By Keith Wright, Founder and Managing Director of K Wright Consultancy, a procurement specialist firm.
With 30 years in procurement roles within the building industry, Keith knows a thing or two about tackling complex supply chains. In a recent project however, Keith’s challenge was a little different yet the results were outstanding.
Keith’s client had a major strategic procurement project and was looking for someone with knowledge and expertise in the merchant and construction products market, particularly related to procurement. Their mission was to create a range that was “niche, trade focussed, ugly freight, with higher-than-normal margins”. The client had clear margin aspirations and wanted to develop the opportunity to compete successfully against the mainstream competition, in their case larger national merchants, with breadth and depth of range both in stock and on a drop ship basis.
Keith developed a model that benchmarked the performance of the client’s existing ranges, identified where they were positioned in the market, and where the significant areas of opportunities were to extend both range and customer reach – whilst meeting the clear criteria of the brief of course! It also identified areas to consolidate, refine or exit within their current proposition.
After this assessment was complete, the opportunities were prioritised and a change to the brief was recommended. This change included identifying potential vendors for the new ranges and getting them involved in the proposition development phase. This step was a game-changer as it effectively condensed another part of the project into this phase, driving engagement from both the client and their procurement team and their potential new vendors.
Think Differently and Question Everything
At each and every stage Keith asked questions which really made the client think out of the box, keeping in constant contact with regular progress updates, engaging with key stakeholders, and being extremely patient! By thinking differently and questioning everything, everyone got to learn as the project unfolded.
After the initial proposal, it was critical that Keith really understood the brief, and more importantly asked those very pertinent questions in order to update and improve the brief. This process then continued through the discovery phase, leading to an output that was considerably better than the client had anticipated when the project started.
This again came down to working incredibly hard to understand the brief and not being afraid to question it. Rather than following a rigid, no changes process, Keith’s approach remained dynamic, considered and effective.
The project output ended up above and beyond the client’s expectations and led to a change of tack for the next phase, which also saved time, money and effort – estimated at 6-12 months against their strategic plan.
It also made the client question areas of their strategy and understanding of their market, as well as potential opportunities, ultimately changing their approach, based on Keith’s data, suggestions and experience.
As a result, incremental revenue of £ millions was delivered across both existing and new customers, together with new channels and new markets, with a proven return-on-investment of 50x.
Keith Wright is a seasoned entrepreneur and commercial leader with 30+ years expertise in the building industry. Renowned for his strategic approach, he has saved millions of pounds throughout his career as a procurement expert. With an unwavering focus on value creation, he continuously seeks growth opportunities and operational efficiency for his clients.
As a trusted business consultant, he has collaborated with numerous market-leading companies, developing tailor-made procurement solutions aligned with their unique needs and goals.
In 2021, Keith founded K Wright Consultancy after a successful corporate career, aiming to share his procurement knowledge and expertise with business owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors to accelerate their growth. Within just over two years, his consultancy firm has supported 25 organisations creating value in the multiple millions.