23 March 2010 | Jake Kanter
Consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark has set up a global procurement hub to help cut costs by as much as $500 million (£334 million) by 2013.
The US firm, whose brands include Huggies and Andrex, has appointed Cynthia Dautrich as a global procurement officer and has set to work building a global purchasing team.
It unveiled the plans at an investors’ meeting in New York yesterday.
Kimberly-Clark hopes the new centralised team will enable it to build on procurement improvements made last year, when the company began to pull together its global spend and improve data to secure better terms from suppliers. At that time purchasing also gained control of new spend areas such as marketing, which enabled it to cut category costs by as much as 30 per cent.
This, combined with better operational efficiency and improved manufacturing and supply chain practices, has helped Kimberly-Clark cut costs by $450 million (£300 million) since 2008.
Commenting on purchasing’s contribution, chief strategy officer Chris Brickman said: “It delivered terrific results last year, but it’s absolutely just the tip of the iceberg. 2009 was not a one-hit wonder.”