Likely bedfellows - Procurement and Innovation

Likely bedfellows – Procurement and Innovation

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia explores the complex and evolving relationship between procurement and innovation. The word ‘innovation’ is overused. It has become one of the cornerstones of corporate jargon and in doing so has lost much of its meaning. To innovate means to do something new. That does not necessarily refer to a completely new product, but also to finding …

A positive view of Brexit through the lens of a procurement negotiation strategy

A positive view of Brexit through the lens of a procurement negotiation strategy

Steve Harrison 4C Blog

As we look forward to the Article 50 negotiations, Steve Harrison presents a positive case in relation to the UKs trading relationship with the EU going forward through the lens of a procurement negotiation strategy. The principle negotiating objectives in the two-year period prescribed by article 50 are twofold. First is to settle who is liable for ongoing liabilities, like …

Westminster City Council and 4C launch joint venture

Westminster City Council and 4C launch joint venture

4C Associates Press Release

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE London, March 9th 2017 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. Over the last three years, Westminster City Council’s procurement team has contributed year-on-year savings across the Council, …

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

4C Associates 4C 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 4C 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 4C 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, …

What do monopolistic suppliers have in common with top-level footballers?

What do monopolistic suppliers have in common with top-level footballers

Alfred Morris 4C Blog

The issue with monopolistic suppliers and top-level footballers is the perception that under changing circumstances they have the power to dictate terms. Many of us will have seen our clubs held to ransom by one of its superstars and a few of us seen a similar situation at our organisations by that one tricky supplier. In this context, how can …

Procurement fraud – are we being complacent?

Procurement fraud – are we being complacent?

Philip Joss 4C Blog

As fraudsters get better and better at targeting businesses, 4C’s Philip Joss considers the gravity of the issue and looks at what counter measures can be employed to minimise risks. Procurement fraud is a difficult area for many organisations to tackle. This is not only due to the ever-growing array of threats facing businesses, but also the sheer magnitude of …

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

4C Associates 4C 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 …

How Brexit could impact European private equity investments

How Brexit could impact European private equity investments

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

As Europe continues to wait for economic stability to return, Milan Panchmatia considers how the UK’s vote to leave might affect equity markets. While the exact impact of leaving the European Union is still unknown, it is clear that Brexit will affect British and European businesses in a number of ways. Initially, currency fluctuations and volatile conditions are likely to …

Supply Management: What you need to do now about Brexit

4C Associates 4C 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 …

The future of M&A in Brexit Britain

The future of M&A in Brexit Britain

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Uncertainty and major mergers and acquisitions are reluctant bedfellows, according to 4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia – but there are reasons for optimism. The long-term implication of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union is difficult to predict. The initial reaction, at least from the stock markets, was a loss in confidence and whilst this has been reversed with the FTSE …

How procurement can drive internal collaboration

How procurement can drive internal collaboration

Mark Ellis 4C Blog

4C Associates’ Mark Ellis examines how procurement can reap the benefits of joining forces with other functions within the enterprise. When it comes to driving and extracting value within an enterprise, much is made of the need for procurement to work more closely, collaborating and partnering with key suppliers. However, there are many examples of organisations which have invested in their …

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

4C Associates 4C 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 4C 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 4C 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 4C 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 …

Businesses in the age of the internet of things

Businesses in the age of the internet of things

Jeremy Smith 4C Blog

4C Associates’ Jeremy Smith considers how the internet of things is changing the way businesses and consumers interact. The internet of things is not a new concept. The idea of countless devices connected to each other via the web has been around since the late 1990s. In fact, Kevin Ashton, Executive Director of Auto-ID Center, coined the phrase in 1999 during …

Finding value in the tail end

Finding value in the tail end

Robin Agarwal 4C Blog

4C’s Robin Agarwal examines the benefits organisations can uncover by taking a closer look at tail spend Many have discussed Indirect spend tail management and the benefits that it can deliver to companies. However, having worked in Direct materials and services procurement with numerous businesses, we have first-hand experience that Direct tail spend is frequently mismanaged as well. The reason? …

