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David Shields
Director - Apsiz Services
Director - Apsiz Services


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Are you reluctant to tell colleagues you work in Procurement - is that because of how procurement is perceived in your organisation?

The perception of procurement in organisations varies significantly. Some of this is a result of where Procurement sits in the organisation, but that is not the only factor.

This article looks at some of the underlying causes of the perception of Procurement - and some key tips on how to improve that perception. Further thoughts and detail on how to improve perception will follow later in this series.

The article is intended to be thought provoking rather than a statement of best practice


 There are a number of factors which directly impact the perception of procurement (and/or the Procurement function) in your organisation. These include (and I am sure you can think of others which are particular to your situation)

·       The nature of the organisation - most organisations will buy goods and services to help deliver their outcomes. The extent to which the business outcomes depend on these bought-in goods and services will determine the relevance of procurement and will drive perception - or perhaps where less relevant there is no perception.

·       Where does procurement sit in the organisation - an independent part of the corporate centre, part of Finance, embedded into business units or some other construct  including being itself an outsourced service. Again, if procurement has no identity it is unlikely to have any (positive) perception

·       Leadership style - of the procurement team and, possibly, across the organisation. Is the CPO, Chief Buyer or whatever the job title is an ambassador for the function. Does his/her behaviour make Procurement a place to go to help address business issues? Or is the benefit of charismatic leadership outweighed by being so different from the overall team? 

·       Is procurement seen as value adding or policy enforcing - 'these are the guys that stop me from doing what I need to do to deliver my business outcomes'

·       Does procurement have a seat at the top table - is there direct representation of the function in whatever forum key business decisions are made?

·       How does (or should that just be 'Does') procurement engage with the business. Is there a single point of contact, do business users need to engage different team members depending on the specific nature of the need, is procurement accessible? 

Is the history all negative?

In many organisations (and perhaps for good reason) procurement has been seen as cost cutting rather than value adding or bringing additional quality. In times of austerity buying lower price goods and services (or stopping them being bought!) may be a valid short-term approach, but there are few circumstances in which such an approach is sustainable.

This view is, in most cases, completely outdated - but what has the procurement community done to change the perception? 

Procurement can also be seen as the enemy of innovation and growth - in reality it can, and should, be the catalyst for change in an organisation. The traditional 'make or buy' decision is only one small part of what procurement can bring to the organisation.

Procurement people are perhaps not the best at waving the flag for the function - after all, we are not Marketing are we? When we communicate we tell people how good we are at spend analysis, counting savings and managing compliance or writing Requests for Quote. Now, there is nothing wrong with all of these, but are they really our best shot, most internal customers are not motivated by these, and how do they translate into being perceived as good for the business?

What can we do?

What is it that the business needs from procurement - if we don't know we need to find out!. We need to move from 'buy cheaper' to 'maximise outcomes' - we need to be aligned to the needs of the business and engage with internal and external stakeholders. 

Procurement needs to be seen as a source of innovation rather than a blocker to innovation. There is a need to present a more balanced view of outcomes - saving money is good, but do we translate that into impact on the bottom line or increased delivery from the same budget where profit is not the motive?

There are other ways of getting the 'procurement is good' message across - instead of savings its increased margin, instead of faster procurements its competitive advantage, we are in the market daily so how do we leverage that knowledge and insight into developing new revenue streams. Procurement can be key to an organisations' ability to evidence its credentials - carbon footprint, food miles, better use of technology etc. - but these things tend to get lost if there is focus on the single 'price and savings' dimension. 

Do you want to do something about the perception? - some simple steps:

1.     Focus on maximising outcomes rather than buying cheaper

2.     Ensure the procurement team is capable - people, technology, information; is fully business oriented (business outcomes, stakeholder engagement, commercial focus) and the leadership constantly demonstrates all of these value-add elements

3.     Focus on decreasing the total cost of ownership whilst maintaining or improving quality - this will bring customer loyalty - you have made a difference to them.

