1583 – Procurement Strategy with K. Wright Consultancy’s Keith Wright

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Managing Director of K Wright Consultancy Limited, Keith Wright.

Are you aware that procurement is more than just buying things? It can make or break your business! According to Keith, a procurement expert, there are five ways in which procurement can impact your business. First, procurement can help mitigate risks by having the right processes and policies in place. Second, it plays a crucial role in serving customers by ensuring quality products and services. Third, procurement can help save money by negotiating with suppliers and finding the best deals. Fourth, it can help manage growth by having a clear growth plan and collaborating with suppliers. Lastly, procurement is about finding the right balance between risk mitigation, customer service, cost savings, and growth management.

Don't neglect procurement and risk losing your business! Keith Wright offers a free introductory call on his website,, to help business owners improve their procurement processes. Take advantage of this opportunity and ensure your business thrives!


About Keith Wright:

Keith is a seasoned entrepreneur and commercial leader with over 30 years of experience in the building industry. Specializing in procurement, he's saved millions through strategic purchasing methods. He established K Wright Consultancy in 2021, which has since helped 22 organizations with combined sales exceeding £3.5bn, streamlining their operations and discovering new value-creation opportunities. Keith also contributes as a non-executive director for a digital start-up and chairs a local charity, demonstrating a commitment to diverse sectors.

He's currently writing a book highlighting the often-overlooked power of procurement. His extensive experience and unique insights make him a valuable connection in business growth and strategy.


About K Wright Consultancy Limited:

K Wright Consultancy Limited is a renowned consulting firm specializing in procurement and category management in the UK building industry. They offer bespoke solutions tailored to business owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors' unique needs. Leveraging deep industry knowledge and strategic buying methods, they help clients streamline operations, uncover savings, and identify growth opportunities. In just two years, they've boosted 22 organizations with a combined sales volume of over £3.5bn, proving their effectiveness. Their personalized approach and commitment to delivering value make them an essential partner for businesses seeking to optimize procurement and enhance business performance.


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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than 10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget, the Thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you with us right now. It's Keith Wright. Keith, you are the managing director and founder of K Wright Consultancy. You are a procurement expert and business consultant. You're found on the web at k wright k That's the, the letter K, and then write is W R I g H T. all right. Well, Keith, it's great to have you.

Keith (00:01:22) - Hi, how are you?

Josh (00:01:24) - Excellent, excellent. Well, give us an overview of like what you do in procurement and I what, like, let's start off with some kind of basic definitions and then certainly, you know where you are in the world.

Keith (00:01:34) - Yeah, yeah, sure. Yeah,It funny cuz I talk to people a lot about procurement and often it's what's procurement? What is that all about? But I often liken it to most people in the world buy stuff. Pretty much everybody buys stuff. And if you think about where that stuff comes from, how it turns up where the supply chain management, someone's ordered it, someone's placed it in the shop or in a warehouse and it's turned up and often that that goes right back through from somebody making it in a manufacturing plant somewhere in the world and bringing it right through to ultimately the consumer that uses that product. So procurement is effectively that end-to-end, proposition, if you like. You know, choosing what you buy, how you buy it, what you sell it for, what you pay for it, which suppliers you use, what brands you have, what packaging it comes in, what supply chain management you have. All of those things come under the umbrella of procurement. So you can't sell stuff without buying it from somewhere, which is where procurement comes in.

Josh (00:02:32) - Yeah. And at some point, you know, in terms of like the stage of a business, procurement, it's a big deal, right? And how you do it. And certainly if you make mistakes in this, I mean, it can really cause big problems. If you don't have raw materials, if you don't have, you know, the support, systems in place, right? Or there's just, you're off on the timing. Like you, you know, think of a, like, on a small scale, just to help maybe like someone who's a consumer think about this. Like you could put stuff on Amazon autoship, right? And, you know, if you run into a situation where you're getting that product way too often, well that's no good. You don't wanna spend that money and just have that stuff sitting on your shelf.

Josh (00:03:19) - You want someone else to warehouse that for you. So you don't have to buy it if you're not gonna be using it. And then similarly, you certainly don't wanna be in a position where if you're like, Hey, you know, I need fertilizer for the plants or something like that. And because that fertilizer hasn't come in and it's been three weeks now and we forgot to order that, which you don't wanna do. Like, and, and correct me if I'm wrong, but like again, it's about right fit, right size, timing everything, right? Like that's a part of it logistically, right? To make sure that the wheels of operation moves smoothly. Yeah,

