Keith Wright is MD at K Wright Consultancy Ltd and a real thought leading game changer in his expert area of ‘Procurement’. Some might say a positive disruptor and most if not all would agree an ambitious individual who achieves extraordinary results. An entrepreneur with a serving mentality continually and relentlessly adding value at every opportunity.

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that there are a lot of books and articles about sales but not that many about procurement. After all, every company must sell products or services to survive therefore thousands of people write books and articles on sales as well as offering advice on how to deal with difficult customers. In fact, a recent search on Audible revealed 3349 books about sales and only 43 about procurement, that’s 79 times more sales books than procurement!

With many more buyers than sellers in any given society, what could be more logical than a seller having an advantage over the buyer? Why would sellers who have the upper hand not dominate discussions about sales? Media coverage, book writing and media exposure have all been monopolised by sellers to such an extent that buying has been relegated from a vital subject to one which doesn’t merit much attention.

Keith’s mission therefore is simple; to put procurement firmly on the map as a vital ingredient of any successful business and a strong driver of profit, which is why he is currently writing his first book “The Power Of Procurement.”

As a procurement professional, Keith knows how vital this function can be for your business. It’s a key part of the supply chain, of your ability to serve the needs of your customers, and an essential part of business strategy and planning. Done well, it can help you to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality but also help your company grow by expanding into new markets and developing new products.

In 2022 Keith surveyed his consulting clients and the 5 biggest pain points they called out across their businesses included:

1. Purchasing and sourcing review – where can I improve the performance of my business?

2. Product range deep dive – how is my business performing?

3. Customer and market insights – how does my business shape up in our market?

4. Sales and proposition development – where can we grow profitably?

5. Brand audit – how does my business show up versus my competition?

Keith has since gone on to launch the Procurement Xcelerator scorecard, a simple assessment tool that provides insights into three key procurement areas. It’s free to use and takes no more than two minutes to complete, with three core questions in each area. In a short space of time, you can benchmark your business, and receive a free report with clear recommendations on where to make improvements to unlock your hidden profit potential.

The three key procurement areas of the Procurement Xcelerator scorecard include how to assess the purchasing health of your business, opportunities to work with your suppliers, and the importance of aligning targets and objectives.

Since the launch of the scorecard, many leading industry professionals have taken it, and Keith comments that the data is very revealing. The headline statistics include:

• 27% of businesses said they have little or no quality purchasing data.

• 55% of businesses are unclear about how they work with their suppliers.

• 45% of businesses don’t have targets or objectives in place.

In total, a staggering 27% of businesses reported that they have little or no controls in place across all three sections of the scorecard, which indicates the size of opportunity to improve procurement, even at this basic level. Remember, these are the businesses that showed up and took the scorecard, others may simply be ignoring the role of procurement in their organisation. Imagine what your business could do with a clear focused plan. 

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