06 January 2005 | Cara Whitehouse
Kate McAuley is looking to maximise "soft" supplier benefits such as quality and efficiency of products and services in her new role as head of procurement at Queen's University Belfast.
She takes charge of a £50 million-plus budget at the university, which has a decentralised purchasing operation.
"Savings are not the only driving factor for purchasing," she said. "We must measure the benefit that it brings to the university through supplier performance and efficiency gains, as well as the savings it can achieve."
McAuley aims to develop key performance indicators and measurement tools to ensure the university gets value for money from its suppliers. Assessment will cover lead times and quality of service, as well as cost.
She also wants procurement to be involved earlier in decision-making by other departments, especially as early as the grant application stage.
Queen's has about 17,500 full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as over 3,500 employees.
McAuley joins the university from Dublin-based supermarket group Superquinn, where she set up the non-resale purchasing department. McAuley has also worked in purchasing at Boots and Coca-Cola.