21 October 2004 | Cara Whitehouse
The Boots Company has scooped the top prize at this year's CIPS Supply Management Awards.
The health and beauty retailer, which also took top honours in the Most Innovative Project category, was presented with its overall prize for purchasing excellence at a black-tie gala dinner held at the London Hilton on Park Lane last night.
The accolades were awarded in recognition of the procurement team's work on Boots' retail marketing services contract, worth £90 million a year.
Procurement worked hand in hand with marketing colleagues to choose a new line-up of advertising, media buying and communications agencies, and saved the company £2 million in the process.
"Advertising and media is really important to Boots - it's about getting our brand credentials out to the market," said Julian Coles, director of sourcing and purchasing at the procurement services unit at Boots.
He told SM the procurement team did "initially face scepticism within the organisation that we were just buying at the cheapest price". But he said that a combination of excellent people skills and a total cost approach had enabled them to be successful.
The deal was struck in 2003. Boots has since made the high profile signing of England rugby captain, Jonny Wilkinson, to front its promotional activities.
The retailer received its prize in front of a record 900 guests at the gala dinner, hosted by television celebrity Alistair McGowan. It triumphed over the winners of eight other team categories to take the prestigious award.
For a full list of winners click here