Achieving procurement leadership through external services

Whitepaper: Achieving procurement leadership through external services

4C Associates Insights

In this whitepaper, we look at why and how the use of external support and bought in services or resource has become so critical for procurement leaders. The range and complexity of what is expected from leaders now means that no procurement function can meet all the demands put on it without making good use of external resources, whether that …

Procurement's key role in exposing the hidden cost of currency fluctuations in contracts

Procurement’s key role in exposing the hidden cost of currency fluctuations in contracts

Mark Boswell 4C Blog

Mark Boswell, Senior Manager at 4C Associates considers the steps Procurement should take to understand and forecast pricing impacts due to currency fluctuations. Over the past 12 months’ sterling has fallen by over 20% versus both the US dollar and the euro. The decline really gathered pace post the UK’s June 23rd EU referendum result with the pound slumping c15% …

Procurement implications for environmental, social and governance

Procurement implications for environmental, social and governance (ESG)

Charlotte Wales 4C Blog

With limited direct impact on the commercial bottom line, environmental, social and governance is still viewed as a concern only for organisations struggling with public perception and looking to build their ethical or green credentials. The reality, however, is that all organisations must now consider the long-term ramifications of ignoring these corporate health assessments, where both unnecessary or unmeasured risk …

Putting procurement at the heart of the business

Putting procurement at the heart of the business

Mark Ellis 4C Blog

Mark Ellis, Managing Partner at 4C Associates considers the steps the function needs to take if it is to drive strategic business decisions. Procurement has come a long way in the past few years. In some enterprises, the function has gone from being seen as ‘blockers’, ‘bean counters’, ‘policy enforcers’ and ‘enemy of innovation’, to being viewed as a strategic …

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

Jeremy Smith 4C 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 4C 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 …

Why would anyone want to be a CPO?

Why would anyone want to be a CPO?

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Rising risk levels, a lack of relevant skills and managing transition – Milan Panchmatia explores why anyone would choose to be a CPO. As procurement’s role evolves, this needs to be reflected in way it operates within the business. Savings and other traditional measures of success remain important, but no longer encompass everything the function brings. Delivering value – be …

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

4C Associates 4C 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 4C 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.

Commodity Risk Management

Commodity Risk Management: Connecting the Arab spring, Manchester United and JFK

Philip Joss 4C Blog

Spring 2011: Prince William was getting married to Catherine Middleton, the Arab spring was dominating geo-politics, Portugal was being bailed out by the EU and Manchester United were winning the English Premier League. This was also the peak of the last commodity cycle. Unlike the financial collapse of 2008 (the previous commodity peak) it was not clear during 2011, or …

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

4C Associates 4C 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 4C 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 …

The future of marketing procurement

The future of marketing procurement

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

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? How can a forward looking business …

Changing the perception of facilities management

Changing the perception of facilities management

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

I’ve written before about the challenges of getting more young people involved in strategic procurement and many of points I made apply to facilities management. The main issue I highlighted is the continued perception of procurement as a cost saver and not a strategic business partner and problem solver. Part of the problem is due to the way in which …

Driving value in in Private Equity though portfolio procurement (1)

Driving value in Private Equity though portfolio procurement

Jeremy Smith 4C Blog

With Private Equity  firms increasingly under pressure to improve operational efficiencies within their assets as a means to drive value, Jeremy Smith considers procurement’s role. All mid-market Private Equity companies recognise the value procurement can bring in terms of sustainable EBITDA improvement, however, the portfolio companies they invest in often lack leverage given their scale in any given market. This …

Is this the death of marketing procurement-

Is this the death of marketing procurement?

