Supply Chain Online: 4C Associates named UK’s Leading Management Consultancy by The Financial Times

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4C Associates, a leading European procurement consultancy specialising in cost reduction and transformation has been named one of UK’s leading management consultancies by The Financial Times, out of 8,000 companies. “We are delighted to be recognised as a leader in management consulting. At 4C Associates, our focus is on enabling our clients to meet their strategic goals, ranging from rapid profit …

The Financial Times: Special Report – UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2018

admin In the press

4C Associates, a leading European procurement consultancy specialising in cost reduction and transformation has been named one of UK’s leading management consultancies by The Financial Times, out of 8,000 companies. With the current economic climate, the need for trusted corporate advisors has never been stronger and the inaugural list of leading management consultants highlights those consultancies that are most respected …

Spend Matters: Increasing UK retail prices – when will the retailer blink?

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Sales growth is struggling, in fact a 0.8% fall in September in the UK, inflation at its highest level for five years, pressure on retail procurement is growing and still retailers are resisting being the first to increase prices. Grocers are laying off staff, high streets are decimated and charity shops are becoming more prevalent.  Over the past 12 months …

Supply Management: What procurement can learn from football

4C Associates In the press

I am often lost for words when watching how football clubs must undertake player negotiations so publicly in the face of influences such as fan opinion, agents, China, the media and the high levels of supplier dominance that some of the truly top players have. Clubs are still making profits even in this time of inflationary salaries thanks to investment …

Supply Chain Online: 4C establishes new Far East business hub in Shanghai, China

4C Associates In the press

With its latest move into the Far East, 4C Associates – a leading European procurement consultancy specialising in cost reduction and transformation – is proactively pursuing a fresh approach to end-to end consultancy solutions. With an established reputation and experienced team of 100+ consultants in London and Amsterdam, 4C works with a variety of top tier clients to help them …

PE OPEN: Whitepaper: Private Equity and the Role of Procurement

4C Associates In the press

Despite a reputation as a simple cost-cutter, Procurement can and should contribute more within the realm of Private Equity. Financial engineering is no longer the default means through which Private Equity firms aim to generate value and reliance is shifting towards maximising revenue growth, enhancing working capital and creating higher enterprise value through financial management. Read full article here

Outsource Magazine: How retailers can drive sustainable savings through strategic sourcing

4C Associates In the press

Growing economic uncertainty has seen many businesses look to procurement for a means to increase savings and ultimately drive growth. This is especially true in the retail industry where common issues include mounting costs, struggling suppliers, increased competition and expanding supply chains. On top of this, savings must be achieved without affecting the quality of the end product or customer …

Finance Digest: Westminster City Council And 4C Launch Joint Venture To Help Public Sector Organisations Address Financial Squeeze

4C Associates In the press

Westminster City Council is partnering with International management and procurement consultancy, 4C Associates, to launch Symbiance, the first company of its kind dedicated to helping local and central Government, and public sector organisations make significant financial benefits. Read full article here

The Grocer: Your Brexit procurement in-tray

4C Associates In the press

UK consumers aren’t likely to regard Marmite, fish fingers and crisps as recipe bedfellows, and given recent Brexit-related pricing announcements they aren’t proving too appetising for UK retailers, either. Furthermore, currency volatility is only the opening salvo in the challenges the vote to leave the EU is likely to present to the industry. Read full article here

Fourth Source: Procurement – Better understanding means better business in a post Brexit marketing world

4C Associates In the press

Procurement has always been a source of friction in marketing. Marketers don’t like procurement; it’s that simple, we are the enemy. This is also not helped by the industry perception that Procurement as a function lacks agility and creativity, both assets which are central to marketing and all that it stands for. But, with better communication and understanding this can, …

