Head of Procurement

Job Locations United Kingdom-London


The Economist Group logo


The Economist Group is the leading source of analysis for international business and world affairs. We deliver our information through a range of formats, from newspapers and magazines, to conferences and electronic services.


We are seeking a Head of Procurement who will report directly to the Chief Financial officer, working across the Group to help us procure third party indirect requirements effectively on a global basis, in line with the needs of the business, whilst identifying costs savings and value for money. 


The primary objective will be to maximise value from spend, ensuring quality of goods and services, service delivery levels, risk management and continuity of supply.  The role holder will leverage the global breadth and depth of The Economist Group’s scale within a matrix organisation, where most operational procurement activities are embedded in individual functions and business units. 


Our current addressable spend base is approximately £100m, and spans some 2500 suppliers.


This is a newly created role that will build and lead a small professional team of 3-4 procurement personnel, all of whom will be direct reports.



How you will contribute:

  • Champion and secure key stakeholder engagement and business buy-in, effectively communicating the procurement department’s agenda, whilst creating harmonious business relationships of mutual dependency.
  • Provide strong visible leadership and direction to the Procurement team, successfully positioning and embedding the Procurement function as a trusted business partner within the business.
  • Directly contribute to and enable business growth through the successful delivery of sustainable cost savings, whilst enabling The Economist Group to gain maximum value from its supply base.
  • Continually drive excellence by developing and embedding systems and tools to underpin consistent, agile, professional, risk- managed procurement, ensuring that the Procurement function continues to evolve to meet future business needs.
  • Drive the increased commercialisation of the business by undertaking defined, delegated procurements in a streamlined, compliant, and effective manner; whilst ensuring that appropriate resourcing is available to provide support, advice, and guidance, as required.
  • Consolidate and establish a fit for purpose supply base, building innovative and effective relationships with designated key suppliers, to secure cost and service improvements, as well as competitive advantage.
  • Shape procurement thinking and approach, overseeing the delivery of and embedding of strategic sourcing plans across all major categories of expenditure to improve business performance.
  • Provide hands on support with all major procurement activities across the team, negotiating acceptable outcomes, and leading on defined major procurements as required. 

Experience, skills and professional attributes

To succeed in the role you must have:

  • Proven global indirect procurement leadership experience within a progressive mid-sized business, with exposure across all spend categories. This will be underpinned by experience in all facets of procurement such as policy, ways of working, category sourcing, negotiating, contracting, supplier management, and procurement systems and tools.
  • Demonstrable experience of having built and led the functional evolution of a global Procurement team, including the development and successful implementation of new ways of working, tools and systems.
  • Familiarity with the major enablers of procurement performance including organisational structures, policies, procedures, and controls, with the ability to continually evolve these areas, as necessary.
  • Experience of setting up and running successful group wide cost reduction programmes.
  • Excellent standards of written and verbal communication to all levels, and the ability to convey thoughts and ideas through all mediums concisely, in person and in writing.
  • Experience of working within the media industry desired, but not essential.
  • Possess an expert technical procurement skillset with excellent negotiation skills.
  • Supplier management experience, covering complex purchases with the ability to translate this experience into clear and actionable guidance and results.
  • Possesses the highest level of integrity
  • Excellent stakeholder relationship and influencing skills
  • Ability to constructively challenge stakeholders and suppliers when necessary
  • Works collaboratively to build positive relationships across all areas of the business
  • A strategic thinker, who is action orientated and able to evolve and deliver the procurement agenda
  • An accomplished team leader and line manager with the necessary experience to build, develop, motivate, and performance managing colleagues, as required.
  • Possesses professional curiosity with a proven ability to convey ideas and opinions concisely, in an engaging manner



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