03 October 2007 | Paul Snell
Non-buyers should take charge of contract management, according to the former head of procurement at the Bank of England.
Graham Cooper, procurement consultant at CityIQ, told delegates at a seminar yesterday that deals that perform well are often neglected. He referenced one healthcare contract that, once established, had not been looked at for seven years because of good service. But after speaking with the supplier he made significant savings and upped the level of service.
One way of tackling this neglect, he said, was to devolve the management of contracts and suppliers to departments that have expertise in that area. He said HR staff could manage healthcare deals or the executive team could be given responsibility for existing consultancy contracts because they know what is expected of suppliers. "It is a powerful way of making procurement work," he said. "It tends to generate interest in a deal and helps to keep the momentum going."
But he warned additional responsibilities should be recognised and rewarded appropriately. "It is demeaning not to have it recognised. But where it is, people really contribute."
He also said this type of account management should take no more than half a day each month to make a difference to the business.