Homeserve wins top award

14 September 2008
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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

Overall winner Homeserve

Team awards

Best contribution to corporate responsibility Sellafield

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 Environment Agency

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 Homeserve

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 PZ Cussons

Individual awards

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


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