The Financial and Professional Services side of Procurement Heads has recently taken on three retained roles with KFM. To understand more about the company and what the roles will involve, James Dobbin spoke with Prince Ahmed, Senior Commercial Procurement Partner at KFM.
Could you give us an overview of who KFM are and what you guys do?
KFM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kings College Hospital London.
It has been running for about seven years and we provide a fully managed service to Kings College Hospital and the Princess Royal University Hospital.
We look after the procurement and supply chain aspect of it.
We do a fully managed end-to-end service.
Over the last year or so we have started to expand outside the remit of KCH and started to look at a few other private customers who have approached us to look at their procurement, supply chain and other business areas that they are running, so we are looking to expand into the private sector as well.
What led you to KFM?
It was about three years ago now, KFM are fairly new, KFM had the mandate to start operating, so when I looked at KFM back then it was a new organisation that was growing and was leading the procurement and the managed supply chain for one of the biggest trusts in the country and I think we are wholly-owned by KCH, but we are a private entity, so I think that dual approach to procurement that we are not 100% public or fully private so there is a bit of leeway we have and that was really exciting.
Just to join an organisation that was up and coming and had new challenges led me to join KFM.
Can you tell me about your role and the procurement function?
In terms of my role as a Senior Commercial Procurement Partner, I was a Senior Category Manager for about two and a half years and about nine months ago, when as an organisation we decided to expand our horizons, I took on the new Commercial Partner role.
The role consists of going out looking at the different models of procurement out there in the private and public sectors.
I think KFM, because of the experience we have in procurement and supply chain to one of the biggest and busiest hospitals in the UK, has such a vast amount of experience in the team, so we decided to go out to the market and my role is to go to the market and get new business into KFM and expand our portfolio in the procurement side of things.
There is a clinical procurement team that is solely responsible for KCH then we have a private team that is responsible for the private hospitals, they do the end-to-end procurement and the category planning there.
So, we have two teams that combine into one as one sole KFM procurement team.
So, would you say your role sits slightly outside procurement now, doing some consulting and business management as well?
Yes, that is spot on, it is like a hybrid role with us at the moment, it is procurement getting savings and making sure the clients are happy with what we doing in terms of procurement, but then the other half of that is going out and building strategic partnerships both nationally and internationally and expanding the portfolio.
So yes, it is very much a hybrid role looking at procurement, consulting, and commissioning roles where we can help other private and public hospitals.
How would you describe the culture at KFM?
The culture has changed a lot over the last few years, it is very dynamic, innovative and fast-paced.
I think the management team has worked hard to change the culture to be a much more commercially-focused business, one that thrives on having open-minded people, leading the sector.
Not being a traditional NHS organisation as such, but being a fast-paced private organisation where we can go to market and be one of the market leaders in some aspects.
We have been awarded a lot of procurement awards, and we have got to the point where we have changed the culture, it is very dynamic we want to mirror ourselves to the likes of other management health care consultancies out there.
We have taken on three new mandates with KFM at Procurement Heads, two of which sit with you.
Can you talk us through those roles and what you are looking for?
The first one is a Commercial Procurement Partner role, we want someone with a bit of consultancy background, someone with that flare and has gone to market and consulted different clients and knows how important it can be and how complex it can be at times to deal with stakeholders from different organisations internally and nationally, it is very fast-paced.
Someone who knows the market and is confident in delivering a project to an external client.
The second part is the procurement aspect, so someone with a strong procurement background who knows the best practices.
They know the best and different ways to find savings and added value.
It is a mixture of consultancy and procurement background together that would be the ideal candidate for this Commercial Procurement Partner role.
The Commercial Procurement Analyst role is very similar, there will be working with a large amount of data, our clients and prospective clients will approach us with a lot of data.
We have 20-30 suppliers who will provide us with a lot of data in terms of trying to win business, trying to give their new catalogue pricing, so this Analyst role will be someone with very strong analytic skills, someone that has used power BI and power tools in the past, what we have seen is the analytical roles is that power BI and power tools are becoming a very big and useful tool.
Going forward and at KFM we use that a lot, hence why we want someone with experience using these tools.
I think someone who has a wide range of experience using analytical tools and some health care experience would be good.
In terms of the more senior role would as a pre-requisite someone needs to come from a healthcare background?
It would be advantageous, but what this is is it is about selling a healthcare service, supply chain, and procurement so it would be a big advantage for them.
A healthcare background would definitely help, so I would say it is essential for this role to have some healthcare background.
What is your office policy and where are you based?
The office is based in Denmark Hill, we have a hybrid working policy we allow our members of staff to work from home and come into the office when needed.
We have got a hybrid working policy for the last two years and we are looking to roll that out.
We are flexible in terms of office working and each manager has their own rules and schedules in terms of when they need their member of staff in the office.
For these two roles, I am very open, for the Commercial Analyst role coming into the office isn’t always beneficial, as long as they are in once a week, and they get everything done then that ticks my boxes.
The Procurement Partner role as it is a bit more client-facing, I would say at the bare minimum of two days and a maximum of three days for now.
Would there be any travelling involved?
There would be some travelling needed when we go to meet external clients or prospective clients.
Are most of those clients based in and around London?
Hopefully, in the future we will expand nationally and internationally but for now, our clients are all London-based.
Are there any qualifications you think would be beneficial to these roles?
I think both of them having a degree helps definitely, for the Procurement Partner role having CIPS or MCIPS would be an advantage, and CIPS for the Procurement Partner would give them some more flexibility in terms of the knowledge they have within the sector.
If someone has the experience and they don’t have CIPS, then I see that fit for purpose and I am happy to take either the qualification or experience in this instance.
What other benefits do you offer at KFM?
We have got the usual cycle to work scheme, we have a contribution policy, a dental scheme as well.
We have a buy and sell policy for annual leave, at the end of the year staff can buy or sell leave.
There is a bonus scheme of up to 10%, 5% individual and 5% company based.
We have a private pension that goes up to 6% matched by the company.
What makes KFM different to your competitors?
It is the perfect time to join KFM, where we are now is building a portfolio, we are going out to the market, it is a really exciting time for us.
We are actively speaking to international clients as well, we are looking to roll the commercial side of the business and yes someone that has the drive and enthusiasm to join a fast-moving company that is growing.
We are growing year on year as a company.
Joining now gives you every opportunity to grow as an individual and gives you the opportunity to be promoted in the future Now is the best and most exciting time to join the company.