Successful Northgate gets strategic

21 July 2004
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22 July 2004

Northgate Information Solutions is setting up a strategic procurement department after the IT business solutions company grew by 60 per cent last year.

Glenn Gooch, who has been appointed to the new position of head of group procurement, said recent mergers and acquisitions had left the firm needing strong strategic procurement policies.

Northgate has 2,500 employees, mostly in the UK, with some small offices in the US, New Zealand and Australia. Now in the FTSE 250, it grew from a turnover of £85 million in 2002 to £136 million in 2003.

"My goal is really to establish the procurement function starting with a blank sheet," he said. "The biggest challenge is to put in place the systems, processes and staff to support the growth of the business."

Gooch, who was previously group purchasing manager at Xansa, another IT business solutions company, said he had presented the board with proposals for developing procurement as a strategic function, but savings targets had not been set yet.

"Because we have grown through mergers and acquisitions, there is no central database," he said. "I have to go to all over the business units to find this out."

He said there were several areas where quick wins could be made through supplier rationalisation. "Couriers is one area: we have 12 suppliers and spend about £1 million a year," he said.

Gooch said e-auctions were also an early priority.



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