16 November 2000 | Cathy Hayward
Discount retailer Matalan has won first prize in the 2000 Kelly's Awards for Excellence in Purchasing and Supply. The company topped the retail category and was presented with the overall prize at a black tie dinner at London's Grosvenor House Hotel earlier this month.
"The whole purchasing team contributed," said Gillian Moore, group purchasing controller at Matalan, which won the award for its new purchasing initiative. "We only set up the purchasing function two years ago, but teamwork is key at Matalan - that's why we were successful."
Around 400 people attended the event, hosted by BBC presenter John Humphrys, which also saw trophies presented to winners in nine other categories. The awards, now in their second year, were organised by Kelly's Directories in association with CIPS, sponsored by Visa Purchasing and supported by Supply Management, Infobank and the CBI's Fit for the Future campaign.
"Matalan's submission was an excellent example of a new purchasing and supply initiative making a major impact on the business," said Peter Williams, chairman of the judging panel and director of group procurement at WPP Group. "Good purchasing practice has become embedded in the organisation."
Matalan set up its group purchasing team from scratch in 1998 to control internal costs and maintain customers' value for money. All spend now goes through the purchasing department and a recent 12-month capital budget was reached in just four months.
Fittingly, the company picked up the award on the same day it announced a 72 per cent rise in pre-tax profits in the first half of the year to £35 million. Its share price has soared from 258p a year ago to almost 800p now.
The other category winners were: NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (central government and its agencies); Crown House Engineering (construction); the University of Derby (education); National Savings (financial services); the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (local government); Bass Brewers (manufacturing); Eldis (services); Frederick Woolley, Spraybake (joint winners, smaller businesses); and Anglian Water Services (utilities).