I recently caught up with CPO on the rise and “friend of the site,” Anders Lillevik to check on how his procurement transformation project, which began when he joined Webster Bank as its first Chief Procurement Officer at the end of 2008, was proceeding. For those of you living outside of New England, Webster Bank is a leading regional bank and the 31st-largest commercial bank in the US. Anders and his team have been going a mile a minute focusing in no particular order on building out an eProcurement system (Oracle) and process, deploying a vendor management system (Hiperos) to save money and mitigate risk, and placing more categories into a formal sourcing/RFP process to consolidate suppliers.
A seasoned and savvy procurement vet, Anders told me that he went into this new role “making no assumptions about the bank organization and its general operations and developed a plan that focused on the basics, before building out the fancy stuff.” From the start, Anders invested a great deal of time and energy in establishing relationships with the corporate SVPs but also with the branch leadership to help bring his vision to fruition – and it is starting to pay off. As we predicted at the start of the year, Anders et al. are already making a significant impact – the eProcurement system which launched in June, 2009, now supports four of the bank’s largest categories and the vendor management system launches this month.
One interesting category that Anders’s team has focused on this year is print. When Anders joined Webster, the print spend was split in amongst more than forty different suppliers. Over the past few months, the team has focused on consolidating the bank’s print spend with a few preferred suppliers, a classic souring approach. But what’s unique and innovative is the new strategy being employed by the procurement team to better manage the category including
(1) A move to reduce the total number of skus
(2) Having the print provider own the inventory
(3) Paying on release (of the inventory)
(4) Moving to an on-demand print model wherever possible.
Anders and his team have also committed to working with the preferred suppliers to help them get better penetration in the bank. Printacular!
I’d like to thank Anders for providing an update on the procurement transformation that’s underway at Webster. I hope to get down to see him and his team at some point soon and report back with another update.