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15 March 2013 | Adam Leach
Creating a single cross-functional team on data purchasing has enabled Lloyds Banking Group to move from signing a different deal every week to planning up to three years ahead, its CPO has revealed.
In an interview with SM, Michael Whitby, CPO at the financial services firm, explained that under previous arrangements, his team seemed to be signing contracts for data on a weekly basis. But through the group’s new approach to procurement, which is focused around a number of cost centres concentrating on specific areas of spend, it is taking a more long-term approach.
“We have a never-ending stream of requests for data, whether that’s data to work with Experian on credit ratings or getting data from Thomson Reuters or Bloomberg,” he told SM. “There seemed to be a new contract to sign every week. But over the past 18 months, we’ve moved to a point where we have a single view of data across the company led by a team from the business with sourcing and finance.”
Whitby, who joined Lloyds at the start of 2011, explained this team is now putting a strategy in place on how the group wants to manage all data purchases over the next two to three years. The new approach, which is being adopted in similar ways across other categories too, is expected to deliver significant savings and is already providing benefits.
But Whitby explained it has not been without its challenges, including meeting the different needs and requirements of stakeholders, many of whom joined the group through its acquisitions.
“You’d have the Lloyds TSB view and the HBOS view on Thomson Reuters and they were never quite the same. So finding each of those touch points, putting the money together and getting the business to agree what they need has been a big part of making it a success,” said Whitby.