Author Archives: Tim Burt

The New (Old) Battleground: Marketing vs Procurement

“If you had marketers on boards they could put procurement back in their box, which is where procurement really belongs.” I’ll let that statement sink in for a minute… … That bold piece of verbiage came from by Mat Baxter, chief executive of media agency UM, at the Publish conference in Sydney, Australia last week. He was part of a panel discussion talking about the process of selecting media agencies and the relationship that exists between media buyers, publishers and … More

Communication Key to Driving Value Out of SME Suppliers

There is no denying the value that small and minority-owned suppliers offer to businesses, but securing that value has proved to be trickier for procurement. Small and medium-sized suppliers, and in particular those owned by minority groups, are more innovative and more responsive than their larger counterparts tend to be. For their customers and the procurement teams they work with this means they can benefit from them being more nimble, able to respond quickly to the changing needs of the … More

Time to broaden how we think about purchasing capability

“You are only as good as your team” is an oft-quoted phrase and something that procurement chiefs have taken to heart as their personnel numbers have grown. Each and every year procurement chiefs say that one of their key priorities is to improve the skills and capabilities of those in their team. Understandably this focuses on those who sit under their direct jurisdiction, but 2014 should be the year that this mindset changes because purchasing capability extends far beyond the … More

Can ‘inshoring’ be manufactured?

There has been much debate around the ’Made in’ label recently, even on this blog where Procurement Leaders researcher Jon Webb looked at where a keyboard should be labelled as made. During his investigations he spoke to one manufacturer who said that he sourced his electronics from China, had the components assembled in Italy and the final product built in the UK. Where, Jon questioned should this product be labelled as having been ’made in’? The issue for businesses coveting … More

Shattered myths mean no let up in commodity markets

After locking themselves into a long-term contract, procurement chiefs could be forgiven for only giving the commodity markets a cursory glance over their morning cup of coffee, but recent price moves in the natural gas market prove there is no time to rest on any laurels. Between February and April this year, natural gas prices on the CME Nymex rose from $3.153 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) to $4.408. After reaching this yearly high, prices steadily fell and on … More