4.     Decrease the risk to the business - focus on the key suppliers (not those that you spend most with)

5.     Build relationships with key internal stakeholders

Further support and information

For more information and advice on how you can change the perception of procurement in your organisation or how you can benefit from Apsiz Services Limited wealth of experience please contact:   

Apsiz Services Ltd  
 David Harrower
Mobile: 07767 428578

#procurementspecialists   #procurement   #businesstips   #costsavings  
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Getting a Procurement Exercise Wrong can  be a Costly Exercise 

Effective pre-market engagement could potentially save your organisation thousands of Pounds associated with failed bidding and tendering exercises. This can be done in a cost effective way whilst also contributing to the delivery of reduced costs for the goods or services you are attempting to buy

Getting a procurement exercise wrong can not only be a costly exercise in terms of ensuring you eventually get the right goods and services, but can also take up valuable resources within your organisation to manage and rectify the problem. In addition a poorly executed procurement exercise can be damaging to your company's reputation and credibility. 

Below are some tips that will help ensure some of the problems associated with of getting a procurement exercise wrong, such as incorrectly specifying your requirements or not being clear to the market on how you are going to run the competition process can be avoided prior to formally commencing your tendering exercise or transaction. 

1.              Engage with the market early:  Rather than going out to the same pool of pre-selected suppliers, let the wider market know as early as possible that you plan to procure your goods and services.

For large scale and major procurement exercises of significant value or strategic importance, it is recommended that you hold a supplier conference to outline your proposed requirements, objectives and timelines, in addition to developing relationships with prospective bidding organisations (see 2 below). 

Warming up the market early also helps bidding suppliers to prepare for your tendering exercise, ensuring that they can line up resources and decide if your requirement is right for them to bid for. The reduction of speculative bidders will ultimately help reduce the costs and time of evaluating unsuitable bids later on in your procurement process. 

See tip 5 for use of technology on how to raise awareness to a large audience.

2.              Meet with prospective suppliers on a 1:1:  Bidders are unlikely to ask any detailed or specific questions in an open environment with their competitors, therefore meeting on a 1:1 basis provides a good opportunity for the prospective bidder to ask detailed questions, gain a deeper understanding of your requirements and address any misconceptions of your planned procurement exercise before formally going to market.   

From the procuring organisations perspective, it is also a great opportunity to test its procurement strategy and proposed approach to the market to date, whist obtaining vital market insight on areas of the strategy that may need to be developed further in addition to identifying any previously unidentified weaknesses or gaps.

3.              Share draft specifications and cost models:  The supply market are an untapped pool of subject matter expertise for the goods and services you are considering buying. Therefore, rather than hit them cold with detailed specifications, terms and conditions of contract and cost models during a procurement exercise, or for your organisation to do its best to guess at the best type of approach that will obtain value for money, share early drafts with the market and obtain its insight and input in shaping and building these key documents before formally going to market. 

4.              Hold a bidders conference to explain how the procurement process will work:  Procurement exercises can be complex to understand and very easy for bidders to get wrong.

Therefore to help mitigate against this and prior to either launching the formal procurement, hold a bidders conference to talk through all of the requirements of the bidding process, the key steps that must be followed and address any questions or queries.

Bidders will value this and if executed well, will reduce the administrative burden of responding to questions and queries ahead of the bidding deadline.

5.              Make best use of technology:   Use of existing technology is a vital component to underpin your entire pre-tender strategy of engaging and communicating with prospective bidders. This does not have to cost significant amounts of money and your organisation probably has the infrastructure already in place that can be used. 

Using your website for example to provide latest information and direct suppliers to key documentation relating to your procurement (i.e. draft specifications, terms and conditions, cost models etc) is a good way of continuously engaging and building momentum with prospective bidding suppliers.   

Using social media such as Twitter is also an effective medium of building relationships with new suppliers, increasing awareness of the procurement exercise and engagement you are undertaking and also keeping your existing supplier base updated on developments to a potentially wide audience.

 Finally, rather than holding multiple supplier conferences at expensive hotels and venues, consider either recording your major conferences and making these available to view through your website via YouTube or hosting Webinars as an alternative.

Advantages of following the tips identified include: 

Building credibility and relationships with the market, helping your organisation to engage with appropriate suppliers who will be best suited to meet your needs

Your organisation will be undertaking the procurement exercise with a 'market-ready' specification and set of requirements, which will reduce the time and effort of responding to clarification questions and going to market with an inappropriate specification

Early engagement with subject matter experts from the supplier community can identify more innovative solutions for the good and services you are procuring, many of which you may not have previously considered.