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

This was the topic of this week’s webinar hosted as a debate between 4C and Spend Matters. The contention from Spend Matters’ Managing Editor Peter Smith was that following the demise of marketing procurement within PepsiCo all marketing procurement might be doomed. Peter, as we all know is a persuasive speaker who really knows his procurement, and he contends that …

Contingent Labour

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

admin 4C Blog

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 …

Webinar Is this the end of marketing procurement-

4C Webinar: Is this the end of marketing procurement?

admin Previous Events

Recent developments have seen procurement functions turfed out of certain marketing departments, but does that mean the function no longer has a role to play? Join our upcoming webinar `Is this the end of marketing procurement?` on Thursday 5th May at 12.30pm BST to hear Milan Panchmatia, Managing Partner at 4C Associates and Peter Smith, Managing Editor at Spend Matters …

Why Marketing Procurement Still Has a Place

Why marketing procurement still has a place

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

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 …

Private equity and unlocking third party spend

How can private equity portfolio companies unlock value in indirect third party spend

Mike Lander 4C Blog

It is a common practice amongst Private Equity(PE) owned companies to tap into an Aggregator purchasing organisation that could leverage the bulk buying power of the entire portfolio owned by the PE owner. In the cases where portfolio companies are small to medium in size, it is often the case that they do not have indirect procurement departments. As the …

Global Procurement Index survey

Global Procurement Index Survey

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Hello Procurement, how’s it going? I know that its tough out there and that your stakeholders always demand more, but how are you really doing? Is it going well for you and are you enjoying life? Come on you can tell me the truth! We know it`s difficult, and that having more information around what your peers are doing will …

Supply chain financing

The evolution of supply chain finance

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Back in October 2012, the Prime Minister unveiled a new scheme aimed at helping smaller businesses secure affordable finance. The initiative received a wide range of support and leading companies, including Diageo, Kingfisher, Tesco and IBM all signed up. The popularity of the scheme and the fact it was driven by both public and private sector organisations, indicates the potential …

How to incentivise suppliers

How to incentivise suppliers

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

In an economic climate where many businesses need to do more with less, procurement functions are increasingly looking to uncover new ways to incentivise their suppliers. Incentivising suppliers to deliver improved performances is not a new concept in the world of procurement. However, with an increasing number of businesses facing tighter margins, it is an area which certainly merits investigating. The …

Attracting best talent to procurement

Attracting the best talent to procurement

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Procurement is finally starting to get some of the recognition it deserves, but we need the right talent to make sure it keeps evolving. The challenging economic climate that we have experienced for the past few years has seen procurement make the step up from being a cost saver to a strategic partner. Whereas the function was once viewed as a …

Facilities management TFM

Is TFM in the ‘Just too hard’ box?

Chris Herbert 4C Blog

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 4C Blog

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 …

NHS Procurement – Staffing Agency Partnerships, Not “Rip-Offs”

NHS Procurement – Staffing agency partnerships, not “rip-offs”

Mike Lander 4C Blog

There has been plenty of media coverage recently about the need for a “clamp down on some of the staffing agencies ripping off the NHS.” As a procurement professional who has worked as both a Non-Executive Director (NED) and business consultant in the NHS, it saddens me to believe that an essential part of the workforce supply chain (nursing and …

The End of Supermarket Price Wars-

The end of supermarket price wars?

Jeremy Smith 4C Blog

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 …

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

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

Jeremy Smith 4C Blog

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 …

Selecting the Right Outsourcing Provider

Selecting the right outsourcing provider

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

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 …

ANA marketing procurement conference Phoenix 2015

Milan Panchmatia Previous Events

Is the U.S. Five years (at least) behind the UK in terms of how it manages its agencies. Today in Pheonix. AZ was the first session at this years ANA financial management conference (marketing procurement), the opening topic was around transparency in agency relationships. I have to say that it was with a degree of incredulity that it really became …

SRM

Does SRM bring a step change to procurement?

