Powell to use CPO powers to drive innovation

20 March 2012

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20 March 2012 | Angeline Albert

The CPO of advertising group Clear Channel International (CCI) has promised to find innovative supply chain solutions to drive cost out of the organisation.

Richard Powell has joined the company, which runs roadside billboards, bus and tram advertising and bus shelter adverts. The former Serco procurement director took up the newly created CPO role and told SM he is excited by the challenge of working in the marketing sector for the first time in his career.   

Responsible for a 30-strong team of procurement staff, Powell joined the company at the start of February and said his ongoing review of the purchasing function will seek to make improvements to processes, personnel and strategy. “We must leverage the global scale that the business has, particularly since CIear Channel has a broad size and scope with 30 countries,” he said.

Powell is also assessing his team, as any new CPO would do. He said: “We need to ensure we have the right people, that includes smart procurement professionals to build supply chain relationships. This will lead to supply innovations. If we could, for example, reduce the time it takes to post an advert on a billboard, we will save time and money.”

He sees street furniture, cleaning and printing services as spend areas that are ripe for cost-saving opportunities. “Printing costs are a substantial spend for us. We would look to consolidate printing across international borders. This could lead to a reduction in our printing supply base.”

As well as print advertising, there are more than 2,000 digital panels in the company’s portfolio, some of which enable individuals to scan their phones over a bus shelter advert to buy what is promoted.

Powell said: “The marketing and advertising industry is not a strong area for procurement, so it is an exciting professional challenge. This is a business that needs to take cost out in a very innovative way but it speaks volumes that procurement has been recognised by the business with the creation of a CPO role.”

Powell reports to the managing director and chief operating officer Jonathan Bevan and is based in CCI’s London head office. He left his job as procurement director for the civil government division at Serco in mid-January, and has also worked as head of procurement at Hertz Europe.

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