Bidders will have greater confidence and understanding of your requirements and it will enable them to submit more accurate pricing, whilst encouraging greater competition

Reducing the risk of your procurement exercise being delayed, subject to legal challenge or being cancelled due to bidders not understanding your requirements and how to bid correctly
Avoids time, effort and ultimately costs for both you and bidders being wasted.

Helping ensure that you receive more competitive commercial costing to consider, which will enhance the chances of delivering savings and increasing the likelihood of appointing a supplier who will add value to your organisation

Further support and information:

For more information and advice on how you can prepare for and execute a successful procurement process or how you can benefit from Apsiz Services' wealth of experience in this field, please contact Paddy on the details below.
Apsiz Services Ltd  
 Paddy Howlin
Head of Commercial Operations
Mobile: 07770 584 626

#procurement   #procurementspecialists   #businesstips  
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Optimise the use of eSourcing tools to reduce your procurement timeframe

The majority of procurement departments utilise eSourcing tools to manage their process, however not everyone takes advantage of the entire functionality of such tools in order to further reduce the procurement timeframe. 

Below are some tips that will enable you to optimise the use of your eSourcing tool, thereby saving time within your procurement process:

1.         Take advantage of the RFI (Request for Information) facility

Few buyers utilise the RFI facility to obtain information from the supply base to help determine their organisational requirements. By requesting information from the market before a procurement process commences, you can:

Gauge whether there is an appetite and capability within the market to provide the products or services you require
Inform the market of the process and timescales for your procurement, so that they are well prepared and ready to respond accordingly.

Determine the most appropriate procurement process (if you are a public sector buyer), i.e. open, restricted, competitive dialogue, or negotiated
Use the information provided to help shape your requirements and determine the most appropriate questions to ask and pricing information to obtain in order to differentiate between suppliers

2.         Simplify the questions asked 

By simplifying the questions asked during a procurement, you can introduce pre-determined response options, thereby eliminating the need for free text responses from the supplier. 

This offers a number of advantages to you as the buyer but also to your suppliers as follows:

Supplier Benefits

    - Straightforward and easy to complete
    - Able to complete online, thereby avoiding the need to export questions and import responses
    - Avoids the need for extensive bid teams to draft narrative responses to detailed questions.

Buyer Benefits

    - Ensures responses are standardised and consistent, thereby eliminating the possibility of any ambiguity
    - Eradicates any issues that may occur with set word / character counts within a procurement process

3.         Include 'showstopper' questions

'Showstopper' questions can be used in cases where a certain response to a question would result in the supplier being excluded from the procurement process. A 'showstopper' question highlights to the supplier their ineligibility to bid and prevents them from being able to answer further questions. This saves the supplier from wasting any additional time, and avoids the buyer having to consider their response if they are ineligible. 

4.         Utilise the automated scoring feature

By including pre-determined response options, you can take advantage of the automated scoring feature which provides the following benefits:

Avoids the need for evaluation resource as the eSourcing tool automatically scores the responses and applies the relevant weighting to determine the evaluation outcome
Eliminates the need for consensus discussions or the subsequent drafting of evaluation reports as the eSourcing tool produces automated reports that can be downloaded for record purposes.

5.         Run an eAuction

In order to evaluate price, you can quickly and easily run an eAuction using your eSourcing tool. A 'transformational' eAuction can be used in cases where you wish to take into account the qualitative aspects of the product / service being supplied. 

The conclusion of the eAuction will determine the winning supplier, meaning that the contract can be awarded shortly after, thereby eliminating any unnecessary delay. 

Further support and information:

#esourcing   #emarketing  
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Supplier Identification and Data Enrichment

Supplier identification and data enrichment can help you increase your understanding across your whole supply base.

So far we have touched on the benefits that can be gained through spend analysis and recovery audits and the key aspects to consider when you are implementing a spend analysis solution, but implementing these solutions alone will not resolve the issues you face in being able to correctly identify your suppliers.  These solutions help to retrospectively deal with duplicate suppliers or incomplete information in your data and help to manage this for reporting purposes, but the issue still exists in the source systems. 

