16 January 2008
Greater supplier innovation, increasing purchasing's influence over spend, and improving business relationships are three key targets for Dairy Crest's new group procurement director.
Richard Jones, who joined the firm in November, told SM that increasing procurement's influence over spend would be "absolutely critical", but this would not necessarily mean more centralisation.
"It will be a total business approach," he said. "I expect procurement to bring their expertise. It is critical other members of the business play a key role. Procurement trying to impose a central view wouldn't make sense - we need to ensure it unlocks expertise."
Jones previously worked in a variety of procurement roles at Mars and Diageo, and has moved back to the profession following a stint in manufacturing.
At Dairy Crest he is responsible for ú400 million of spend, which does not include the milk supply side, and he expects the size of the function to grow this year.
The increasing importance of procurement at the firm has been driven by CEO Mark Allen, who joined the firm last year. Jones now sits on the firm's executive committee responsible for business strategy, ensuring "procurement's voice is heard within the organisation".
While Jones has targets for cost reduction, he says these are primarily about releasing funds to improve the business. This includes looking at what the supply chain can do to encourage innovation.
There will also be a greater focus on supplier relationships to improve sustainable procurement, by reducing carbon emissions and packaging, for example.