Keith (00:03:54) - Absolutely. Well, I mean, a classic example, right? You are, let's say you are selling, you are having a promotion. If your procurement team hasn't had a conversation with its supply partners and somebody goes and sells, you know, 50% more stuff and you've got a forecast that's 10% more stuff, guess what? You know, you're gonna have disappointed customers. You're gonna have empty shelves in your stores, in your branches online. And nobody wants unhappy customers, right? Unhappy customers. These two unhappy teams, which therefore, you know, all impacts the customer service. There's nothing like a happy member of a team service and a happy customer that's coming back cuz you've delighted them with your customer service proposition. And that's the magic ingredient. Get that right. Your life's so much easier in terms of time, money, and resource get it wrong. And as a whole world of pain letters to the c e o with customer complaints and, you know, refund demands and all sorts of problems. Mm-hmm. And that's not, not good for your reputation as a business

Josh (00:04:55) - Let's say there, there's someone's listening and they're with an SMB and they're like, well, you know, we really don't worry about that so much at this stage. Why should they pay attention to how and why procurement works, particularly if they ever fancy themselves in doing business with mid-size and enterprise level companies who do have to worry about procurement. Procurement? Why do we need to be able to speak the language and what should we know about that?

Keith (00:05:19) - Yeah, I think it's interesting because this can really trip you up. It can trip you up in, you know, most business owners, I'm guessing at some stage will want to, to sell or continue to grow or refinance. And some of this stuff is really good, sensible business practice and process management. And, and actually risk mitigation. So it is almost borderline negligent to ignore supply chain management because, you know, ultimately if you've got the right processes and policies in place and pro and systems, you are making your life easier. And actually, any investor looks at a business and says their supply chain management looks a bit flaky, potentially, you know, the valuation of that company suddenly drops because, you know, you've, you haven't got the right due processes in place and, you know, it doesn't have to be, you know, super, super intensive.

Keith (00:06:16) - You know, actually having some really simple practices about who your key supply partners are, who do you contact? Have you got a service level agreement that talks about the things you expect, whether it's, you know, sales teams, marketing support, digital presence, you know, there's all sorts of things you can put in place to professionalize what you do as a business. And that's, I think, that professional term often, you know, it's talked about in sports a lot, you know, and coaches and those sorts of things. But actually within a business, how do you professionalize what you do so that it's really robust not for the sake of it, but actually to make sure your business serves its customers in the absolute best possible way.

Josh (00:06:56) - Yeah. Keith, explain what you do and why a company might wanna engage with you. And I'm thinking about why can't they do this themselves? Mm.

Keith (00:07:07) - Well, do you know what I mean? I've been doing this for about 30 years. So I'd like to think I've got a little bit of professionalism when it, when it comes to procurement. So I think often it's time management. So, you know, I work with a lot of business owners, a lot of entrepreneurs that have got some amazing business acumen when it comes to sales and customer engagement and, you know, all the exciting stuff of sales management. But often it's the time a, to step back and look at this particular aspect. And then knowing what to look for. And I think that's where, you know, somebody that's done it for a living and as a career, the things I can identify with my systems, with my approach that I've done, tried and tested again with lots and lots of different businesses and lots of different sectors, you know, I can actually get to a result probably far quicker with, with my approach than if you try to do it yourself. Actually, yeah, you concentrate on growing your business and yeah, let me come in and work with your teams, and identify where these areas of opportunity are.

Josh (00:08:12) - Is it possible to over manage and overanalyze? I was just kind of thinking about this on the you know, kind of the logistic go the procurement size. Have you ever gone in like, whoa, whoa, whoa, you guys, this is overkill. Here's way we're, you know, allocating way too many resources toward this. Is that possible?

Keith (00:08:33) - It's probably rare. I would say, if anything it's under resourced. I think the bit you can, the, the bit you can do, and I've always used the term pragmatism a lot in business is you can overanalyze potentially where you think you need to have an impact. So by that, you know, take Pato, you know, 80 20 generally speaking, you know, know, most organizations will have a core set of products of services, of suppliers that if you get those right and spend the time and energy on those things, they make a material impact on the sales or profitability of the organization. And there's always a tail, whenever I've gone into a business, there's potentially hundreds if not thousands of suppliers that do small parts and small deliveries for businesses that actually yeah, collectively make a difference. But individually they're very small. So I think that's the bit to watch is, you know, don't try and don't try and do everything cuz actually you, it's a law of diminishing returns.

Josh (00:09:32) - Yeah, yeah. Sure. Sure. As someone, let's say someone has kind of come up, they started an smb, started growing, scaling, you know, they're now seeing that this is getting a little, like, there's a lot going on. What would be some of those initial K KPIs that you think are gonna be pretty valuable data points when we think about anything that might fall into the kinda the procurement bucket?

