Dairy Crest Scoops Major Procurement Award

State of Flux

Leading dairy firm and State of Flux client wins prize for people development at Procurement Leaders Awards 2012.

Dairy Crest, the UK’s leading chilled dairy foods company, has won the people development prize at this year’s Procurement Leaders Awards.

The company triumphed in a category whose shortlist included Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Tata Steel and the Australian airline Qantas. Its winning entry, which included a competency assessment and development project among the 20-strong group procurement team, has contributed to a step change in performance and helped to transform the function’s standing within the business.

An initial step for the assessment project, which was conducted during 2011, was to better understand the skills of each team member and how the team overall compared to “best in class” functions of a similar size. State of Flux worked closely with Dairy Crest to design and implement a skills assessment process based around the company’s seven procurement and leadership competencies.

This included structured interviews with category managers using tailored case studies. Buy in was from the highest level, with the CFO undertaking the procurement director’s interview.

Detailed reports were prepared on each individual, showing how they scored against Dairy Crest’s competency framework and highlighting skills gaps and development opportunities.

State of Flux then facilitated a workshop with the procurement leadership team to review the findings of the competency assessment project and to prioritise actions for ongoing development of the function.

Since embarking on this initiative, the group procurement team has recorded some impressive results. These include:

  • A 25% stretch target in cost reduction from the original January 2011 baseline
  • Staff retention levels above 95%
  • An increase in employee engagement scores from 54% to 85%

Procurement now presents every month to the company’s Corporate Board on its performance, development plans and key projects.

“This process has been a key element of our team's transformation to a recognised business contributor and change catalyst,” said Trevor Reay, Director of Procurement at Dairy Crest, who along with colleague Chris Thomson collected the award at a black tie dinner in London last week.

“By tailoring and focusing our development plans on the softer skills that a modern procurement professional needs we have driven a step change in perception and performance.

“We fully recognise that none of this could have been delivered without the commitment from the category managers, the drive from the procurement leadership team and the professional process, knowledge and input from State of Flux.”

Dominic Hastings, Executive Consultant at State of Flux, commented: “We are delighted that Dairy Crest has won this prestigious award. Trevor, Chris and the rest of the procurement team have been a pleasure to work with and we congratulate them on receiving this recognition from their peers in the face of such tough competition.”

About Dairy Crest

Dairy Crest is the UK’s leading chilled dairy foods company with a turnover of £1.6bn and a range of leading dairy brands, including the award-winning Cathedral City, Country Life and FRijj. It supplies milk to major retailers and to one million UK households every day. For more information, visit www.dairycrest.co.uk

About Procurement Leaders Awards

The annual Procurement Leaders Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the world of procurement and supply management. In 2012, over 300 entries were received from 136 different companies in 27 countries, and categories included innovation, external collaboration, best use of technology and people development. The winners received their awards at a black tie dinner at The Brewery in London on 21 May attended by 600 procurement executives. For more information, visit awards.procurementleaders.com