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and innovation are two words frequently used in the same sentence. SRM has long been touted as the next step for many procurement departments looking to bring about a step change. The reason for this is simple. In many industries, suppliers are coming under increasing cost pressure and are simply unable to reduce costs alone. By …

Supply Management: What procurement can learn from PayPal

admin 4C 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 4C Blog

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 …

Building procurement’s profile during M&As

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog 0 Comments

Early involvement, savings delivery and knowing when to call on external expertise – a quick guide to building procurement’s profile during M&A activity. M&A activity has been increasing across the globe since 2008. According to financial software company Dealogic, global deal values hit the $1.75 trillion mark halfway through this year. Recent M&A activity includes General Electric’s $17 billion purchase …

Marketing and procurement – making the relationship work

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog 0 Comments

A challenging economic climate has seen many marketing departments put under increased pressure to optimise spend and reporting. Marketers across the globe have found themselves with little option, but to turn to procurement for support. In many companies this “mandatory” collaboration has led to a blossoming relationship. I do not doubt that many marketers were sceptical when they first began …

Turning more CPOs into CEOs

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog 0 Comments

As procurement takes on a more strategic role, we examine what’s next for the function and how CPOs can make the move to CEO. A bleak economic landscape combined with a global financial crisis saw procurement take on a key role in many businesses’ growth strategies. With traditional growth patterns being undermined across many industries, CEOs turned to procurement to …

The new procurement – what skillset is needed to be successful now?

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog 0 Comments

Procurement is playing an increasingly important role in many businesses and the skillset of those working in the function needs to evolve to reflect this. Procurement’s increased involvement in wider business strategy has altered the skillset needed by those working in the function. Generally speaking this has manifested itself in a focus on skills related to relationship management and strategic …

What can public and private procurement functions teach each other?

Milan Panchmatia 4C Blog 0 Comments

Many of those working in procurement think that public and private purchasing functions operate in different universes. They equate working in the public sector with red-tape and rule books and the private sector with freedom and innovation. Whilst this might be true to some extent, there are lessons to be learnt from both sides. The main difference between public and …

Financial Director: An outsourced business financing partner

admin 4C in the press

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 …

The 4C Procurement Capability Questionnaire

admin Insights 0 Comments

[download id=”5133″] The 4C Procurement Capability Questionnaire is designed to allow organisations to assess themselves against best practice procurement attributes. This can be undertaken across and within industries and sectors to compare with other organisations or against pervious benchmarks allowing tracking of improvements over a period of time. An online self-assessment is completed which is then followed up with a series of …

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

admin 4C in the press

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 …

If the UK withdraws from Europe, what will be the impacts on UK procurement prices and practices?

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

Referendum Since the Prime Minister’s announcement of his intention to hold a referendum on the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union, questions around the impact of a possible change have seldom been far from the minds of businesses and the media alike. But what would the impact be on procurement? Although it is possible that the UK will continue …

Why procurement should play a key role in buying external audit services

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

With a recent study revealing that almost a third of the FTSE 100 have used the same auditor for more than 20 years, Antony Ray makes the case for increased procurement involvement. It was not too long ago that legal services and management consultancy were seen as areas which procurement should have little or no involvement in. Thankfully times have changed and …

Data driven procurement in the sports industry

Jeremy Smith 4C Blog 0 Comments

In the past decade, many professional sports teams have dramatically increased their reliance on Management Information (MI). This data, which includes player specific metrics such as average match speed, distance covered and successful tackles, has proven invaluable to coaches looking to develop game winning tactics. Rugby players, for example, are now tracked via GPS to enable coaches to evaluate an …

Five tips for getting procurement and marketing together

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

As many companies look to freeze marketing budgets, Steven Sargent examines how procurement can help maximise value. The latest IPA Bellwether Report has revealed an increase in marketing expenditure of just 0.1 per cent for the first quarter of 2013. This reigning in of spend could well prove problematic for marketing departments faced with mounting advertising costs. As a function dedicated to ensuring …

Getting procurement through M&A

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

Mergers and Acquisitions are a fact of modern business life and most employees will experience a number of mergers or takeovers throughout their career. Often they will view such activity as a threat to their position within their current organisation. This need not be the case. The strategic drivers for a merger are varied, for example the acquiring organisation may …

Can procurement drive strategic business decisions?

