The need for a new approach to complex, global supply ecosystems
Customers are punishing companies they no longer trust. Research conducted by Proxima revealed that 45% of consumers would stop spending with a company whose supplier practices were called into question.
accountingWEB: Five tips for more effective budgeting
For many businesses the budgeting and planning process, although laborious, is critical for the success of the business in the coming year. Proxima's Guy Strafford offers five tips for a more effective budgeting strategy; to encourage spend effectiveness and boost efficiency and competitiveness.
realbusiness: Five strategies to maximise your budgeting process
The budgeting and planning process, although often laborious and time consuming, is one of the most critical activities of the year. Proxima's Guy Strafford gives five strategies to maximise the effectiveness of your budgeting process.
Spend Matters: Proxima - a provider to know in 2015
Spend Matters highlight Proxima as a Provider to know in 2015. Discussing our services and overall approach to procurement, Spend Matters note that "Proxima is certainly a firm to have on your shortlist for pretty much any procurement outsourcing opportunity".
Digital Marketing Magazine: Six in ten digital adverts are not seen by humans – so where is the value in digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Magazine discusses Proxima's latest research: TheDigital Disconnect which highlights up to 35% of all web activity fraudulent or artificial and 54% of online ads not even seen by a human – the truth is that between 40% to 60% of global digital spend is potentially wasted.
MyCustomer: Has digital marketing moved from high impact to high risk - and how can procurement help?
MyCustomer discusses Proxima's latest research: TheDigital Disconnect highlighting CEOs and CFOs are becoming increasingly concerned by the lack of business transparency regarding the commercial impact of digital marketing. From wasted investment to the risk associated with brand damage, digital has fast moved from high impact to high risk.
The digital debate - are digital budgets being wasted?
The importance of being able to assign tangible ROI to a multi-faceted marketing campaign that uses both traditional and digital methods is a top priority to brands, according to participants on our recent digital marketing panel discussion.
Up to 60% of global marketing budgets being wasted every single year
LONDON, UK - 3 August 2015 - New research by procurement services provider Proxima, finds that spend on digital marketing such as search engine optimisation, mobile apps and video-on-demand services in 2015 is failing to deliver the value companies should expect. With 50% of total advertising budgets in the UK (totalling around £7.9bn), and around 30% in the US (around £32.9bn) being spent on digital marketing, poor commercial management means brand and commercial content is not reaching the right audience.
Spend Matters: Influencing change - the solution to procurement's change challenges
Spend Matters and Barbara Ardell discuss influencing change in the first of this two part article; addressing the challenges that procurement faces, discussing attitudes towards procurement and featuring Proxima's research into current perceptions of the procurement function.
The evolution of the audit market - live discussion
Every five years companies in the FTSE350 will have to rotate their auditing partner, and it is interesting for me to see how that will help drive the timing of when the remaining companies that haven’t tendered, choose to tender and who they choose to include in the tender process.
Spend Matters: Why humans win over machines and speed in outsourcing
Spend Matters feature our very own Richard James, Category Director for Professional Services in their hot topic of procurement outsourcing. We look at what companies should consider when looking for a procurement company to help with outsourcing.
Can procurement help CFOs navigate the statutory audit market?
It is perhaps unsurprising that more and more FTSE350 companies will start to shake up their auditing process with the new regulations now in place by the Competition and Markets Authority. However, the tender market is still at a teenage stage. While experience is bringing greater sophistication of approach, both in how the auditors are bidding and how they are being hired; companies still have some work to do in recognising what true value looks like and how to drive maximum value from their auditors.
3 reasons procurement needs to focus on winning hearts and minds
The notion of “winning hearts and minds” is remarkably recent. The phrase was first used by Vernon Bartlett, a journalist and MP who was reporting on British efforts in the Malayan Emergency in 1954. (It was also a cornerstone of President Johnson’s campaign in Vietnam and an evolution of George Bush’s Iraqi adventure. As a military tactic, it’s never been that successful…)
With new regulations requiring businesses to tender their audit more frequently this offers companies a chance to revisit a key supplier relationship; enabling them to run a tender that will encourage closer relationships, promote best practices and drive additional value.
Getting your processes right is one of the axioms of the industrial (and now digital) economy. People don’t scale well – and if you come up with a great way of working, you need to codify it. If it’s reliant on people, it’s vulnerable. If you have good process, people are (to quote former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld) “fungible”.
Are companies long-term relationships with their auditors a thing of the past? The Financial Times discusses our research into the UK audit market, and why many more companies are choosing to shop around when it comes to buying audit services.
Just one year ago the Competition and Markets Authority proposed reforms that mandate all FTSE350 companies tender their audit services every ten years; and in April 2014, this reform was also passed by the European Parliament. The new rules also require Public Interest Entities (PIEs) to change auditor every 20 years.
Professional Services: what are we paying for, exactly?
As supply management evolves into a strategic business function, one of the key roles procurement teams often play is to challenge stakeholders to justify what they are paying for. In “traditional” cases this is relatively easy: you can count the number of laptops you need to buy, you can benchmark the wholesale price of utilities, you can understand the need to use a recruitment agency to find new or replacement staff.
Proxima's Richard James discusses why regulatory change has shaken up the sleepy world of audit and why this could lead to a key opportunity for companies to reassess their relationships with auditors.
