RSPCA sets up purchasing department for first time

14 September 2008
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15 September 2008 | Jake Kanter

The RSPCA is to establish a centralised buying function as it aims to become more "business-like".

The UK's biggest animal welfare charity is recruiting a head of procurement and five category managers who will oversee an annual spend of £50 million. It currently manages this spend in a "diverse number of ways" and plans to centralise its purchasing to drive savings and secure a better level of service.

Huw Davies, director of corporate services, told SM: "We want to capitalise on our purchasing power and try to put as much money as possible into direct animal welfare.

"Anything we can achieve through greater efficiency will help."

He said it is important vendors understand the charity wants to act in a business-like manner.

"Every penny we have is reinvested into the strategic objectives of the society and that's something we have to convey to all our suppliers."

Davies added the culture at the RSPCA would need to change to ensure staff don't "go round the corner to the local stationery provider" and make their own purchases.

Some of the major areas of spend the organisation is looking to tackle include marketing, veterinary drugs and professional services such as vets and consultants. "Gradually we will work through all of our suppliers and see if they are fit for purpose and offer the best price. But it won't be a big bang, everything won't change over night," Davies explained.

He said it was too early to confirm the organisation's savings target, but was confident cost reductions would cover the expense of setting up the department.

SMsep2008

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