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

Given the current financial climate, cutting costs and maximising efficiency have become key priorities for many businesses. As a result, the procurement function has not only gained in visibility, but also in strategic importance. In this context, 4C brought together a selection of professionals from several sectors to determine whether procurement can drive strategic business decisions.Jamie Ogilvie-Smals, Director at 4C Associates, …

CIPS Conference 2012 – “Building the Profession of the Future”

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

This year’s CIPS Conference, “Building the Profession of the Future”, saw some of the industry’s most high profile leaders discuss how buyers can tackle the new challenges facing the sector. 4C Associates was a Gold Sponsor at the event and was invited to host a session on cost leadership.David Noble, CEO of CIPS, opened the conference with a speech underlining the increased …

Cost Leadership and economic uncertainty

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

What is Cost Leadership? In his 1985 book, “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance”, Michael Porter identifies three generic business strategies. These approaches can be applied to products or services across all industries, and in companies of varying sizes. One of these, “Cost Leadership”, is a strategy based on being the lowest cost producer in an industry, for a …

Negotiating the road to success

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

There are many different views and opinions on what makes a good negotiator, 4C’s Guy Allen takes a look at some of the characteristics required to secure the best deal.Negotiating is one of the single most important skillsets needed to run a successful business. An advantageous contract with a supplier can be the difference between a successful quarter and bankruptcy. …

Does procurement stifle marketing creativity?

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

A growing number of businesses are looking to drive growth by cutting costs and optimising spend. In this context there is an increasing amount of pressure on marketing and procurement to work together. Traditionally, there has been some scepticism regarding these functions collaborating given their respective mandates. 4C brought together a selection of professionals from several sectors to determine whether …

Frugal innovation in healthcare

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

Frugal or ” Jugaad” innovation is a concept which is being embraced by businesses across various sectors. One aspect of this movement, which is particularly relevant to the healthcare sector, is producing low tech alternatives to more complex products.Companies such as General Electric and Siemens, which produce some of the globe’s most expensive and complex pieces of medical equipment, are looking …

Procure to pay systems – critical for CPOs to deliver value?

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

With businesses constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to cut costs, procure to pay, or P2P, systems are often touted as possible cost saving solutions.  There are, however, those who believe their implementation is a waste of money. We brought together a wide selection of professionals from various sectors and industries to debate this issue. Industry expert, Mike Crowley, argued …

External legal services – best bought by procurement, or the in-house counsel?

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

With legal expenditure coming under increasing scrutiny, 4C assembled a group of procurement and legal professionals to debate the pros and cons of sourcing external legal services with procurement involvement versus the in-house legal counsel sourcing the services themselves. Antony Ray, Senior Category Manager at 4C Associates, argued that procurement was best placed to secure legal services whereas Emmanuelle Recoules, …

4C acquires logistics operations firm Key3 Partners New

admin Press Release 0 Comments

London, UK, 16 January, 2012 – Key3, the consulting firm specialising in logistics operations and logistics systems improvement, has been acquired by 4C Associates, the consulting and outsource firm specialising in cost and procurement transformation. Key3 have delivered many millions of pounds of savings to blue chip organisations and bring first class expertise in delivering change in logistics operations, through a rare …

High but falling inflation with high volatility drives need for additional savings

admin 4C Blog 0 Comments

All of our clients are wrestling with this issue. Overall inflation in the UK is now falling (down from 4.4% in February to 4.0% in March, see chart) however this overall decline masks large swings in specific prices. Oil, energy and logistics costs are increasing Labour and people based costs are remaining stable Technology costs continue to decrease Costs of …