Keith (00:09:59) - Yeah, yeah. Well look, I mean I've got, I've produced a scorecard actually that enables a business. It's about nine questions, uhhuh. And it answers things like have you got contracts, really basic, right? Have you written down the terms of how you do business? Have you got some service level agreements? And I mentioned that already in the discussion. Have you got some objectives together? Doesn't have to be hundreds, but what are the two, three things that you want to deliver in terms of that space? And I mentioned earlier about promotion. You know, most businesses will probably want to grow, therefore have you articulated what your growth plan is and made sure that is firmed up with your supply base. Cuz otherwise guess what? You're gonna be in the queue. You know, the person that's been really proactive and got in front of their supply base and sold, you know, their principles of what they want to do as a business, they're the ones that are gonna be, you know, front and sender.

Keith (00:10:52) - You know, we people deal with people. If you're a business that's growing, who wouldn't want a piece of that, right? If you are gonna be buying more from your supply base, that's gonna in turn help them. So I think some of those KPIs around availability service, you know, we talked about the importance of the customer and how, you know, ultimately it's all about service and the needs of the customers. So been really clear on the expectations of service performance targets, objectives, who you meet, where you meet, you know, holding people to account, you know, if we say we're gonna do this, who's gonna do it? When are you gonna do it by? So it's all about that, again, that term professionalism to make sure that yeah, you're really delivering on these things as a collaborative approach with your supply base.

Josh (00:11:36) - Yeah. And, your website is a key, right? You'd mentioned checklist. I don't know if that's available to share or is that something that you just kind of use to go through with folks, but are there any resources or maybe long form content or just something that might be a great next step for someone that's been listening to our conversation?

Keith (00:12:01) - Yeah, there's, there's two. I mean, if you visit the website, it's a little bit annoying if you've been a few times, but it pops up. First thing you'll see is take, take the free scorecard, you know, pop an email addressing and you can immediately take the scorecard. I'm pretty prolific on LinkedIn, so , you know, I love, I love producing articles. I've just written a book that's due to be published later in the year, but for now, probably my LinkedIn profile. There's a lot of published data in there. I write a lot about procurement. A lot of hints, A lot of tips. I've been published in quite a few articles, across various different publications. So the, the LinkedIn profile is probably the one that you can get a lot of free content. I'm really passionate about sharing. Mm-hmm. , you know, this, this topic and giving, you know, giving out hopefully good hints and tips to my network.

Josh (00:12:49) - And, you know, regarding, you know, someone that may have, maybe they searched you, they found this podcast or listening to the conversation. Who are the folks out there that probably really should reach out and grab a conversation? Like, I don't know if it's, maybe there's some pain points that they might be experiencing. Mm-hmm. , they don't know that it's actually a procurement issue, but how might they know that they need to at least start having those conversations with you.

Keith (00:13:21) - Yeah. I think it's someone that probably owns a budget and, and runs, either owns a business or runs a function. So my typical client I've worked with procurement, yeah, heads of procurement, chief purchasing officers. I've worked with CFOs, I've worked with CEOs, I've worked with managing directors. I've worked with private equity backed kind of businesses that are really interested in looking at the, so it's really anybody that has, I would say understands the, the customer proposition of their business and is maybe concerned that, I would say that they're, they're spotting some issues. So communication might be amiss. They might be getting customer complaints and not quite understand why. It could be quality. They could have stockouts in their business, they might be seeing inflation, right? Inflation's mega, particularly here in the UK or on base, and inflation's still running a market, another Bank of England interest rate hike today.

Keith (00:14:18) - So inflation is a challenge, but with a procurement strategy, you can deal with that by having robust open conversations with your supply base. So actually being on top of that enables you to, you know, manage that inflation line and actually, you know, be more competitive again for your customer base. So there's, there's quite a few things. Often, you know, when you boil them down, like most things in life, there's, there's probably two or three things you, that complexity, consistency, customer service, that probably bubble up to the surface is saying, you know, those are the things that you would identify.

Josh (00:14:52) - Yeah. All right. So your website again, Keith is k wright What do they click on when they go there? I, oh, I see a schedule box in the box. I would, oh, it looks like, it looks like you do free introductory calls.

Keith (00:15:09) - Yeah. Yep. Yep. They, they can book straight into Calendly. So yeah, I'm delighted to talk to people sometimes, you know in this wonderful world of networking, you know, I have lots of conversation. I'm talking to people every day. I had a really cool conversation with somebody in Nigeria today that was talking about , really smart innovation in terms of air quality. And I thought, wow, that's amazing. It's not even in the UK yet. So yes. Yeah, definitely conversations with people about, you know, how you can connect. You never know having a brief conversation what doors that may open either way in the future. And it's really cool meeting people and having those types of types of data. Yeah.

Josh (00:15:46) - All right. Keith Wright, again, procurement expert, business consultant and managing director and founder of k Wright Consultancy, found on the To our friend that's listening, just click, try to find the show notes. We've got a direct link Keith to your website, spend a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us.

Keith (00:16:05) - Thank you, Josh. Pleasure.

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