with potential opportunities for extracting value being missed. So, is it not time to focus on the inputs as much as the outputs? Getting the right products and services


delivered on time, to cost and quality, coupled with solid stock management, can help improve outputs and have a positive impact on the financial performance of a business. But how is it best to manage the supply of


those products and services? Is it time to consider turning your purchasing team into a procurement team? The focused and strategic management of your


suppliers and your business costs are essential to your success. Yet how you do this varies depending on the maturity, size of your business and your plans for growth. But consistently thinking of maximising any opportunity you have to reduce costs is key. Thinking big picture and not on the cost of individual orders is a great start. What is also important is that any business of


any size can be susceptible to a single point of failure within its supply chain. The impact of this can be catastrophic, impacting your customer deliveries and damaging your brand. Between 2018-19 over half a million companies were dissolved. So, ask yourself a simple question… what would you do if a supplier of a critical product or service ceased trading tomorrow? It’s a simple and practical place to start but


consider Brexit too. What if those goods you require can’t be delivered, or a supplier


business network December 2019/January 2020 65


FEATURE


‘The focused and strategic management of your suppliers and your business costs are essential to your success’


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