09 September 2004 | David Arminas
Gary Robbins has been appointed to the new position of group procurement manager at British Car Auctions (BCA) as the company moves towards more centralised procurement.
Purchasing has been done by branch managers without central control or review of the procurement budget at a strategic level, said Robbins, who reports to the UK finance director.
"My task is to develop a purchasing strategy and introduce best-practice contracts and initiatives. BCA provides a marketing and selling service, so my focus is on the reduction and optimisation of overhead and variable costs."
BCA is one of Europe's largest car auction houses whose 23 UK branches and nine European centres sell 550,000 a year.
Typically, central contracts will be sought for office items such as IT. But a large part of the budget is spent on marketing.
"I'll be working hand in hand with the marketing department to see what their needs are and how procurement can add value."
Robbins said his years as a sales and marketing manager meant that he was well versed in the professional issues between the more creative marketing departments and more cost-conscious procurement centres.
He was previously contracts manager at NHS East Sussex Hospital Trust, before which he worked at analytical instruments maker Thermo Electron, spending four years in marketing and five in procurement.