25 July 2008
Procurement at footwear company Clarks is in the midst of a reorganisation that will lead to savings and process efficiencies
The nine purchasers at the 183-year-old company previously worked in one centralised team, but are now moving to a "network model". One buyer will sit in each of the main parts of the business - IT, brand and supply chain and become category managers for that area. Four people will remain as a central consulting team and another will act as a category buyer for the retail business.
Matt Turner, purchasing and social responsibility manager who leads the team, told SM: "Instead of the client-consultant relationship there will be someone who really works for the client and sits with them but reports to me."
It is hoped the change means procurement will help improve compliance and assist with decisions over tenders and suppliers early on, among other things. The reorganisation, which is expected to finish in February was in part motivated by procurement's increased involvement in overseeing the company's spend of around £140 million on goods not for resale.
Procurement has also been made responsible for overseeing CSR for the group. "It's about networking, understanding what the businesses are doing and responding to it," said Turner.