With 30 years of experience in purchasing roles within the food industry, John Smyth understands the importance of this vital aspect of running a successful business, but is aware that many companies do not realise the true value that a professional purchasing review can deliver to the bottom line.

Consequently, in August 2009 John launched Professional Purchasing Solutions (PPS) with just one aim in mind: helping clients to release value to their bottom line by adopting best practice, challenging their costs in a structured review, and improving their profitability and competitiveness.

Today, PPS works with a wide range of companies and organisations, from large multinationals through to medium-sized family businesses, offering purchasing consultancy and practical support for food manufacturers. This can take in any number of disciplines, but would typically include Cost Reduction; Tendering & Negotiation; Strategic Planning; Leadership & Management Support; Project Management; Best Practice Audits; Change Management; and Bespoke Market Reports.

Sometimes PPS will work with a client on a pre-defined project, but on many occasions the brief will be much broader, “I need to extract more value from my purchasing, but I’m not sure how to go about it.”

Whatever the challenge, John will initially spend a day within the client’s business, meeting the company’s key people and getting an idea of their approach towards purchasing. PPS do not charge a fee for this day, only reimbursement of expenses and there is no obligation for the client to progress beyond this point.

Having a solid management background means that John Smyth takes a management approach to any work undertaken. Many consultants work only with the senior management team, relying on their influence to ensure the project is concluded. PPS, on the other hand, integrate with the client’s business at all levels from an early stage.
Once opportunities are identified, the next step is always to develop a project team to deliver the changes, integrating with the needs of quality management systems, product development teams, local purchasing and production. Naturally, it is essential that a senior manager in the business sponsors the activity to ensure it is given sufficient priority and impetus, but the implementation team need to ‘own’ the delivery of the project, with PPS remaining with the project through implementation and a post-project review. By taking this approach, PPS ensures that the benefits are fully realised and that unseen costs are not generated further down the line. This may seem less efficient than identifying a benefit and passing this over to the client to implement, but PPS feels that by taking this approach it can deliver a high quality service that is right first time, taking care of clients’ interests by managing the risk of change.

Winning much of its new work through recommendation and word-of-mouth, PPS puts an emphasis on delivering a very high quality service at a reasonable cost. “The reputation of the business remains paramount.

I work very closely with all of my clients, tailoring the service to their specific needs and encouraging honest feedback. I act on anything that may cause them to be less than 100% satisfied. By doing this I ensure that no client is left dissatisfied in any way and that they feel PPS deliver excellent value for money. My aim is that they would be happy to recommend PPS to other businesses.”

In today’s economically difficult times, companies are having to find ways of challenging their costs so that they can remain competitive through a tough trading environment and volatile commodity prices. It’s not an easy ‘ask’, but contacting PPS can be a huge first step to achieving it. Simply call John Smyth direct on 07530 193325, or visit the website at www.professionalpurchasingsolutions.co.uk.