21 June 2007
Procurement at Abbey must improve its internal engagement, according to the bank's purchasing chief.
Speaking at the CIPS Financial Services Purchasing Forum in London this month, Andrew Sayers, head of procurement, said better engagement was one of his main challenges over the next three years.
"We have been really hard on cost without a shadow of a doubt," he told delegates. "Procurement is now seen as really nasty, a group who stop people doing what they want. But it is not sustainable. We have a lot of re-engagement
For approval of any purchases over £25,000 a presentation must be made to the Purchasing Investment Forum, a team from across the business. Sayers said it had been difficult early on, because people didn't understand the benefit of the process, but it works now that staff are tuned into the idea.
Sayers also admitted the company's suppliers had a difficult time recently, and were asking the bank if they could raise their prices.
But he said the bank's rationalisation of vendors would continue. Ten years ago the bank had around 21,000 suppliers (including one-off vendors). This has been reduced to around 4,218 today. Sayers said having 800 suppliers would be "truly special", but even reaching 1,500 would make it more manageable.
He added that in the next few months Abbey would introduce a SAP system to automate the budget-to-pay process. Sayers said implementing the system would be a "real challenge", but would "shake-up" the budgeting process.