Paul Bestford, CPO at the John Lewis Partnership (JLP), said this approach was common in the procurement world but he queried whether the strategic relationships with suppliers that resulted allowed for innovation.
Speaking at the CIPS Annual Conference in London, Bestford said he was more concerned with the level of fluidity in JLP’s supply base rather than its size, which happens to be about 5,500 suppliers.
“The question we should be asking is: ‘How much movement is there in that base? Are we working with the same suppliers and are we stopping ourselves tapping into innovation?’” he said. “The most important thing is to remove some of the pressure that would stop us introducing innovation into the base.”
During a panel discussion on innovation, Gareth Nugent, senior director international procurement for the Discovery Network, said working with innovative start-ups was central to their strategy of moving away from selling their programmes to traditional TV platforms and adopting a business-to-consumer model.
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