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Humber Guides Magazine Q&A 
Humber Guide Procurement 2019
Gateway Procurement explains why procurement is now an integral part of delivering business strategy. 

What is procurement and why is it important to a business? 

Procurement is a business management function that ensures identification, sourcing, access and management of the external resources that a business needs to fulfil its strategic objective. 
 
Businesses spend between 50-70% of their turnover on bought in resources and it is increasingly recognised that optimising this cost base is a source of competitive differentiation. In addition, supplier relationship has evolved from arm’s length to collaboration with procurement acting as an effective conduit between the business and the supply network. 

What services do you offer and how can you help companies in terms of optimising processes and reducing costs? 

Services include supporting businesses with all aspects of cost optimisation, opportunity analysis, procurement strategy, sourcing, contract negotiation, bid reviews, tenders and interim management. The company also provides bespoke training, coaching and mentoring services, supporting the development of procurement teams and practitioners at every stage of their careers. 
 
In terms of optimising processes, we offer a capability assessment where we review the current procurement processes, practices and systems against best practice competencies to establish areas where your procurement function may be under-developed. This will help with defining the client’s procurement maturity stage and it will form the basis for any strategic improvement plan. 
The review process will involve using a procurement maturity assessment tool that will require team members to complete a questionnaire covering a number of key competency areas. 
 
In terms of cost reduction, we conduct an spend analysis where we will review your addressable spend to highlight trends and undertake an opportunity assessment to identify areas of focus. We will also propose strategies, tools and techniques that can be deployed to unlock these opportunities. 

Why is procurement an integral part of an organisation’s corporate strategy? 

Businesses recognise that the supply network is now a source of innovation and competitive advantage and the procurement function is now seen as a vehicle that can help businesses achieve maximum value and innovation from their supply network. In this context, procurement has now become a valuable contributor to strategic prosperity, helping business meet the challenges of competitive environments through the effective use of contemporary procurement strategies. 
 
Therefore, achieving corporate strategy such as increasing margin, improving operational efficiency, achieving first mover advantage through innovation and reducing the environmental impact requires a robust supply network. It’s difficult to achieve these objectives without a capable procurement function that can communicate business objectives to a strategically aligned and optimised supply network. 

Finally, what advice can you give to our readers?  

Our advice is not to see procurement as purely a cost cutting function, but rather a strategic function and a source of innovation and value. 
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