Vodafone's procurement team was asked to find three quick wins following a merger © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Vodafone's procurement team was asked to find three quick wins following a merger © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

How procurement at Vodafone delivered in seven days

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
posted by Rebecca Ellinor Tyler
19 August 2019

Vodafone’s procurement team achieved the first wins from a new merger within seven business days of the deal completing.

Ninian Wilson, group procurement director and CEO of the Vodafone Procurement Company, gave his supply chain management team just one working week to make the first savings following the acquisition of four Liberty Global assets in Europe.

The supply chain management team, based in Luxembourg, had been involved in the M&A process right from the very start – looking at the spend and coming up with what the synergy value would be – but it couldn’t study the information until the deal had been completed.

Vodafone finalised the purchase of operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic on the evening of Wednesday 31 July and procurement received the figures the next day.

“We looked at the information on the Thursday and the team was tasked to deliver three quick wins by the following Friday – I’m moderately patient,” joked Wilson, a member of the CIPS Procurement Power List.

“Procurement in our industry is a great lever because people tend to buy the same things. So if you’re in telecommunications in Liberty, you’re buying similar things from similar suppliers, so there are always synergy opportunities when you bring two great companies together, and it’s important we deliver. 

“We have a synergy value in the business case for Liberty, so I know exactly what number I have to beat. That’s the mindset of the procurement function, we know the number we have to beat and we will aim to beat that number.”

Vodafone has 24 operating companies spread throughout the globe and a combined reported group revenue of €43.6bn. It has around 92,000 staff, with those numbers set to grow following the purchase of these latest assets. 

The group has approximately 640 million mobile customers, 21 million fixed broadband customers and 14 million TV customers. 

• Find out in a forthcoming issue of Supply Management how a digital transformation of procurement means Wilson and his team control 83% of expenditure.

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