15 September 2008 | Paul Snell
Homeserve won the top prize in the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2008. The home emergency and repair services provider scooped the overall award for purchasing, presented by comedian Michael McIntyre at the gala dinner in London this month.
The company, which also won the most improved purchasing operation - step change category earlier in the evening, was praised by the judges for providing "an example of how to achieve a true step change in procurement in a very traditional and change-resistant industry."
With purchasing in "poor shape" at the start of 2007, the firm brought in Guy Bruce as commercial services director to bring leadership and direction to the team and oversee an overhaul of the function. This included changing the firm's fragmented approach to purchasing and becoming more unified. The team accepted a challenge to increase the firm's savings to £8 million in 2007-2008 - with actual savings reaching £10.7 million.
Richard Harpin, CEO of the company, said: "The results have been absolutely fantastic - better than our wildest targets. While challenging savings targets have been exceeded, it is the manner in which this has been achieved that differentiates the team."
There has also been significant improvement in relationships both internally and with suppliers.
"The first award was a great surprise, the second award was a huge bonus," Bruce said. "It will allow us to catapult the function within the wider business to provide a much more value-oriented focus. We have the capability to add real value and I think with this we can do that."
The procurement team is expected to expand its remit and improve the value the firm gets from its 1,500 active subcontractors.
Steve Morgan, director of commercial and contract management at Sellafield, was this year's winner of the CIPS Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year award. Tilly Harvey-Godfrey, professional services category manager at AXA, was named the CIPS Young Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year.
Ariba was the event's headline sponsor. Atos Consulting, Hays Purchasing and Supply, RS and CPO Agenda magazine also sponsored the awards programme. Profiles of all the winners will appear in the 2 October issue of SM.
CIPS SM AWARDS
The 2008 winners
Best contribution to corporate responsibility
Best cross-functional teamwork
BAE Systems Military Air Solutions: F-35 supply chain development
Best people development initiative
Ministry of Defence
Best process improvement initiative
Best purchasing initiative by a smaller organisation
British Ceramic Tile
Most improved purchasing operation - start-up
De La Rue
Most improved purchasing operation - step change
Best use of technology
Cambridgeshire County Council
Best public procurement project
Defence Equipment and Support Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Best purchaser-supplier collaboration
Cancer Research UK and Williams Lea
International purchasing project of the year
CIPS Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year
Steve Morgan, Sellafield
CIPS Young Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year
Tilly Harvey-Godfrey, AXA