Summer, February 2014

Care to transform

The Faculty Lead Procurement Transformation in Dhaka

Business transformation in your own environment has its complexities. Transformation in another culture and in a not-for-profit organisation takes this to a whole new level.
Recently appointed as part of an international tender process, The Faculty is working with icddr,b; a world-renowned global health research institution located in Bangladesh, to deliver a world-class, best practice procurement function.

“icddr,b has challenged The Faculty to marry our procurement expertise with what is a particularly unique operating environment,” says Andrew Hooke, Commercial Director at The Faculty.
Employing nearly 5,000 staff and supported by the governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and funders such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, icddr,b operates in an environment with a wide array of challenges.
Fresh from a project management trip, Andrew explains:  “Bangladesh is a developing country: poverty, urbanization, and the effects of poor public health provision are in evidence everywhere. Much of the infrastructure – power, roads, sanitation– that we in Australia take for granted, just doesn’t operate in the same way in Bangladesh.”
“Because of its global standing and its significant size, icddr,b is an employer of choice,” says Andrew.  “The institution attracts some of the brightest research minds from around the globe.  It has access to outstanding and highly educated talent, indeed many of the procurement team are bachelor educated and in many cases, MBA qualified.”

“icddr,b demands international standards in its research and  best practice in its  procurement function.” Andrew explains: “Organisations who donate significant funding to icddr,b need  to know that the institution is delivering optimal value for money outcomes. Waste and carelessness are not an option in an organisation that depends on public funds.”

Led by Senior Consultant, Manu Khurana, The Faculty team will spend 12 months working with icddr,b; reviewing every aspect of the existing procurement function, developing a new operating model and strategy, and embedding capability through systems, processes and people.
As in any transformation, a key factor for success is sponsorship and commitment from the broader organisation. “We’re blessed with an outstanding executive team at icddr,b who are not only committed to the new procurement platform, but are helping to drive specific initiatives”, says Andrew.
“Everyone at management and Board level understands that Procurement can turn $1 of funding into $1.50 in value for the organisation,”
He continues: “To bring this to life, icddr,b’s hospitals treat as many as 1,000 people per day, and costs over $3 million to run. Delivering improvements on just $3 million translates to another hospital and over 200,000 patients treated. Now that is worth the transformation.”
Planning, reporting, communications, content development and project management are complicated by the multiple tyrannies of distance, time, skill set and culture.   “We have Faculty personnel on the ground in Dhaka and with our broader project team based back in Melbourne, this project has challenged us to innovate in the way we manage large scale transformation projects,” says Andrew.
And while this transformation covers every aspect of the procurement function, incorporates all elements of the institution including the hospitals, clinics and research centres, what really excites Andrew, Manu and the team is that The Faculty are responsible for delivery.
“This transformation requires us to assess, build and then work with the institution’s procurement team to deliver a working global best practice function,
“This builds on our own model of sustainable improvement with consulting, leadership and training all included and mutually dependent, to achieve the best possible outcome”.
“All care and no responsibility is often the label pinned to consultants,”  says Andrew, “but it falls well short of the reality here – for our team its more ‘all care and all responsibility’.


To discuss your procurement transformation, or find out about The Faculty's consulting projects, contact us on +61 3 9654 4900 or via email