Do you need more money to fuel your business growth? Is there a hole in your bucket (dear Liza)?

Posted by Lynne on October 14, 2019  /   Posted in Process, Procurement

With all the volatility and uncertainty in the world, we all need to make sure we are making the most of the money we invest and spend in our businesses, to ensure their future strength. Is procurement effectiveness on your agenda? If not, why not (dear Henry)?

Recently, one of our clients, a fast-growing international manufacturing and distribution business, approached us about cost optimisation. Despite being profitable, they felt they could make each pound go further – and that would help fuel even greater growth going forward.  

We quickly identified significant cost saving opportunities through an analysis of spend and business processes, with a scale of ease to realise these benefits. Due the credibility of this first piece of work, we were asked to go back and work with the business to deliver them.

This involved a mixture of coaching the internal team and providing specialist support in key spend areas. We were able to deliver all the benefits we identified across a massive range of categories within just nine months.

Then to ensure its sustainability whilst still leading the buying function, we were asked to recruitment a permanent long term leader – which we did through our expansive network.

So if you’ve a hole in your procurement bucket, take proper steps today to mend the leak. Straw won’t fix it! But talking to Mobius just might…

A third off courier costs for a PE-backed distribution company. £0.5 million off cleaning costs for a fashion retailer. 1.5% off labour costs for a privately-owned hotel group. What can we achieve for you? 

Posted by Lynne on May 03, 2017  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement, Strategy, Systems

These are just a few examples of the work Mobius business performance consultants have delivered for clients, which has enhanced the value of the businesses to improve the sale value of the business or provide greater funds for future investment.

In all these examples the ingredients have been similar; we’ve provided a business leader with relevant experience and the strength to seek out the opportunities, and not be put off by the inevitable internal and external pressures.

These are people who have had operational responsibility as well as consultancy experience. They can carry out a rigorous analysis of how things are working now for your business and establish the actual data to validate an objective assessment. They have the knowledge to root out the gems, and the ability and resilience to land these as tangible and sustainable benefits. We know it sounds simple but we also know that it isn’t and that it needs the calibre of person and the processes that Mobius bring to make it happen.

Our experienced team of commercial winners have the skills and expertise to identify and deliver these very tangible benefits for your business, whatever the sector. If we can’t find a benefit we will tell you quickly but we haven’t been in this position yet!

Contact us now to start a discussion about how we can help you make the next step to improving your cost base and the profitability of your enterprise.

How to get an increased ROI on your procurement activity

Posted by Lynne on May 17, 2016  /   Posted in Procurement

Effective procurement can give the most tangible and mouth-wateringly high returns of any function within an organisation. Benchmark studies point to an average of two- to fivefold ROI per annum. Our own experience bears this out.

As many of you will know, we have a thriving procurement consultancy and, over the last six years, we have carried out assignments to develop procurement strategies for organisations. These involved negotiating and re-contracting across categories as diverse as software licences to building maintenance and from cleaning stores to cleaning materials. We have worked across many business sectors including property, retail, hospitality and financial services. The client feedback has been positive, their return on investment has been up to tenfold and the demand for our support has grown.

Would you like a share of this? It’s now possible, as we have strengthened our offer to meet the needs of a wider audience. We have handpicked a team of proven professionals based on our personal experience of their success across a wide array of categories, sectors and procurement processes. Our collective experience now includes UK public sector, retail, food services, hospitality, business services, pharmaceuticals and charities – and our existing category experience has now extended to include telephony, IT hardware, fuel and vehicles, global sourcing, FM and professional services.

On a third dimension we have expertise in procurement strategy, stakeholder engagement, supplier selection, negotiating and contracting and supplier management as well as e-Procurement and e-Auctions.

Just as importantly though this team has the confidence and experience to transfer their existing knowledge into new areas and hit the ground running.

If you would like to find out more about our specialist procurement team or discuss a particular issue, please drop us a line or give us a call.

Is your business the customer of choice?

Posted by Lynne on May 17, 2016  /   Posted in Procurement

Right now there is, quite rightly, a lot of focus on supplier relationship management. A wise extension of this – with your key strategic suppliers – is to look at what you can do to be the customer of choice for such trading partners. If there is a shortage of supply now, or in the future, this helps to ensure you have continuity of supply.

This doesn’t mean just increasing your prices, but it does mean developing a long-term dialogue to understand what makes it difficult for your supplier to trade with you – and then work with them to overcome these so you are the easiest partner for them to trade with.

You may be surprised but some of their big issues may be around logistics, goods receipting, demand forecasting or the term of the contract. They may be things you can change at little or no cost to you but de-risk your supply chain massively. What have you got to lose?

Opening doors to the bigger stores

Posted by Lynne on August 13, 2015  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement

When you possess the knowledge bank of how blue chip retail businesses operate and, more importantly, what they look from their suppliers, it can really open doors.

In fact, some of our consultants, with their in-depth, high level retail experience, can guide you through the whole process from product concept to checkout. During which you will gain an insight as to how a buyer in a large retailer thinks and acts when building a range architecture.