 Managing the registration of suppliers and having up to date, detailed insight across your whole supply base is a challenge for most organisations, leading to time consuming data cleansing, a lack of intelligence about your supply base and reactive, costly management of risk.

I have worked with several organisations who do not actually know who their supplier is!  There are issues in supplier master data, such as;

      Suppliers being registered with just a name;

      Suppliers being registered with their trade name rather than a legal entity; and

      Suppliers using old details post name change or mergers.

These issues will leave an organisation exposed to commercial risk.  How can you manage contractual obligations when you can't accurately identify who the legal entity is?

Again, I worked with several organisations who are using contracts that have not been signed by a legal entity or have been signed by a supplier who is no longer trading, leaving basically no contractual cover at all.

Supplier identification and data enrichment can help you to manage commercial risk

The supplier identification solution provided by Dun and Bradstreet will help your organisation resolve these issues.  They are the only organisation with the scope and coverage that they have.  Basically any trading entity can register for a DUNs number, and once they have been accurately and uniquely identified you can monitor and manage your supply base to reduce commercial risk and exposure.

At Government Procurement Service, we mandated the use of DUNs numbers in supplier registration, and this process has been adopted by the US government and several large scale multi-national companies and there are more than 233 million organisations worldwide who already have a DUNs number.

The registration is free for all trading entities, so unregistered or voluntary sector organisations who may not have a Companies House number or a VAT Registration number to be used as identification can still be managed.

Once you have the unique identifier, you are able to access the data enrichment that is provided and maintained by D&B.  This can provide access to additional data such as number of employees, supplier size and corporate linkage, and it is possible to integrate this data with your spend. Information 

If you have ever wondered how much of your spend was retained in your local area, how much was spent with SMEs or how much of your spend ultimately ends up in the Cayman Islands, then the integration of D&B data with your spend through this solution will tell you in a systematic, consistent way that you can view by organisation or category over time.

Having corporate linkage information can also maximise insight and leverage in your supplier management discussions.  If you look at your spend at a corporate family level, you may find that you have more leverage than you initially thought and will be able to use this to support negotiations or performance management.

Further enrichment can be provided by D&B to give a view on the financial stability of your supply base.  They conduct big data analysis from many different sources and use predictive analytics to determine multiple measures of stability and risk of failure.  These measures will tell you where you have risk in your supply base and help you to ensure continuity of supply for those critical goods and services. 

So the solution provided by Dun and Bradstreet can support you in correctly identifying your suppliers and then provide data enrichment to help you manage your supply base, manage commercial risk or support policy initiatives such as localised growth or corporate and social responsibility, but sometimes you want to have this level of insight before doing business with an organisation.  It is sometimes really useful to include this information as part of your procurement process and you may want to include this in your evaluation.

In this case, D&B can provide on-line direct access to this information through DNBi.  DNBi enables the dynamic tracking of risk associated with all categories of suppliers and partners. DNBi provides you with a shared virtual workspace in which you and procurement colleagues can easily share insight and audit support with shared notes and Snapshot, point in time reports.  You can also register for alerts against your critical suppliers, ensuring that your team are informed of any changes in circumstances as soon as it happens and that you continue to be well informed and proactive in your supplier management.

Results that Speak for Themselves

The team have delivered many spend recovery audits and have enabled the delivery of  

Increase in spend with SMEs of 7%

Increase in localised spend of 13%

Savings of 3% through increased leverage in strategic supplier management

The team at Apsiz Services are passionate about the benefits that having such a detailed insight across your supply base can provide.  If you have any comments, questions or requests for further information, please get in touch:
David Shields
Mobile: 07920 768370


#supplieridentification   #dataenrichment  
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Spend Analysis - Top Tips

Top tips to follow to ensure that your spend analysis solution realises benefits

In the last post we explained the benefits of the Spend Analysis and Spend Recovery solutions we offer, but we thought it may be useful to expand on this and talk about the key points to consider as part of an implementation of a spend analysis solution and why this aligns with a Spend Recovery Audit.  

There are efficiencies to be gained through having a Spend Recovery Audit while you are implementing Spend Analysis as the data sets required are very similar.  This means as you extract the data once you can benefit from both solutions and the funds that may be recovered could be used to cover the investment in the Spend Analysis solution.  

