9 September 2010 | Angeline Albert
Premier Foods' sweet supply relationship with British Sugar has won the top procurement prize at the 2010 CIPS Supply Management Awards.
Watched by an audience of more than 1,200 buyers, the food giant scooped the overall award for purchasing and supply excellence at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel ceremony.
The food producer’s procurement team, which won the Best Supplier Relationship Management category for its dealings with the vendor earlier in the evening, received the prize from award’s host Rory Bremner.
The procurement team at Premier Foods, whose brands include Hovis and Mr Kipling cakes, decided to change the way they dealt with vendors after a 2006 European Commission ruling to restructure the sugar industry. The team’s decision to secure future supplies by developing strategic relationships with one or two suppliers was key and British Sugar, part of Associated British Foods, was that chosen vendor.
Buyers at Premier have delivered £5.7 million cost savings since changing their strategy. And British Sugar has increased its own sales growth by 10 per cent during 2009, and an improvement in adherence to payment terms.
The judges said: “They were responding to the market and this deal was done with reality and not superficial congeniality. This is what the best in supplier relationship management is about – changing the relationship to deal with moves in the market. An example of true collaboration and trust. It felt like both were winners.”,
Mark Hughes, Premier Foods' group procurement director, said: "The key to a good relationship with your supplier is to learn to trust each other. It also helps if you get joint objectives, establish the right teams and let them loose to come up with new opportunities."
Other winners on the night included:
Best Contribution To Corporate Responsibility
Best Cross-Functional Teamwork
Best People Development Initiative
Defence Storage and Distribution Agency
Most Improved Purchasing Operation – Step Change
The Co-operative Group
Most Improved Purchasing Operation – Start up
Best Public Procurement Project
Surrey County Council
International Purchasing Project of the Year
Jaguar Land Rover
Best Supplier Relationship Management
Premier Foods & British Sugar
CIPS Young Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year
Stephen Harratt, NHS re:source
CIPS Procurement and Supply Management Professional of the Year
Ian Bolger, Thames Water
* See pictures of all the winners here