Head of Group Procurement at Marks & Spencer, Andrew Newnham, is working to transform the foundations of procurement. In his time at M&S, he’s changed the company’s procurement strategy to focus on three new aspects: business partnering, supply chain risk management, and effective partner management. His role, as he explained it, is centred on transforming a company steeped in legacy and history.
Currently, Newnham is working within an industry facing tough economic headwinds and long-term structural change. He oversees approximately US$1.7bn worth of goods not for resale (GNFR), a role that includes marketing property facilities, managing corporate services technology, and handling logistics. According to him, “it’s a wide remit and an interesting job.”
Prior to his role with Marks & Spencer, Newnham negotiated and implemented several large-scale outsourcing contracts at Vodafone, UBS, and ITV. After he graduated from the University of Sussex with a First Class Honors economics degree, he worked at BT and British Airways before taking a role as Vodafone’s Senior Commercial Manager.
As the brand upgraded from a national mobile provider to a multinational conglomerate, Newnham helped to lead the company’s procurement transformation to meet global priorities. In addition, he renegotiated a complex multi-year agreement with one of the company’s strategic network providers, delivering £410mn in bottom-line business savings.
Throughout his career, Newnham has operated on a global scale. At UBS, he led a global team across Singapore, the US, and the UK to outsource an annual value of US$450mn in complex contracts. He renegotiated key agreements with the company’s tier-one outsourcing partners, developed a Supplier Relationship Management process across the division, and initiated an immediate and radical review of UBS’ third-party costs during the stock market crash of 2008.
Next, Newnham moved to ITV, a London-based broadcast media company with the largest commercial family of channels in the UK. When he joined ITV’s team, the company had just started to take off. Over the next five years, its share price rose from under 0.20p to over £2.60. Newnham played his part: as CPO, he upgraded ITV’s cost base, reduced third-party spend, and placed operations improvement on the agenda.
Endorsed by his colleagues for outsourcing, strategy, and procurement, Newnham remains a key asset to Marks & Spencer—especially in the midst of a global pandemic. While working at the company, Newnham has delivered £500mn worth of business savings in 3 years, implemented a new third-party supplier risk framework, and led company-wide efficiency programmes.
All of Newnham’s hard work has increased M&S’s procurement capabilities. Yet, he continues to focus on what’s ahead. “The retail sector faces massive headwinds'', he told us. “But I thrive on change. Standing still is simply not an option in the post-COVID-19 landscape.”
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