Once the data has been extracted the process runs in parallel with your Finance team validating the results of the robust audit, whilst your Procurement teams validate the categorisation and implement the Spend Analysis solution.  

Many organisation go through the exercise of implementation, but fail to fully optimise the benefits that can be gained from such a solution.  In our experience, there are a number of things you should consider to successfully implement a spend analysis solution.

Following these tips will ensure that your solution realises a return on investment 

1.      Engagement
Whether you are consolidating data from multiple organisations, or working within a single business, there will be multiple stakeholders involved in the extraction, validation and analysis of the data.  This requires the involvement of Procurement, Finance and IT to be successful and it is key that all stakeholders understand why Spend Analysis is so fundamental to a successful Procurement function, what the requirements are for the solution and what the plan is for implementation. 

As I managed the implementation of this across Central Government, I established a monthly stakeholder group with all data owners from the departments.  We discussed the requirements, the challenges and shared experiences in resolving any issues.  This worked really well and was key to the implementation within an initial 12 weeks as well as the ongoing development which saw the solution move to monthly refresh with increasing granularity of detail. 

2.      Data Standards
You need to be clear about the standards you are going to use for the key data dimensions - suppliers, categories, organisations/business units and products.  Once these have been decided you need to use these standards across all solutions to promote consistency and adoption.

As an example, at Government Procurement Service we decided to use Dun and Bradstreet DUNs number as the data standard for supplier identification.  D&B were the only organisation who could offer the scope of service we required as they allow voluntary and non-registered organisations to apply for a DUNs number.  Once this was defined, we mandated the use of DUNs number in the registration for eSourcing, used it as the unique field in the P2P solution and integrated it with the Spend Analysis solution to ensure that all data cleansing issues were addressed.  The initial work in matching legacy supplier details with a DUNs number was time consuming, but critical and well worth the effort once we had a process in place to ensure all future suppliers were already identified using DUNs numbers.

3.      Continuous Improvement
It is always daunting to start a Spend Analysis programme and often seems too difficult to address all the issues and complexities that are faced.  The consolidation of multiple data sets that are not aligned, the cleansing and identification of suppliers, the categorisation of spend that is not currently structured, the availability of granular data at product level to support detailed analysis and training of users in reporting and analysis seems too much to handle in one project! 
Our advice here is to start with what you can do.  Start the ball rolling and set expectations for continuous improvement through solution development over time.  The solution will provide the information to measure and manage progress and once people can see the benefits, they will be more willing to put effort in to delivering the improvements.  If you try to start with a perfect picture from day one, there is a risk that you will never start at all.

Again at Government Procurement Service, the initial analysis provided a consolidated view of around 84% of total Central Government spend by supplier and category on an annual basis.  Within 12 months we had increased the refresh frequency to monthly, the scope to 92% and 68% had invoice level details to increase the granularity in reporting.   The whole process was built on continuous improvement and it meant that we realised benefits quickly, without having to resolve all of the complex issues in the first place.

4.      Analysis of Data
The delivery of the Spend Analysis solution is a fundamental enabler for the Procurement function, but it will not realise any benefits unless you act on the information the solution provides.  I have seen lots of implementations that fail because they stop when the solution is delivered and fail to use the intelligence provided.

As I mentioned above, new opportunities can be identified and benefits that can be delivered without having 100% perfect information, so long as you have access to a solution that supports quick and easy on-line interrogation and you have a procurement team who are willing to act on the information that is available.
Here you need to build a capability to interpret the information that the solution provides - this is a people issue that no solution can resolve.  You need human intelligence to identify the opportunities and develop delivery plans to make changes based on what the data is telling you.                                                
Results that Speak for Themselves
The team have successfully implemented many spend analysis solutions that have realised return on investment and have enabled the delivery of

*• Identification of £420m savings opportunities *
• Increasing efficiency through 56% reduction in number of suppliers
• Identification of $77m savings opportunities

The team at Apsiz have extensive experience in supporting the implementation of a Spend Analysis solution and maximising the return on investment in the solution through the identification and delivery of benefits based on the interpretation of data.
If you have any comments on the guidance above, questions on how you can implement a solution or a requirement to realise return on investment of an existing solution, then please get in touch.

