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Procurement Reimagined

In this episode of Procurement Reimagined, host Daniel is joined by Tom Mills, Head of Procurement and Properties at Bibby Financial Services, an independent invoice finance specialist providing cash flow funding to over 10,000 companies in the U.K.

Tom is a twenty-year veteran in the procurement space. He is passionate about procurement and enjoys the buzz of working in procurement. He has managed 100 million pounds budgets and led procurement teams at companies like Clarks and Nisbets. Tom describes himself as competitive and target driven.  

Tom shares his insights across different touchpoints of procurement including, reimagining the procurement cycle, building consistency into sourcing, leaning on the experience of technology teams, and who should score supplier responses during the sourcing phase.

Key highlights:

  • 03:28 - 05:02 - Reimagining the Procurement Lifecycle - Tom shares how he set up the procurement vertical from scratch at Bibby and hence was able to build the framework around best practices. The first step was to design and implement policies to ensure good contract control and deliver savings. Next, he looked at how to deliver the biggest bang for the buck in the project portfolio space and develop the supplier relationship management framework. Tom then added a layer of information security and data privacy, and he is now working on implementing ESG objectives to complete the procurement lifecycle.
  • 07:16 - 08:36 - Reimaging Procurement for Greater Consistency - Tom mentions that procurement is generally beset with inconsistent processes because people fundamentally misunderstand the role. One of the inconsistencies is the scoring process, where procurement scores each vendor even though they are not the final users of the product or service. Tom believes that the procurement's role is to secure an objective process that enables the stakeholders to buy effectively and to make the best decision. 

  • 17:43 - 19:10 - Risk Management in Procurement - Tom mentions that risk management in procurement is a shared responsibility and that the procurement must leverage the skills of the technical and legal teams along with inputs from the end user to qualify and quantify risk. We mitigate risks by reviewing the contracts and ensuring we get the best commercial deal. Risk management is a symbiotic relationship where you work with each other.


  • “We've established procurement, laid the foundations, embedded it, and now we're developing it. We want procurement to be agile, lean, and efficient”.
  • “You're there to manage the process and to manage the evaluation panel and to make sure it's done consistently and transparently. You're not there to input your view on it because then you're confusing the interests of the business versus your interest”.
  • “If you get people to use their true skill set and expertise in the right way, then that's where you get a truly motivated business”.
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