04 January 2001 | David Arminas
Venture capital company 3i is to expand its Birmingham procurement division as it seeks savings through centralised purchasing and more global contracts.
"We'd like to have some sort of input to other parts of the company's purchasing," services development manager Lewis Claxton told SM.
3i will consider a major rationalisation of its supplier base. "Around 80 per cent of suppliers would not be unrealistic," he said. "The key issue is to raise the credibility of purchasing in the rest of the business."
3i has 34 offices, mostly in the UK, Europe and the US, and is set for expansion, Claxton added. "Purchasing is now done in each business unit [office] and we want to define policies and best practice, and gather expertise from the offices."
Creating relationships with purchasers in the individual offices will be one of the toughest and most delicate tasks, said Claxton, who heads travel and fleet operations. 3i recently outsourced its car fleet in France, Germany and Finland and had to make sure it worked "collaboratively" with the business units to bring them on board, he noted.
This year 3i will implement a purchasing card and an e-procurement system.