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Re-thinking the role of Procurement

Posted 24 October 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

Watch any television news programme, read any newspaper, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the world is increasingly in a state of chaotic change and heightened risk. Examples include changes in consumer buying behaviours caused by technology (e.g. Uber), the current political and economic instability (e.g. Brexit, Syrian civil war), the early signs of the negative consequences of global warming (e.g. more flooding and extreme weather events), the explosion in frequency of cyber attacks (e.g. TalkTalk), grass root revolt against the institutions and wealthy (e.g. Brexit, the rising popularity of extreme left and right wing politicians).

The unethical behaviour of many businesses have contributed to these growing pressures. There is growing social revolt against company wealth being kept by a tiny proportion of the population, and growing corporate tax evasion at a time when government debt has been rising, public services have been crumbling and real wages have been stagnating at best. Added to this is the growing threat of climate change, environmental challenge and animal extinctions, caused in part by irresponsible, inefficient or unethical business practice.

To begin resolving these threats, all companies have a duty to evaluate and manage their impacts of doing business on society and the environment. With the dual threats of being named and shamed on social media and increasing legislation, companies will fail if they don't take positive action quickly.

One such action is for procurement functions within organisations to focus their efforts on mitigating supply chain risks caused by these global changes. My concern, having audited countless procurement departments over the last 15 years, is that too many procurement departments remain stuck in the same old cycle of fixating on cost reduction and thus reducing its value within and outside the organisation, including tackling supply chain risk management and sustainability. This is perhaps not surprising given that procurement tends to be measured by how much cost saving it has achieved. Measuring the degree of risk mitigation, environmental impact or innovation is less easy to measure, and often isn't measured or even talked about.

Companies that allow their procurement teams to purely focus on cost reduction are missing a trick which could come back to bite them at a later date. Procurement can (and should) have arguably the greatest leverage within a business to making things happen within supply chains for the good. Examples of action include adding ethics into supplier evaluation criterion pre contract award; challenging marketing to cut the need for energy-hungry packaging; sourcing energy efficient, eco business supplies; cutting waste through supply chain partnerships; evaluating the potential impact on suppliers of political/economic shifts at a national, regional and global level.

For Boards of Directors worrying about the potential impact of global change on the health of their companies, now is the time to provide leadership to their procurement teams, building procurement strategies that not only start to address the external threats, but on a more positive note, position the company's supply chains to seize the opportunities that are also there to be taken. By doing so, they will be making a positive difference not just to their own companies but also to their communities and the planet. It's time for business and procurement leaders to step up to the plate. Don't worry, just take action.

by M Roper | 24 October 2016

Effective Negotiation eBook now available

Posted 11 August 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

Effective Negotiation eBook (NEW)

All business professionals, particularly buyers and sellers, need to master their negotiating skills if they are to succeed in their careers. Following on from our highly successful Effective Negotiation training course, our CEO Matt Roper has written an eBook "Clinching the Deal...43 minutes to Negotiation Success" (PDF format). which you can now download.

Just click on the appropriate button below (there are 3 currency options, Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars):

Buy now

Buy now

Buy now

by M Roper | 11 August 2016

BSA Buying Group partners with webexpenses

Posted 28 July 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

BSA Buying Group is delighted to launch a partnership with cloud-based expenses management software provider, webexpenses.

Thanks to the partnership, BSA offers all BSA Buying Group clients a 10% discount on webexpenses software.

Since 2000, the powerful feature set is designed to help companies fully manage employee expenses in one integrated solution for greater efficiency. Webexpenses software is simple, intuitive and significantly reduces the time staff spend submitting expenses.

The award-winning software is proven to save businesses time and money by automating the expenses process. Webexpenses can save businesses to 25% in T&E processing costs.

Configured for your company

Webexpenses software can be configured to your company, whether you are a SME or an international business - webexpenses can work with all sized organisations.

Seamless integration

Webexpenses integrates seamlessly with all major financial software providers; including Xero, SAGE and SAP. Webexpenses talks to your existing finance software; providing the flexibility to choose the best solution for your set-up. Whichever option you decide, the set-up is a simple and hassle-free process with no disruption to your business.

Click here to

by M Roper | 28 July 2016

BSA Buying Group launches Vehicle Fleet Leasing

Posted 21 July 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

BSA Buying Group has recently launched its 24th overhead cost category - Vehicle Fleet. We've developed a framework of commercial vehicle leasing brokers to provide members with access to significantly improved vehicle fleet leasing deals.

All brokers have been carefully selected to ensure high levels of customer care, and all are members of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

If you're looking to reduce the cost of leasing your commercial fleet, why not use our buying power? Give us a call on 0800 254 0344.

by Matt Roper | 21 July 2016

40% of SMEs haven't switched energy supplier in the past 5 years

Posted 29 March 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

40% of SMEs haven't switched energy supplier in the past 5 years

Hands up whose been hassled in the recent past by utility brokers, wanting to save you money? Yet despite the constant barrage of cold calls, it may surprise you to learn that nearly 40% of all UK SMEs haven't switched energy supplier in the last five years.

That's a staggering one third of all small firms losing out on the historically low energy rates currently in the wholesale energy market. Worse still, we speak to many companies who admit to being on out of contract rates, the majority of which are therefore paying way more than they need to.

There are many hundreds of brokers across the UK, many of whom are reputable but many who are sadly less so. With so many cold calls from brokers, no wonder many companies are confused and put off from acting because they don't know which brokers will deliver best value. Added to that, many perceive that switching is a hassle.

That's where BSA Buying Group can help.

