Where savings are music to the ears of stakeholders

1 March 2013

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1 March 2013 | Adam Leach

Buyers can drive interest in procurement by measuring cost savings in terms of critical items for an organisation, such as musical instruments for a music college, according to a panel of buyers.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the London Universities Purchasing Consortium conference yesterday, Marcus McDonald, director of finance and estates at the Royal College of Music, revealed savings delivered by procurement were measured in terms of musical instruments. Translating the savings into valuable instruments such as grand pianos helped attract the attention of senior stakeholders such as the vice chancellor.

McDonald told the audience if procurement is to get into a position where it can play a more strategic role, it is vital buyers identify where they can make a visible difference.

“It’s important procurement becomes embedded in its institutional strategy, and I think the key aim there is really pinpointing the areas where procurement is going to benefit the rest of the organisation,” McDonald said. He added improving visible services such as cleaning and catering could have an impact.

Peter Smith, managing director of Procurement Excellence and blogger, highlighted the value of getting a group of stakeholders together to explain the procurement view to drive engagement.

He said: “I have found historically, that if you can get a group of procurement’s stakeholders in a room together, and maybe put up the Kraljic matrix and say ‘here’s some of the ways procurement think about approaching markets’ and so on, it’s actually really powerful.

“At the end of a couple of hours you’ll get them saying, ‘now I’m beginning to understand.”

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