Procurement Leaders: What Theresa May’s Brexit speech means for procurement

4C Associates In the press

Theresa May, the Britain’s prime minister, made a speech last week that sought to provide more detail about the kind of relationship the country will have with the European Union (EU) after it leaves. It specifically explained how the Government will manage the transition from a central player in the EU to a solidly independent trading nation. It left a …

Supply Management: What you need to do now about Brexit

4C Associates In the press

Following Theresa May’s speech this week outlining a move towards hard Brexit, buyers will need shrewd contingency and risk planning. A recent report from Credit Suisse, examining trade relationships between the UK and EU countries, highlighted that many of the existing supply chains crossing the channel are designed to function within a single market. Breaking that single market, it warned, may …

Procurement and Supply Australasia: CEOs still don’t ‘get’ what their procurement teams do

4C Associates In the press

Leading management consultancy, 4C Associates has conducted research of over 500 procurement professionals. Of those surveyed, 48 per cent say their boss still doesn’t ‘get’ what the procurement team does or can do.  A total of 55 per cent say they are treated as a ‘support’ function – there to just cut costs rather than recognised for the strategic value they …

Finance Digest: CEOs Still Don’t ‘Get’ What Their Procurement Teams Do, Finds Research

4C Associates In the press

According to research involving over 500 procurement professionals* by leading management consultancy, 4C Associates, 48% said that their boss still doesn’t ‘get’ what the procurement team does or can do.  55% say they are treated as a ‘support’ function – there to just cut costs rather than recognised for the strategic value they can add across the business such as …

Supply Management: Half of bosses ‘don’t get procurement’

4C Associates In the press

In a poll of 521 CPOs, managers and procurement personnel, 48% said their boss “still doesn’t get what the procurement team does or can do”. More than half (55%) said procurement was treated as a support function that existed to cut costs rather than add strategic value. Procurement departments need to highlight to their businesses what services they can provide beyond …

Supply Chain Digital: CEOs still don’t ‘get’ what their procurement teams do

4C Associates In the press

According to research involving over 500 procurement professionals* by leading management consultancy, 4C Associates, 48percent said that their boss still doesn’t ‘get’ what the procurement team does or can do.  55percent say they are treated as a ‘support’ function – there to just cut costs rather than recognised for the strategic value they can add across the business such as developing supplier …

Spend Matters: Managing Risk – Collaborative Supplier Relationship Management (Part 3)

4C Associates In the press

The last two articles on data supply chain management and procurement capabilities have discussed having the required data to support Procurement delivery and tracking, and some of the many approaches that can be taken in transforming the role of Procurement in an organisation. This article now explains how these two can combine to move on from traditional category management to the …

Spend Matters: Managing Risk – Increase Your Focus on the Value of Procurement Capabilities (Part 2)

Jeremy Smith In the press

The common barrier to new Procurement functions is that they are seen as administrative, as blockers to delivery. One way to respond to this is to take small steps forward by beginning with giving the operations teams what they want and making small, incremental improvements as we go. This works, we’ve seen it, but it isn’t quick, nor particularly impactful. Read …

Finance Digest: 5 Steps to successful supply chain finance

4C Associates In the press

Regardless of the size of a business, freeing up capital to grow is often a priority, especially for those businesses with ambitious expansion plans. The solution is often a supply chain finance (SCF) programme to help maximise working capital and kick start growth plans.  Also known as supplier finance or reverse factoring, SCF is a set of solutions to optimise …

Spend Matters: Managing Risk – Data Driven Supplier Management Programmes Are Key (Part 1)

4C Associates In the press

Increasingly complex supply chains, tighter margins and global economic uncertainty have pushed risk management rapidly up the corporate agenda. The good news is that technological solutions, data analysis platforms and procurement best practice have all evolved at pace. This is the first in a three-part series of articles by Jeremy Smith, Director at 4C Associates on the changing roles of procurement, supplier management and …

Finance Digest: Procurement in European private equity investment – adding value to the boardroom

4C Associates In the press

The era is long gone when Private Equity was heavily reliant on financial engineering to generate the necessary returns from portfolio investments. Over the last decade, European financial market dynamics have meant that Private Equity firms have needed to increasingly focus on improving operational efficiencies of the underlying assets to generate the required returns. Read full article here.

