Richard has worked across a wide range of marketing disciplines, in both marketing and procurement, for organisations such as Diageo, RHM, and SmithKline Beecham. In addition, he has worked in industry sectors including finance, automotive, FMCG and the public sector. Richard also supports procurement personnel in achieving their professional qualifications.
Richard’s background and approach
What prompted you to start contract compliance auditing marketing agencies?
I have spent most of my career constructing agreements with all kinds of marketing agencies and suppliers. I believe that it’s always possible to improve on what’s gone before if we understand what’s working well or less well. Compliance auditing enables both clients and agencies to take an objective view of the situation as it is, and it provides a platform upon which something better can be created.
How have your previous experiences in business helped you at Financial Progression?
I have worked in procurement, marketing and finance for organisations such as Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, the NatWest Bank Group and Pernod Ricard. I have worked internationally and have experience across a range of commercial roles – although it all started in the National Audit Office back in 19can’t remember …
What is it you enjoy about working in branded businesses or directly with marketers?
So much of an organisation’s marketing activity is effectively “outsourced” to its agencies and suppliers. That means there are are risks and opportunities to identify, establish in a contract, and subsequently manage. I have always enjoyed working with people trying to create value where two organisations meet. In branded marketing businesses the stakes are higher due to the potential impact marketing has with its customers and consumers. That makes it more stimulating and interesting to me.
What is the most challenging situation you have come across in a senior marketing or marketing procurement role?
I have found the most challenging situations arise when business-to-business relationships break down. In my experience a gap can open up between the expectations of various stakeholders in the two businesses, and the perceived quality of the outcomes that are being achieved.
We all know open communication is key but the challenge arises to do this when trust has been eroded, for whatever reason. Sometimes even the most useful relationships benefit from the support of a third party to help everyone see things as they are, not how they might otherwise perceive them to be. Gosh, it sounds like I’ve come to understand that business relationships need some “relationship counselling” sometimes – and maybe that’s a useful way of describing it.
How would people describe you?
Which part of your work gives you the greatest sense of achievement?
Making a useful contribution to making things better.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a young family – what spare time!?
When I can I like to walk in the hills and I like to create.
Life is short, but there’s time enough to learn something new and see what happens next.