The head buyer of Australia’s largest telecoms company has been announced as the CPO of the Year in the Asia-Pacific region.
Richard Allen, CPO at Telstra, was handed the award by procurement consultancy The Faculty, who said he was a “perfect example of how procurement can support a company’s value proposition”.
Allen, who was chosen from a shortlist of top performing CPOs in the Asia-Pacific region, led Telstra “through an extensive domestic change programme” and made a “significant contribution” to the company’s transformation.
Judging panel chairwoman Karen Morley said: “The change Mr Allen has made at Telstra is a perfect example of how procurement can support a company’s value proposition, achieving cost reductions while adding significant business value.
“Richard’s ability to broaden the role of procurement across the business and reap such strong rewards is the result of his functional excellence, leadership, commercial capabilities and personal drive.”
Allen, who is charge of a procurement spend of AUS$12 billion, has reduced the supplier base by 30 per cent and introduced a “reverse sourcing” initiative, which changed payment terms with suppliers and “unlocked a significant incremental cash benefit to the business”.
Allen, who is also executive director of enterprise services, was nominated for the award by Robert Nason, group executive for business support and improvement at Telstra, who said: “Richard has been instrumental in Telstra’s transformation over recent years, and his commercial leadership has helped Telstra strengthen its customer service offering.
“He’s introduced innovative service evaluation, to measure and increase advocacy within Telstra’s suppliers, recognising that they are often our customers, too.
“Richard’s also led a widespread rationalisation of our supplier base, reducing it by 30 per cent, which benefits both our business and our customers.”
The Faculty’s founder Tania Seary said: “Making a tremendous impact on one of Australia’s largest corporations and driving real change across the business is far from simple – yet Richard has shown that his technical skills and leadership combined are a perfect formula for success."