Nuclear Labs targets £500k savings

30 September 2010

30 September | Lindsay Clark

The National Nuclear Laboratory's (NNL) procurement team aims to save £500,000 on the company’s bottom line before the end of this financial year, a conference heard this week. 

Since joining in 2005, head of procurement Wayne Muckley has sought to improve links with internal managers, as well as supplier relationships, to put his department on a stronger footing in the organisation. 

“I’ve got a target this year of delivering half a million bottom line savings,” he told eWorld Purchasing & Supply in London this week. 

Continuous improvement events with stakeholders have become part of his arsenal in driving down costs. “These events [aim] to get the business engaged in engaging us at the appropriate times to further drive involvement and the vendor management. We are trying to make it easier to work with us,” said Muckley.

He has cut the number of suppliers used by NNL, a government-owned, privately operated company that advises public and private sectors organisations in nuclear science and engineering. “Because we have a smaller number of suppliers we have started to have relationship meetings in the diary to get the right people around the table – internal customers with the right level of seniority and the suppliers – to try to get a better relationship to reduce the cost and to drive innovation,” he said.

Muckley has also sought to recruit some members of the procurement team from outside the nuclear industry, including aerospace, to broaden project management skills. The aim was for the team “to become more of a business adviser than a procurement specialist”, he said. 

Since 2005, cost savings of about £1 million a year on spending of around £30 million have been achieved. 

As a result, procurement’s contribution was recognised in the business, Muckley said. “In the internal management reviews we are starting to see that procurement is an enabler, a strength. In 2005 we would never even have figured in the management review.”

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