Director of Finance speak to Proxima's Richard James about the new rules around statutory audit rotation; and why this could be a valuable opportunity for companies to revisit a key supplier relationship.
Spend Matters: Buying audit services - advice from an expert
Following their previous coverage of our research into the UK audit market, Spend Matters discuss how procurement can get involved in the complex business of purchasing audit services, and offer advice from our expert Richard James.
Procurement Leaders: Reforms shake up audit market
Procurement Leaders discuss Proxima's research into the UK audit market. The research highlights that although over half of the FTSE350 companies have been using the same auditor for a decade or more; proposed reforms by the Competition and Markets Authority are encouraging more firms to tender.
Supply Management: Top companies changing auditor more often
Proxima's Richard James talks to Supply Management about why the top UK companies are switching auditor more frequently; and why research shows that the number of companies tendering their audit looks set to rise dramatically.
The traditional way to explain the role of an auditor is that they’re a watchdog, not a bloodhound. They keep an eye on what’s happening, sit up when something looks suspicious and occasionally bark when they see something dodgy. The job is explicitly not turning over every rock they can find to test ethics or legality - no bloodhounds chasing the bad guys through the woods here.
accountingWEB: One in four FTSE 350 companies switch auditor
Companies change many things regularly, but are usually reluctant to change their auditor. Proxima's research, featured in accountingWEB, highlights a growing trend of FTSE 350 companies tendering their audit.
Audit services: Four reasons why it pays to be a first mover
During the original dot-com boom, the idea of first mover advantage gained massive currency. Staking out a digital domain before anyone else showed up was considered the best way to guarantee success – gaining mindshare, customers, and above all, experience and personnel that would be denied your rivals.
Financial Times: Proxima weighs in on new audit market reforms
There was a strong feeling of anticipation and suspense throughout the Proxima office in London on Wednesday, as we all waited excitedly for Financial Times City Correspondent Harriet Agnew’s article - discussing the shake-up to the audit tender process - to be published. A few weeks earlier, Richard James (Category Director for Professional and Financial Services) had been interviewed by Harriet, and asked to weigh in on what impact the changes to the UK audit tender process are having on the wider market.
Tender touches for better audits - five recommendations
Following new regulations and a deep desire to restore lost public faith in business, audit is making a conceptual comeback. The European Commission’s new rules on mandatory tendering for audit every ten years (along with increased scrutiny; demands for transparency in the audit process; and controls on what other work your auditor can do) make the process of choosing and contracting and auditor incredibly important.
Infographic: Accountants warn on audit market reforms
When analysing the current FTSE 350’s use of audit services, our research highlights the impact of the Competition and Markets Authority’s reform on the UK audit market – finding that there is more happening under the surface than meets the eye...
“The fish rots from the head”. Strong words from a recent FT article rounding up a series of accounting issues besetting large companies in the UK. Following a discussion between Proxima and respected commentator Stefan Stern; Stern argues that boards need to open their eyes to all activities in their business (from top to bottom) – but without getting involved in day-to-day tinkering.
In 1596 Shakespeare wrote the Merchant of Venice - a play in which a young Venetian merchant, named Antonio, signs an interest-free loan to help his friend, Bassanio, romantically court (with lots of money) Portia, the woman of his dreams. The catch is that if Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock (the financier in this scenario) has the right to take a literal “pound of flesh”.
By now you will already be familiar with our corporate virtualization research, showing that the average company now spends around 70% of its revenues with suppliers. But what does it mean for your business, and how can you uncover the opportunities that this trend encourages?
The headline on a capital markets report looking at bond yields was worrying: “Canary in the coalmine”. Canaries were useful to miners because, although small, they sing sweetly until they get a whiff of gas and then they abruptly stop singing. The miners say a short prayer for the little bird, then get out as fast as they can.
Whilst the Deloitte list highlights some of the important issues, we’ve reached out to our own network (of client teams and readers) and come up with five additional issues that are most likely to make their way to the top of the CFO’s agenda over the second half of 2014.
Proxima launches study into scope for change through supply chain management
LONDON, UK and CHICAGO, IL - June 23, 2014 – Proxima, the world’s largest pure-play procurement outsourcing and services provider, has today launched a new study that seeks to establish how supplier engagement can change the way that businesses operate.
One world, one business model – the impact of globalization
We were chatting to a management thinker the other day – a former CFO, as it happens – and he said something so compelling, yet so simple, that we were stunned. “The problem with the runaway success of MBA schools is that we’re developing a global corporate monoculture,” he said. “We’re concentrating risk in similar places around the world.”
It’s striking how many CFOs count leadership of a cost saving programme as a major part of their role. There’s nothing wrong with making procurement more efficient and streamlining the cost base, of course. But the best finance functions treat it as part of their commercial contribution, not a traditional bit of hard-nosed accounting.
Panel session to discuss HBR article; Corporate Virtualization
Following on from our recent Harvard Business Review coverage, we’d like to invite you to join us for an online panel session – discussing practical perspectives and pragmatic insights into the trend of Corporate Virtualization.
New research shows that a growing number of corporates are refocusing their procurement functions away from cost and towards strategic innovation. A sure sign that corporate management's attitudes towards procurement are shifting. (We discuss this further in our webinar). But are the smart ones just copying the companies that have always understood that this is a key source of value?