Joining the BSA Buying Group's Utilities category is all about minimising your company's gas and electricity prices and holding on to the best deal for the right length of time. Not just that, as a buyer, we've carefully vetted and hand-picked our Utilities broker partners, ensuring that we only work with those experts who are highly regarded in the sector. They keep a constant watch on the whole market and are independent of the individual energy providers. And we keep a constant watch on them.

And switching is very simple, too.

What are the benefits of joining the Utility category of BSA Buying Group?

Our Utilities Partners are constantly reviewing the Gas and Electricity market place to ensure that the very best deal can be secured for our members. Given the major supply risks and price volatility in the market the need for specialist support is all the more important. When Utility prices drop you will be in the privileged position of having specialists on your side who will react immediately to ensure that you enjoy price reductions as soon as possible.

What are the benefits of changing supply?

You will get a better deal if you allow our experts to look around on your behalf. Timing is critical and they have the market knowledge to help your company optimise its utility contract.

What peace of mind do I have that quality will not deteriorate?

Our Utilities partners know the marketplace and only work with the top service providers, known for their value, quality of service, financial security and strength in the market. You will of course be informed of the preferred supplier prior to your decision to sign up to the proposed contract and at all times you are free to decide which supplier is right for your business. You are not obligated to accept the quotes.

Will I see any difference once I've switched supplier?

If you change to a supplier who gives you savings on your bills, you will see the difference financially. There will be no other changes.

Will I receive ongoing support once the change has taken place?

Our utility specialist brokers will continually support you, helping you with problems or questions that may arise. They will also be happy to provide free advice on your future requirements as the marketplace changes in the future. BSA Buying Group is also monitoring supplier performance to ensure that Clients continue to be happy over the long term, and you can call us if you're not happy with their performance.

If I sign a new agreement what happens?

We will let you know exactly when you will be seamlessly transferred to the new supplier. Our Utilities specialists hold the contract end date information on a database, so that they can review market rates on your behalf just prior to contract expiry, to ensure that you continue to obtain the very best rates over the long term.

What are the steps to switching supply?

First contact BSA Buying Group to join up as a member. This will then open up access to all 24 cost categories covered by the Buying Group, including Utilities. Then post us copies of your last bills for electricity and/or gas supply, and inform us of the expiry date of your existing Utilities contract. We will also send you a Letter of Authority ('LOA') which you will need to print off on your letter-headed paper then sign and send back to us. We will then work with our Utilities specialists to analyse your current charges compared to what is available in the marketplace. The utility partners will then present their findings. You have no obligation to accept the quotes provided unless you wish to progress and enjoy the improved supply arrangement. Switching is really simple and quick too. So save time, boost your profits and make it easier to turn away the cold callers, by ringing 0800 254 0344 today.

by M Roper | 29 March 2016

Challenge Your Bank & Legal Fees

Posted 23 February 2016 | Feed Icon | 0 Comments

All companies at certain points in time procure banking, legal and mortgage & business finance services. But the challenge, particularly for small and medium sized companies, is to find a trusted service provider that will deliver genuine value for money and high levels of service over time. This is why many companies stick doggedly with one provider over many years, not testing periodically whether there are more competitive alternatives in the marketplace.

BSA Buying Group recognises these issues, and has therefore developed a solution using its buying power coupled with its expertise in supply selection, tendering and ongoing performance management skills. You can be reassured that as a member of BSA Buying Group you can access highly capable service providers through our independent partner expertise. And we won't let complacency and 'fee creep' set in.

Banking advice and re-negotiation

We understand how critical it is for your business to have a good relationship with its bank. You typically don't need to change bank to improve this relationship still further. But this requires clear, strong and informed handling. It's a balance which our independent banking advisors can support you with.

It's surprising how often companies don't review their banking arrangements. It's perceived to be too difficult to change. But did you know that in many cases bank charges can be challenged and switching bank can save significant sums of money? Don't let the banks get away with charging higher fees - seek an independent review as it could be worth thousands of pounds of savings each year.

Our advisory partners also have a comprehensive benchmarking database of banking arrangements and costings, of real value when negotiating with the banks.

Fees are flexible and can be based on either an hourly rate or contingent on a share of the benefits received, or a combination of the two approaches, depending on your preference.

So whether you're seeking to tender out your banking requirements, re-negotiating your interest charges or wanting to resolve a dispute with your bank, joining BSA Buying Group is the best first step.

Legal firm selection and cost management

Our legal cost specialist partners, who are regulated and insured, cover all areas of civil costs and some criminal costs matters, from the smallest sums to complex multi-million pound disputes. They provide the following services:

1. Advising at the outset

If you are considering instructing solicitors, we will help to ensure your business doesn't pay over the odds. We advise on whether proposed fees are reasonable and on the terms of the solicitors' retainer. We also offer advice regarding different funding methods and assist in exploring litigation funding and insurance options where appropriate.

2. Advising during litigation

If you are concerned about mounting and unexpected legal costs, or if you are unclear about your costs liability, it is crucial to seek advice quickly. We will advise as to the reasonableness of the costs and also assist in negotiating and resolving disputes with solicitors regarding costs.

3. At conclusion of the litigation

If you have reached the conclusion of litigation and are faced with an enormous liability for legal costs - quite possibly both your own solicitors' costs and/or your opponent's costs, it might feel as though the horse has bolted. We can help. We save our clients an average of 40% of the costs claimed against them.

3. Arbitration

If you have a dispute with your solicitors or with an opponent in litigation regarding legal costs, we offer an independent arbitration service to assist in achieving resolution.

by M Roper | 23 February 2016