Thus plc is a provider of next generation telecommunications and internet services, targeting the UK business to business market with an SME bias. Founded in 1999 out of Scottish Telecom, Thus’s three core business streams in data and telecoms are Internet and Interactive and call center services. In "Demon" it has the UK's largest web host and is recognised as best in class for its quality of service.
Against this background ADR was asked by the CFO to review and manage the Procurement Group with a view to developing a robust purchasing function and process that would support the business whilst ensuring competitive advantage in the market.
The main aim was to assess how the function interfaced with the business and instigate a major change in business thinking and behaviour, establishing procurement as major strength within the business.
ADR’s baseline assessment showed that as a result of recent re-organisation within the business, there was a distinct lack of responsibility, authority and accountability across the organisation with respect to expenditure control, with a significant amount being committed without purchasing’s involvement. In addition, purchasing decisions were made on the basis of custom and practice as the department struggled to meet the every day needs of the business.
ADR instigated a restructuring and development programme to transform purchasing from a semi-administrative operation into a key business process. The key elements of which were:
-A series of communication and education workshops to senior management, sourcing influencers and purchase agents, to obtain a mandate to act and ensure a common understanding of the approach, concept tools and behaviours
-A complete review and reorganisation of roles, responsibilities, authorities and accountabilities across the purchasing process, specifically with regard to expenditure control.
-The enhancement of a price measurement and performance system that was objective and targeted individual’s performance emphasising purchasing's strength to the rest of the business.
As a result of ADR’s involvement, Thus had a structured procurement function with clear RAAs. Expenditure control criteria across the business were established enabling purchasing to manage the supply base more effectively and focus on cost reduction activities (over £6m to date).
Furthermore, the perception of purchasing’s role within the business was elevated with the recognition that purchasing was key to extending competitive advantage in the market place.
Baseline Assessment Development programs and workshops
Structured procurement function Expenditure control