David Shields
Mobile: 07920 768370

#spendingreview   #businesstips   #business  
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Spend Recovery

A Spend Recovery Audit will recover erroneous payments and return the cash that was always yours - this can give you back £1,000 for every £1m spent.

Mistakes happen in all organisations.  Some are big enough to grab your attention and get resolved, but what about the 1,000's of small mistakes?  Sometimes, these small errors are widespread, cost a lot, have an associated administration cost and most of the time, you don't know they've even happened.
The kind of mistakes that look small but cost a lot are mistakes in your accounts payable and finance functions.  Duplicate payments are made to suppliers.  Contract terms aren't kept to.  Your VAT hasn't been fully reclaimed.  All of these cost you money.  And it can be easily fixed.

A spend recovery audit will analyse financial transactions to identify potential erroneous payments and can go back up to the last seven years.  These potential errors are then investigated to ensure legitimacy, and are finally recovered to return all erroneous payments back to you as a cash payment that can be used to improve internal cash flow, increase your ability to invest in other things or simply increase your net profits. 

  A review of your P2P processes will also identify the changes you need to make to ensure these issues are not systemic and cannot happen again - giving you complete control of your processes.

 There are proven solutions that will completely manage the recovery of erroneous payments, maintaining absolute confidentiality without impacting your business as usual activities and without the need of upfront payments

Many organisations face issues in performing a spend recovery audit themselves.  This is time consuming and there are often not enough internal resources to ensure the review is thorough, with the ability to cross reference millions of transactions.   

 The team at Apsiz Services Ltd, working in partnership with BravoSolution, have experience in resolving these issues and have a solution that will utilise algorithms and pre-defined logic to ensure a thorough check of historical payments is performed within a few weeks.  This can often result in recovery, even when previous audits have already been completed - one example resulted in a return of 0.012% in duplicate payments following a previous audit by an external third party.

This process is delivered on a risk and reward basis, so there is no cost to you and you can be sure that the audit will be as thorough as possible through a maintained incentive for all parties to recover the maximum amount of erroneous payments.

Results that Speak for Themselves

The team have delivered many spend recovery audits and have enabled the delivery of

0.024% recovery on a spend of £4.2bn - a return of  over £1m cash 
0.278% recovery on a spend of £1.62bn - a return of  over £4.5m cash 
0.042% recovery on a spend of £128m - a return of  over £500k cash

With no cost to perform a Spend Recovery Audit and no ongoing obligation, what are you waiting for?

#spendrecovery   #audit   #businesstips  

For more information and advice on how you can implement a spend analysis solution, or understand how you can benefit from a Spend Recovery Audit, please visit our web site:

or contact:

David Shields
Mobile: 07920 768370
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Spend Analysis

Spend Analysis enables a reduction in procurement spend by up to 12% - directly impacting your profitability and increasing net margin by up to 45%

Although economic recovery is starting to take hold, we know that times will remain tough for business leaders.  The recession has squeezed margins and customers have the expectation that prices will remain low.  Managing supplier spend has never been so important.
Our experience tells us that you can't effectively manage what you can't measure, and the single most important thing you can do to manage costs and increase profitability is to implement spend analysis. Once you have on-line access to spend analysis you can rapidly set out plans to 

   • Drive savings through procurement; 
   • Rationalise your supplier base to leverage volume; 
   • Extract more value from your existing contracts; 
   • Measure and increase contract compliance; 
   • Increase the efficiency of your procurement team. 

There are proven solutions that can be implemented within 8-12 weeks, with no impact on your business
The team at Apsiz Services Ltd, have experience in resolving these issues on a massive scale.  The team were responsible for successfully implementing the largest single spend analysis solution in Europe, which covered more than £40bn spend from almost 100 organisations. This was delivered in 12 weeks. The team were able to effectively manage multiple data sources, inconsistent data standards and poor data quality, duplicate supplier records and inconsistent or non-existent categorisation and turn this in to a robust on-line solution available to 1,000's of commercial people across almost 100 organisations.
Critically the Apsiz team was able to deliver commercial benefits through using spend analysis to act and driving improved savings, more effective supplier management and reduced administration costs.  

