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Purchasing – How To Add C-Suite Expertise To Your Business

Joanne Summers offers purchasing expertise. Her business, helps businesses with virtual purchasing expert placements. The end result is fabulous for her clients. Listen to the podcast as Joanne explains what they can do for your procurement activities.

You get the benefit of having a C-suite executive in your business for as little as a few hours per month., Buying With Confidence, Purchasing, Buying

Here is Joanne Explaining What BuyerBeSure is All About enables clients to access really high caliber purchasing experts. This make them confident that their buying and contracts are right for them.

Joanne focuses on small to medium sized businesses that have between 50 and 250 employees. Otherwise, these businesses just would not be able to access this kind of skill level and add value to their businesses.

What is Your Purchasing Expertise?

Joanne is the youngest on a team of procurement or purchasing experts. So she modestly claims she has the least expertise! That said, Joanne has worked in procurement in big blue-chip companies for over 20 years! 10 years as a member of staff and another 10 years as a self-employed contractor.

BuyerBeSure has a non-executive director plus a bank of cost effective procurement officers.

It is scary, buy BuyerBeSure has 200 years of purchasing expertise!

What is a Virtual Chief Procurement Officer?

To make the services accessible to companies, BuyerBeSure delivers remotely. This keeps the cost of their service down. You’d expect that from talented procurement people wouldn’t you? 🙂

You don’t need to have a full time procurement employee in your business. Her service is modular. Either a one-off service or a monthly service. This sort of depends on the size of the organisation in question.

You don’t have to pay a full time employee to bring the value you get. And you don’t have to pay huge consultancy fees either. Now that is smart!

Procurement, Purchasing,, The Next 100 Days Podcast, Joanne Summers

How Do You Compare Against The Alternatives?

Typically, consultancy fees would come in at £1,000 to £1,700 per day, and they’d be likely to invoice at least at half day rate. Normal consultants would be looking at multiple days, so for many businesses this is hugely cost-prohibitive. offers FIXED PRICE, LOW COST.

The Virtual Chief Procurement Officer module would be delivered for around £1,300 – so a big price difference. What you get is real purchasing expertise, who buy in strongly to the client’s plans and ethos.

This is an investment to help businesses, without such expertise, to identify WHERE they can reduce cost and WHERE they can reduce risk. They also focus on up-skill your people too.

How Long Are You There For That Price?

For the Virtual Chief Procurement Officer, Joanne explains, that the service is delivered remotely. They will conduct a spend analysis. A big part of this is automated. They can then have an informed discussion with the business.

The VCPO will do prep in advance of a board meeting to identify proactively where further opportunities exist. Like, expanding a site, or buying a new building. It is about being an active board member, so procurement activity can be properly harnessed.

They would typically take LESS THAN A DAY.

Assuming the board buy into this procurement expertise – other products would then be offered.

The ABC of Procurement Projects

The ABC of Procurement Projects, Purchasing, BuyerBeSure, The Next 100 Days Podcast


They consul-train people. This means they consult and train using the toolkits they provide. Doing things this way means they are light touch. That’s because they are coaching rather than doing. It is sustainable because they are ups killing their clients. They look for ways to improve expertise.

What Results Can You Expect?

The delivered module will deliver value. The bigger danger is the organisation failing to re-use the toolkits and learning delivered after BuyBeSure has stepped back.

But, this is also an opportunity to identify new projects. So local staff can have a dotted line to the Virtual Chief Procurement Officer.

BuyerBeSure offer a 10 fold return on investment. Spend £1,300 and get back £13,000 of benefit. But Joanne has high expectations of being way way above this return. With some clients, she would be disappointed if they were shy of £3 million savings.

Jo describes it as an integrity measure!!

Graham Drops the Husband Clanger!

Graham wondered if purchasing expert, Jo was a nightmare when she was out shopping. (It pays to do research!!!)

She’s a nightmare when she sees plastic being used, when it would be so readily eliminated! Good on Jo.

How much of your purchasing data are you using?

Don’t look at it just as an accountant or financial management aspects only. Joanne offers another lens to look through. Procurement.

Jo asks for 3 years purchasing data.

Then she looks for trends across different categories:

  • temporary labour
  • different materials
  • Stationary
  • Travel

She’ll look over time at what is happening with that spend. Is it going up or down and how that reflects with growth.

She’ll also look at contracts associated with some of those categories.

If there is no contract – there is a lack of control. Contracts and service agreements. Without them, they could stop tomorrow. It can be alarming journey as the businesses didn’t know these problems existed.

What produces savings?

Spend aggregation – are you spending in the same place, if not can you consolidate?

Specification – have you over or under specified.

Broader collaboration in supply chain. If you are not paying well, then there will be a 10% premium that you will be paying.

45-60 days, the supplier is not chasing. That is the norm. There is no excuse for using your supply chain as a source of finance. The cost of finance is so low. So get your payments in quicker.

CHECK OUT JO’s ARTICLE  total cost of ownership

What prompts Organisations to find BuyerBeSure?

There are organisations that have grown quickly and have procurement people, and they know there is a problem so can find BuyerBeSure.

But most businesses don’t know what the don’t know.

They use a turnover figure as a quick and dirty measure for BuyerBeSure to recognise an origination that might need their help.

They look at the type of businesses that might carry a supply chain risk. They then need to start and have a conversation with them.

Their challenge is to provide visibility of a problem. Purchasing is measured on a numerical basis.

Is it a crunch event that triggers interest? Have you got lots of phone contracts instead of one?

Marketing is a tough area to merge spend

Recently merged firms having different sales conferences because they have different markets, rather than seeing the overlap opportunities.

Can you become more effective and transparent? Do you have a clear idea of how money is being spent.

Kevin has highlighted subscriptions as a future problem. Has the person who bought it, moved on? Has the successor dropped it, but is the money still being handed over?

What can you save in The Next 100 Days?

  1. Spend Analysis – if you are able. At budget time, do a zero-based budget (i.e. justify everything you spend) – although it might not deliver the savings you want..
  2. Governance of spend. Right controls and sign offs. If you can control what you spend you’ve made a giant step forward.
  3. Which suppliers are you spending most with and which give us the most grief? Where are the contracts? If the answer is no, then address that.
  4. What are you spending the most money on? Know this question. Make someone accountable for that spend. Who is responsible for managing paper purchasing? Who manages relationship with supplier X? Do one-to-ones about your expectations are about delivering in next 100 days. Identify key risks etc. Set goals. Respect abilities, but your journey will have started. And that’s good.


Graham Reveals Latest Purchasing Investment for Finely Fettled

If you are in Bremner Square, just outside Elland Road, check out (probably) one of the only DIRECT RESPONSE inscribed stones:

Leeds United, Bremner Square, Google Finely Fettled, The Next 100 Days Podcast


Contact BuyerBeSure

Joanne Summers, The Next 100 Days, Purchasing, BuyerBeSure


BuyerBeSure is about building confidence and peace of mind. Hire them and you are likely to be more confident.


LinkedIn: Jo Summers

The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby