12 May 2005 | David Arminas
Ian Campbell has been promoted to the new post of director of group property and procurement at financial services company Bradford & Bingley.
The position makes Campell responsible for all group procurement, including car fleet management. Procurement now handles £180 million a year, most of which is spent on services.
They account for 90-95 per cent of the budget, he said, and include IT, facilities management, legal, travel and marketing.
"The new central procurement unit of six people provides advice to the buyers in departments to help them get better value for money."
Campbell, who joined the firm 14 years ago as facilities manager for its head office in Bingley, in Yorkshire, said he has not had direct responsible for procurement before and admitted he is on a "learning curve".
But in his previous facilities management role, he gained a lot of experience in contract negotiations through construction project procurement and also worked closely with colleagues in purchasing.
"Because my previous facilities role included many areas that are not traditionally associated with the position, I know the people and what motivates different departments.
"I think this knowledge will help to get procurement accepted as something that can help buyers to make better decisions."
Late last year, Bradford & Bingley sold off five non-core businesses, including estate agency and surveying firms, and cut its staff numbers from 7,000 to 3,000.
Those redundancies included 11 purchasers but procurement now has a more advisory, strategic role, rather than a tactical, buying role, said Campbell.
There is still work to be done on supplier reduction: "Last year we had more than 3,000 and now are down to 2,000.
"We are doing a supplier profile project with consultancy TiVA to form a preferred supplier list for long-term partnership arrangements. I think we can get supplier numbers down to the hundreds rather than thousands."
Campbell was director of group property for four years, with direct responsibility for a £30 million budget for all facilities management operations, as well as health and safety