Results that Speak for Themselves
The team have delivered many spend analysis solutions and have enabled the delivery of
• 25% increase in spend under management with increased savings 6.5% on current contracts
• 95% categorisation of spend across £40bn
• 12% reduction in spend with 45% increase in net margin 

Given the current economic pressures, can you afford not to have robust spend analysis?

For more information and advice on how you can implement a spend analysis solution, or understand how to drive improved benefits from your existing solution, please contact :

David Shields
Mobile: 07920 768370

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Top 5 Tips to Improve Commercial Performance

Some of these points may seem common sense, but in our experience we have worked with many organisations who fail to manage these well and have performance issues because of this.
 We are confident that considering these 5 tips will help you to improve your performance.
1. Define and Communicate Your Strategy

Organisations can't act cohesively without a consistent understanding of the mission, objectives and strategy.  If this is clearly communicated to all levels of the organisation you can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction and the overall results will improve as a direct result.  This may sound basic, but many organisations do not have this fundamental building block in place - can you honestly say that this is clear in your organisation?
2.  Implement Performance Measurement

Having clearly defined the objectives, you can then implement robust performance measurement that aligns with the corporate objectives, through each functional team to individuals.  Best results are achieved when this is linked to individual performance reviews and this again ensures that the organisation is all striving for the same goals.  The measurement has to be as objectives as possible and must be updated and reviewed on a regular basis.  A monthly review will provide time to react to any issues and will help you achieve your annual targets.

* 3.  Define Standard Processes Across the Whole Procurement Function*

By clearly documenting processes across the whole procurement cycle you are able to identify areas where you can streamline the activities and reduce the average cycle times, ensuring lean processes are followed throughout all activity.  The potential results of this could increase productivity by up to 4 times, meaning you are able to manage more with the same resources.   

4.  Increase Transparency 

You can't manage what you can't measure and increasing transparency and visibility of activities within the organisation will you to identify and therefore resolve issues.  A fundamental aspect of this transparency in terms of commercial performance is to implement spend analysis.  Having market facing categorised spend analysis by suppliers will provide the level of insight into your operations that is required to highlight opportunities for improvement and measure the results of your action.  Using a third party solution, such as BravoSolution spend analysis, to manage this solution will ensure rapid deployment, improved quality of output and a quick return on investment
5.  Maximise Use of eEnablement

While many organisations invest in technology to support their operations, there are few who really maximise the return on this investment.  To ensure you realise the benefits that technology can provide you must also consider business processes and resource capability and start with a strong understanding of the business requirements.  Too many organisations do not start with a detailed understanding of what they need and end up with technology that doesn't really work for them.

Results that Speak for Themselves
The team at Apsiz Services Ltd have extensive experience in improving commercial performance and have proven that these key points make a real difference.  The team have delivered many commercial performance transformations that have achieved

• 46% reduction in inventory 
• 42% reduction in overall operating costs 
• 38% reduction in procurement cycle time 

For more information and advice on how you can deliver these points to improve your commercial performance, please contact:

David Shields
Mobile: 07920 768370
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Apsiz provide a free  commercial guidance and advisory service to help  you to gain insight and thoughts on how you can improve the commercial performance within your organisation.

Sign up for your free subscription here: 

Results That Speak for Themselves

We know from experience how challenging this can be and how important the contribution of the procurement function is to an organisation under the current economic conditions.  When organisations face ever reducing budgets, headcount restrictions and reducing margins, a well performing procurement function is key to survival. 

A high-performing procurement function needs to consider the whole procurement cycle

The team at Apsiz have experience in managing all aspects of the procurement cycle with a focus on the use of technology to support the management and control of activities through standardisation and increasing visibility of management information.

Over the next few weeks we will send out guidance documents that cover all aspects of the procurement cycle.  We will invite you to free webex sessions and give you the opportunity to ask specific questions with an aim of sharing our experience and knowledge to support you to achieve your ambitions and goals, ultimately improving the commercial performance of your procurement team and organisation.

Results that Speak for Themselves

The Apsiz team are all experienced professionals who have delivered improvements to commercial performance, including;

25% increase in spend under management with increased savings 6.5% on current contracts

42% reduction in operating costs

12% reduction in spend with 45% increase in net margin

Watch out for the upcoming guidance and advice to support the delivery of commercial improvements in your own organisation, with the next mail giving you 5 top tips for improving commercial performance.
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