Bringing clarity to a big issue

Bringing clarity to a big issue

In too many ways, the whole issue of procurement within the food service arena has been seen as something out of the world of Harry Potter – almost a dark art and a subject that should not be discussed. A journey to change this view was started quite a while ago to change this but there is still a perception lag in the market. However, the world is moving on and today purchasing teams are working hard with their suppliers to improve standards and the offering – procurement has matured.


Compass have stepped forward to openly discuss just how the discipline has improved and to put to bed the myths that have surrounded the area. Next week, with EP, they will host a forum that really begins to open the door to show how this discipline has matured and how it is an important issue to understand.

Procurement functions within hospitality operations have never been under as much observation as they are currently. The average consumer’s demand for transparency behind provenance is greater than ever before. As a team it has to maintain a delicate balance of managing expectations of both internal and external stakeholders. It has a significant impact with customers, suppliers and consumers. Businesses are not only judged by economic success but also how they add value in terms of environmental and social aspects – and procurement sits at the heart of these expectations.


Commercial and sustainable businesses recognize the power they have on effecting change within a community. There are some great stories of how influential leaders within procurement have created a higher set of standards and values for their own team and have acted on these to create change. This is the right time to bring the negative perceptions around procurement to the forefront – to discuss, shift mind-sets and observe how the department has changed for the better.

There are a number of questions we will be raising to be able to shed light on current practices regarding

  • Supplier relationships
  • Sustainability
  • The future of procurement

By promoting a series of discussions around procurement, we hope to build on a message that is already supported by evidence: procurement has changed for good.

Oliver Cock joined Compass Group PLC in 2009 as Group Procurement Director, responsible for establishing and delivering the Group’s functional procurement agenda. Since joining he has overseen the development of a new approach to procurement at Group and country level, and driven the development of strategies for Compass’ key areas of global expenditure. In 2011 Oliver joined the Compass Group UK & Ireland business as Managing Director for Commercial, primarily responsible for purchasing and supply chain management within the company amongst other functions. On the morning of Tuesday 1st July EP will host a specialised roundtable conversation over breakfast in Central London with Oliver about the changing face of procurement.

For more information on this and any other EP events please contact Arlene McCaffrey 

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