Digital Marketing Magazine: Think Lean in Marketing

4C Associates In the press

When reviewing marketing spend, all too often organisations focus on the broad budgetary issues that they have, want and need to solve, from ‘how can I buy or do this for less?’ to ‘why can’t my agency hit the brief first time every time?’. To address these types of issues there are a number of steps that can be taken …

Private Equity International: Value creation through responsible investment

4C Associates In the press

Responsible investing  is increasingly accepted by the private equity industry as integral to good business practice and an essential part of the value creation process. It’s no longer simply a nice-to-have practice, which GPs can choose to adopt, but an expectation. Charlotte Wales, Mark Ellis and Jeremy Smith at 4C Associates explore procurement implications for environmental, social and governance. Order the …

Supply Chain Digital: What B2B procurement can learn from the launch of Amazon Dash

4C Associates In the press

The recent launch of Amazon Dash demonstrates an ever-increasing demand for speed, simplicity and ease amongst consumers – and with businesses also run by consumers, this level of service will soon be expected in the B2B world too.  Jeremy Smith , Director at 4C Associates on how sometimes speed and urgency can outweigh cost. Read full article here.

Procurement and Supply Australasia: The future of marketing procurement

4C Associates In the press

Marketing is one of many functions which was put under growing pressure following the economic crisis. As a result, many businesses have seen increased collaboration between procurement and marketing. The latter needing an ally in the quest to maximise value and the former enjoying a more strategic role within the business. But what’s next? Milan Panchmatia, Managing Partner at 4C Associates …

Supply Management: Coke to implement asset-light supply chain strategy

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Handing over its assets to a few long term bottling partners and re-franchising its distribution needs, should help Coca Cola to boost operating margins, save costs and impress shareholders. But will this new asset-light strategy work? Gopal Iyer, sourcing and supply chain consultant at 4C Associates, says: “Time and again, companies have questioned and redefined their core competencies. ‘Deverticalisation’ has …

Contingent Labour

Contingent labour – Delivering a higher-quality workforce through structured procurement

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The number of self-employed people in Britain hit record highs in the past years and is expected to continue rising. Recent estimates suggest 30% of the workforce will be self-employed by 2030. These developments pose new and exciting challenges for procurement and HR and highlight the importance of designing effective long-term strategies to manage this workforce. With businesses competing within a …

The Guardian: Networking in the online age

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Introductions made via social media don’t have the same impact as a face-to-face meeting. “In my view social networks only have a small influence on making introductions and building valuable business relationships. Someone who just gets in touch with you through a social network is unlikely to be a valuable connection,” says Ed Ainsworth, Non-Executive Director at 4C Associates. Read …

Why Marketing Procurement Still Has a Place

Why marketing procurement still has a place

Milan Panchmatia In the press

Towards the end of last year, PepsiCo sent shockwaves through the business world when it announced the dissolution of its marketing procurement department. Responsibility for agency spend and other fees now sit with the business’ individual brands. Many in the marketing industry have welcomed the change. Some see it as a means to bring in creative agencies and new ways …

Facilities management TFM

Is TFM in the ‘Just too hard’ box?

Chris Herbert In the press

Most organisations live in an increasingly competitive market and strive to at least maintain their cost base and focus on key areas that provide competitive advantage. While facilities expenditure has long been deemed non-strategic by most companies, the approach has been to maintain the status quo and address only those areas that present disruption to the smooth operation of the …

Spend Analysis Moving to Real Analytics

Spend analysis moving to real analytics

Mark Ellis In the press

A lot has been written about spend analysis – analytics, cognitive procurement, big data and how to manage structured and unstructured data within your organisation. What we see in practice is a lot of companies working on three tiers of capability: Some companies still manage their spend analytics through the ERP-based data-warehouse, where static reports are generated and run at a …

The End of Supermarket Price Wars-

The end of supermarket price wars?

