Senior Manager - Central Supplies and Cost Management Team (and Professional Services Category Manager)

Senior Manager – Central Supplies and Cost Management Team (and Professional Services Category Manager)

Start date: Q1 2019

Location: Waterloo, London

Status: Full-time, 12-month fixed term with the possibility of conversion to a permanent role based on performance.

Salary: £45,000 per annum depending on experience

The Challenge

The Challenge’s vision is a more integrated society where there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. We believe everyone benefits when people from all walks of life come together to better know, understand and trust each other. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a dynamic, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. You can download our impact report  which shows how we’ve helped 1,000s of young people build trusting and meaningful relationships with people from different backgrounds.

About the role

Reporting to the Head of Finance, this is the lead role for the team responsible for strategic sourcing activities for all indirect i.e. non-programmes related spend categories, with the goal of achieving significant cost reductions and process efficiencies, while maintaining/improving quality of supply and associated service levels. The responsibility includes some direct elements, such as programme-related equipment, and the primary objective is to lead the implementation of strategic sourcing best practices, to capture real savings while making effective supply base decisions, working closely with key stakeholders across the whole organisation.

The newly created position, with overall responsibility for approx £7m of mainly indirect spend across over 200 suppliers, has two direct reports (FM Supplies & Equipment Category Manager, IT and Technology Category Manager) and includes direct responsibility for the Professional Services category (approx £2m of spend), which is not substantial enough to warrant a full-time category manager.

The position will be instrumental in the provision of nearly 30,000 places in outdoor adventure centres across England, Wales and Scotland, ensuring that they deliver high-quality, challenging and safe programmes for our participants.

Responsibilities

Primary

  • Setting clear strategic procurement priorities and demonstrating the leadership required to establish the newly formed CS&CM team as a high performing, providing critical support to the rest of The Challenge organisation
  • Identifying the organisation’s needs for all indirect categories and the portion of programme-related spend in scope e.g. laptops, in close collaboration with the Operation teams, then preparing a strategic sourcing plan to be rapidly executed by the CS&CM team
  • Ensuring availability of programme and non-programme related equipment and supplies, “right place, right time” and without holding un-necessary stock
  • Working collaboratively with the all internal stakeholders, to understand their needs, and then streamline and improve sourcing processes accordingly, also helping to establish the foundations for a robust and effective Purchase to Pay approach
  • Providing appropriate support to the Operation teams, as required, to ensure the sourcing of all direct (programme-related) categories will become particularly efficient and cost-effective
  • Identifying potential savings across the supplier base, agreeing stretching but achievable targets with the Finance team and developing and implementing plans to deliver them, to be fully reflected in the annual budget
  • Establishing and helping to manage strategic relationships with relevant suppliers across all categories
  • Consolidating and optimising the supplier base for all categories, setting clear and realistic targets for the CS&CM team and providing appropriate support and guidance
  • Supporting the team to develop negotiation strategies and driving negotiations to achieve stated goals and objectives
  • Challenging the team to review and measure supplier performance, monitor contract compliance, also prompting regular supplier reviews and planning contract renewals or terminations in a timely and organised way
  • Owning the supplier data base for all indirect categories, ensuring it is kept up to date and promoting its active use as a key supplier management tool across all teams involved
  • Keeping fully up to date with market trends, through relationships with suppliers and market experts, when appropriate helping to identify and communicate possible new solutions to the evolving needs of the organisation
  • Overall, leading the development of a strong cost management culture across the whole organisation

Other

  • Working closely with the Head of Finance and the Leadership team, to align the Procurement strategy to the evolving needs of the organisation
  • Ensuring that all procurement and P2P processes and spend mgt. policies are being followed by the core team and the broader organisation
  • Positioning CS&CM at the heart of the cost management and control culture that is fundamental for the future success of The Challenge

Skills and experience

Skills

  • Effective leader, motivational and outcome-driven
  • Ability to set and influence strategic priorities and turn them into clear operational targets, motivating a newly established team to achieve or exceed them
  • Ability to develop others, also ensuring resilience and planning succession within the team
  • Robust understanding of complex service delivery operations and ability to understand the key requirements of operational stakeholders at all levels
  • Ability to take the lead on the implementation of saving opportunities, directly and through a team, tailoring approach as needed i.e. from invitation to tenders from multiple suppliers for key contracts to one-to-one negotations
  • Ability to develop and influence the budgeting process, helping to set ambitious and achievable saving targets
  • Robust communication skills, including the ability to develop compelling business cases and presentations
  • Strong ability to build relationships with key suppliers and effectively manage internal relationships and networks
  • Strong analytical capabilities and negotiation skills

Experience

  • Successful track record in a Procurement leadership role, in charge of a successful team, in the private, public or non-for-profit sector
  • Demonstrable experience of helping to influence and set strategic targets, as a senior member of a Leadership team
  • Experience of supporting the delivery of complex and critical operations in a service environment
  • Experience of delivering challenging saving targets, taking primary responsibility and with little support from the rest of the organisation
  • Strong and demonstrable supplier management track record
  • Change management experience, driving and delivering change as part of a wider, multi-disciplinary team

Behaviours

  • Team player, with the desire to establish him/herself as the leader of a critical support team
  • Leads by example, learns from own mistakes and always commits to performing to the best of own abilities
  • Inspirational for his team, rapidly winning the confidence of his reports and the wider organisation on his ability to deliver
  • Passionate about service delivery, for both internal and external clients and stakeholders
  • Strives for continuous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully
  • Resilient and calm under pressure and always focused on outcomes
  • Enthusiastic for, and committed to our mission and values, with the ability to bring this to life when working with colleagues and external contacts

Safeguarding Statement

The Challenge is committed to safeguarding and protecting the young people that we work with. As such, all posts are subject to a safer recruitment process, including the disclosure of criminal records and vetting checks. We ensure that we have a range of policies and procedures in place which promote safeguarding and safer working practice across our programmes.

We expect all staff and post holders to share this commitment to safeguarding by ensuring compliance with our policies and practices.

Employment Screening

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth care plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan to eligible employees.

Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter to james.robertson@the-challenge.org by 3 March 2019.

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of six months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

The Challenge Network (The Challenge) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. Our privacy notice can be found here: https://the-challenge.org/careers

This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you prior to, during and after your working relationship with us, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or any subsequent data protection legislation in force from time-to-time.