Simplot – Bringing the Future Forward
For Group Procurement Manager, Stephen Brown, delivering improvement in cost savings, achieving global cost competitiveness and building strong partnerships with a global supply base are core business strategies. Food and beverage manufacturer, Simplot Australia, are enhancing their capability for achieving these strategies through strong people development.
Home to some of Australia’s most trusted brands including John West and BirdsEye, Simplot are applying best practice strategic planning and futures thinking methodologies and skills that Stephen Brown refined while completing the Procurement Executive Program (PEP) in 2008.
Developed by The Faculty Management Consultants in association with Mt Eliza Executive Education, part of the Melbourne Business School, PEP is a unique leadership program designed to equip senior leaders with the knowledge to drive procurement into the future and to help them overcome challenges at the highest levels.
For Stephen, completing PEP highlighted areas of improvement in the company’s existing procurement policy. Working to resolve this, Stephen’s team developed a best practice procurement framework which is now built into the way the business operates, markedly improving not only the organisation’s capacity to deliver savings, but to manage risk and operate a global supply base.
There are 84 categories of spend that Simplot manage. Stephen says “Doing PEP enhanced my understanding of strategy, influence and communication. By applying these learnings, we have been able to drive significant cost improvements in some categories. The benefits delivered to the organisation have far outweighed the cost of undertaking this program”.
“We’ve applied the Anklesaria strategic cost management methodology to the business. This is about looking at costs and being far more strategic about how you engage with the market.”
Stephen sums up the company’s organisational change by saying “there’s a more disciplined commercial approach to how we manage our supply base and procurement has really taken a lead on this.”
Stephen cites another advantage of PEP as the opportunity to network and interact with peers from other leading organisations, sharing procurement approaches and lessons learnt. According to Stephen, in a rapidly evolving profession such as procurement, this networking is vital yet all too infrequent due to the nature of confidential contracts and pricing work in the field.
PEP participants also undertook a strategic leadership project, conducting extensive external research to solve a given business challenge. “The syndicate projects were based on actual case studies that affected each participant’s organisation, meaning we shared tangible business intelligence with the group and worked together to solve real and emerging challenges for our companies” notes Stephen.
In 2010, PEP is comprised of three entirely residential modules, the first of which commences on 25th July 2010.
For more information, please contact the National Enquiry Centre: Toll free 1800 00 66 80 (AEST business hours), Telephone +61 3 9349 8788, Facsimile +61 3 9349 8799, Programs@mteliza.mbs.edu