Jeremy Smith In the press

Supermarkets waging price wars is nothing new, however, the sustainability of the practice has long been called into question. The past two years, and the previous Tesco-dominated era, have been all about slashing costs and delivering the cheapest products possible. While this has proved advantageous for cash-strapped customers, and the growth of the likes of Aldi and Lidl, it has …

Logistics Manager: New ways of thinking

admin In the press

Companies bring in consultants for a range   of reasons, but perhaps the most valuable is to bring new thinking to a business problem. But what about measuring the return on investment of a consultancy? Simon Terry, CEO of 4C Associates says that this can be incredibly easy sometimes, depending on the project being worked on. Read full article here.

‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ – Cutting-Edge Procurement

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ – Cutting-edge procurement

Jeremy Smith In the press

At a first glance, procurement and innovation come across as unlikely bedfellows. Whereas one is historically focused on delivering short-term savings, the other is more outward-looking and engaged in delivering less tangible results – at least in the short term. This outdated view of procurement’s relationship with innovation continues to persist in a number of companies despite numerous developments. An unstable …

Logistics & Supply Chain Standard: Sourcing the long-term

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Supply chains for businesses, big and small, are finding themselves under pressure to reduce costs, improve efficiency and assist in the maintenance of a steady cash flow. Milan Panchmatia, director of 4C Associates, the procurement consultancy, says that while it is true that the gap is closing, he believes with the economy back on an upward trend, the gap will …

Supply Management: Does SRM represent the last source of savings?

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Supplier relationship management (SRM) has long been a contentious topic. In fact merely defining what the term means often proves difficult and can elicit a wide range of responses. There are those who believe SRM is part and parcel of contract management, whereas others see it as a wholly separate discipline. Milan Panchmatia, Managing Partner at 4C Associates shares his insights. …

Selecting the Right Outsourcing Provider

Selecting the right outsourcing provider

Milan Panchmatia In the press

Deciding to bring on a third-party provider can have multiple benefits. Chief amongst these is access to a cost-effective resource to cutting costs and delivering value. In an environment characterised by economic uncertainty the attraction is clear. However, not all providers offer the same service and it’s essential to select one which can mirror your expectations. Read full article on …

Supply Management: What procurement can learn from PayPal

admin In the press

In the not too distant past, compliance was seen as a necessary evil. A function which existed to limit others. But the array of legislation implemented following the financial crisis and accompanying fines, has made many businesses recognise the importance of the function. Companies have struggled to strike the right balance between investing in innovation and compliance and as a …

Reshoring – Is It Really Happening and What Are the Benefits?

Reshoring – Is it really happening and what are the benefits?

Milan Panchmatia In the press

Reshoring or onshoring, is becoming increasingly popular in a number of sectors in the UK. The term refers to the practice of bringing back, or reshoring, functions previously outsourced overseas. There are a number of reasons why reshoring is a growing trend, namely a reduction in the wage gap between developed and developing economies, but also a desire to have …

Financial Director: An outsourced business financing partner

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The outsourcing of finance functions is not a new phenomenon. But can providers take on an even greater role which goes beyond what FDs would traditionally consider could be taken off-site: the one responsible for business financing? “It is definitely here today. The outsourcing industry has the capability to offer [business partnering] as a service. Most large outsourcers specialise by industry …

International Business Times: Big Data Will Cut Business Costs but Not Jobs

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Companies will save money in the long term by investing in huge data management and storage capabilities, says consultancy firm 4C Associates. Speaking to IBTimes TV at the EIU CFO Summit, the consultancy firm’s managing director, Ed Ainsworth, also added that it could significantly help a company to become more profitable as it allows firms to better understand and manage their …