As part of the process, they will teach you:

  • How to build a critical path (everything from product set up to product launch and all key stages in-between);
  • Which series of buttons to press to get the buyer’s attention;
  • How to open a dialogue and build a rapport with the right category partners;
  • How to pitch your product;
  • Which mediums to use;
  • How to get the timing just right;
  • How to avoid potential pitfalls; and ultimately
  • How to get the sale.

Acquiring this knowledge and these invaluable skills from experienced consultants, like John Green, Anita Pearse or Jonathan Clark, who have all successfully brought directs and indirects to the shelves of Tesco, Sainsbury, the Co-operative et al, will pay dividends. For help in bringing your products to market, make sure you get to the front of the queue!

Our top tips for dealing with a troublesome outsourced provider

Posted by Lynne on July 07, 2015  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement

1. Is the issue you are facing covered in the contract terms? If not, and it is material, you could renegotiate the terms.

2. How effectively are you engaging with your supplier? Have you asked them why there is sub optimal service rather than just tell them? This approach may well open up avenues that create a positive way out of the issue.

3. Is this a personality issue, or more fundamental in terms of the actual goods or services not being delivered. You may be able to mediate or even change the personalities involved in managing or delivering the service.

4. Was the issue identified in the tender when you sourced the provider, or in other potential suppliers responses? Are there any solutions to be found here?

5. If you have a multi-supplier arrangement, can you share the issue with the other provider(s) to help find a solution?

Proof that outsourcing can pay dividends

Posted by Lynne on July 21, 2014  /   Posted in Process, Procurement

Often it pays to outsource … especially when savings of £1.3 million on an annual spend of £6 million can be achieved!

Part of a major group, a supplier of seafood to leading supermarkets already realised that there were significant benefits in outsourcing their packaging procurement team.

After consulting with Tony – and within just 60 days – a new team was in place providing high-tech packaging technology, specification and design support. The decision was then made to outsource packaging management and stock control too – reducing the headcount and other associated costs.

The procurement team established key working practices that led to a reduction in the total cost of the packaging to the tune of £1.3 million in the first year, with further cost savings over the next two years of the contract.

If you’re interested in finding how much you could save by outsourcing your packaging procurement, give Mobius a call today!

Racking up the savings for a leading automotive company

Posted by Lynne on July 21, 2014  /   Posted in Process, Procurement

With little control over their packaging stocks and often having to react to short-term changes in their schedule, the UK arm of a global car manufacturer, was forever running out of critical items. This resulted in them having to pay a premium for quick supply or alternatives, which often meant airfreight packaging.

This is the picture Tony was presented with when he was asked to look at reducing the overall packaging costs. He soon identified that a better process could be established. By outsourcing the packaging supply, the supply chain methodology could be changed.

The new packaging was delivered into a consolidation area, where it was ‘pre-constructed’ into a format that could be delivered ‘line side’ on a same or next day basis. The cost for this consolidation was offset by the reduced cost in the packaging itself, through optimisation of quantities and standardised specifications – and, of course, the avoidance of costs for emergency logistics.

Having discovered the benefits of Tony’s expertise, the company continued with the outsourcing, enabling the procurement of products to be reviewed. The result – further costs were taken out of the supply chain, by establishing the consolidation process at key suppliers who delivered 24 hours prior to usage. Any additional costs were offset by the removal of costs of the additional warehousing. Furthermore, having vendor managed inventory meant significant gains in working capital.

Outsourcing can be a ‘win win’ situation. To find out how it could work for you, talk to the outsourcing experts – call Mobius today!

How to develop and implement a procurement strategy in Sweden … or elsewhere for that matter!

Posted by Lynne on September 01, 2013  /   Posted in People, Procurement, Strategy

John, our procurement specialist, was the keynote speaker at the Chief Procurement Officer 100 conference in Stockholm last month. Using a combination of his knowledge and recent experience with a number of clients, John’s theme was ‘developing and implementing a procurement strategy to maximise sustainable benefits’. His clear, simple and pragmatic presentation gained positive feedback from the audience and led to a number of follow up discussions with CPOs who are wrestling with this very subject. Maybe you are too? If so, John is just an email or phone call away!

Developing a procurement roadmap

Posted by Lynne on May 03, 2013  /   Posted in Procurement

A major British company, who we’ve worked with in the past, contacted us, as they needed to develop a sustainable and effective procurement function, as part of their on-going business plan for growth. We analysed their spend data, before meeting and interviewing the key stakeholders and budget holders to understand their procurement objectives.

We benchmarked against other similar companies and defined the key processes needed. From here, we developed an integrated approach from supplier selection through to supplier management. The next stages involved working with the sponsor in engaging his peers, so that we got full ‘buy in’ to the concept, and establishing a budget for managing and implementing this new structure. This was no mean feat; as the project involved hundreds of millions of pounds spend, so naturally it was vital that everyone was on board.

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