Faulkner steps into Amex cost drive

27 November 2003
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27 November 2003 | David Arminas

American Express is looking to save $200 million next year as part of a review of its global procurement strategies.

The review comes after Amex split one of its top procurement jobs on geographical lines and made two senior appointments.

In the UK, Derek Faulkner has been promoted to vice-president of global procurement for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In Singapore, Mark Mortimer has been appointed his counterpart for Japan, Australasia and Asia. He was previously in charge of direct procurement for the northern areas of the region.

Previously, Gerry Walsh, who left the company for foods producer RHM in August, was in charge for all global procurement.

Faulkner had been director of global procurement for the UK, French and Nordic markets, reporting to Walsh.

"One of our main focuses for 2004 will be a review of global sourcing because what is right today is not necessarily right next year," he said.

Procurement has cut costs by around $500 million in the past three years, he added.

"In the next 12 months, we will be looking for $200 million. But because it is a much more mature market now, we will be looking at fewer savings on unit costs reductions and more savings though efficiencies."

Faulkner is cautious about "that old myth" where people talk about asking whether they will go global or local.

"Many companies purport to be global but in fact act locally. But that could be the right thing to do because strategic sourcing does not necessarily mean sourcing from one vendor globally."

SMnov2003

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