16 November 2009 | Jake Kanter
Aid financing group the Global Fund is building a new procurement team as part of efforts to improve stakeholder relations and speed up donations.
The Swiss-based organisation, which awards grants to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in 140 countries, is recruiting six buyers to bolster its purchasing team to 12 and transform it from a transactional function.
Will Ashby, recently appointed director of corporate procurement, told SM: "There was a recognition at a high level that procurement could add value by helping to manage suppliers better, but also to get a balance between cost, quality and service."
Ashby is drawing up a plan for the next two years, which will be grounded on strong internal relations.
"The people I'm looking to recruit will have a high degree of procurement expertise and emotional intelligence - people who can get on in a multicultural organisation," he said. "If you come here and think you're going to change the world in six months, then you have another think coming."
Building stakeholder trust will assist with other aims including improving supplier negotiations and issuing contracts, as well as introducing better vendor relationship management.
The Global Fund spends around half of its $140 million (£84.5 million) procurement budget with "local fund agents" - professional service suppliers that provide recommendations on the capacity of grant recipients to manage the disbursement of funds. These fund agents also measure how the grant recipients perform and how well money is used.
Ashby said better management of the fund agents can facilitate the disbursement of grants and get treatment to people in need faster.