Supply Management

Procurement: the real challenges to effective working with internal stakeholders

Four Pillars’ work in the procurement sphere often involves working with cross-functional teams in developing category and supplier management strategies. We would go as far to say that effective procurement is most-definitely a cross-functional endeavour, particularly so when strategic categories of supply and key supplier relationships are being considered. Generic

Tesco procurement practices exposed and it’s not pretty

An astonishing news story emerged this week via The Independent newspaper detailing some of the procurement practices of the UK’s largest retailer Tesco, from the viewpoint of an understandably anonymous supplier to the supermarket chain.  This bad publicity is on top of the £250m overstating of half-year profits, which has

SRM Series: #13 SRM: what problems should it aim to solve?

Rarely a week goes by without a discussion over the definition of SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) and why buying organisations embark on programmes aimed at solving….what exactly? Consensus is largely absent and SRM is variously described as partnering, collaboration, value improvement, supplier development, risk management, performance management, and other ‘pieces

SRM Series: #9 Revisiting Buyer-Supplier Power

The current horse meat scandal is one of those regular events in British life that confirms the prejudices of all manner of people. The usual suspects have (inevitably) seen this as the latest reason to bash the EU. Other usual suspects have bashed the ‘free market’ and the scandal has

What are the skills required for tomorrow’s procurement?

This familiar question was tackled by Mark Hollison, director of procurement at Napp Pharmaceuticals, at Procurecon Pharma 2012 recently. He quoted a survey on skills shortcomings among procurement people, with 64 per cent of practitioners failing to demonstrate the requisite skill level when it comes to ‘executive influence’. In contrast,


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