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4 min reading time
If you could earn a 16 times return on your investment, would you?
Of course you would!
When my new friend Lee Robinson, a purchasing consultant with @LimeAssociates, told me that’s a “typical” return for his clients, I knew I had to share it with you here.
Joe Hage: 16x my investment?!
Lee Robinson: Ha ha! Yes. 16 times. But first, let me tell you a little about us.
Joe Hage: Please.
Lee Robinson: Lime Associates is a specialist Purchasing and Supply Consultancy based in the UK and we serve the entire world driving value for all our clients. We work entirely in Med Devices.
Joe Hage: Your LinkedIn profile has the auspicious letters MCIPS following your name. What does that mean?
Lee Robinson: Well, this is the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. Very prestigious for purchasing professionals…. I’m also chairman of the CIPS Health Technology group here in the UK, with members from all over the world, UAE, US, Africa and Europe. Helping purchasing people the world over with their medical buying needs.
Lee Robinson: OK, we work with all med device companies, from small/medium enterprise to multinationals. Typical clients are Smith & Nephew, Genzyme, Owen Mumford, etc.
Projects include anything that reduces cost or maximises value to our clients, such as low-cost sourcing or supply chain efficiency projects. We’ve delivered £12m in savings in the last two years.
Joe Hage: Ok, take us through the Smith & Nephew example. They hire you and …?
Joe Hage: It does. Give us more detail, if you can, so my readers can understand exactly what you’d do if they hired you.
Lee Robinson: OK, so another project for a UK device manufacturer we changed their source of medical cartons and saved over £1m in cash.
Another company, start up, we introduced a new supply chain for them helping them get their product launched.
Lee Robinson: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We can add value to all companies regardless of their experience.
Joe Hage: I’m not as familiar with purchasing. If a company has a purchasing department, why would they outsource to you?
Lee Robinson: Well, it may be time or resources. Sometimes they can continue with the day job and we can work on strategic projects to add value.
Joe Hage: I’m big into “point of difference.” What is Lime’s point of difference versus any other purchasing consultancy?
Lee Robinson: Lime Associates is the only consultancy in the UK which focuses 100% on the Medical industry. If I may say so none of our competitors understand the regulation in the way we do. And that’s important in our industry!
Joe Hage: What types of regulatory hurdles need understanding?
Lee Robinson: Change control mostly, and the need for proving efficacy etc when making a change to a product.
Joe Hage: Which change control products have you used? Can you recommend “the best one” to our members?
Lee Robinson: We stick to the suppliers procedures for Change Control, because we try not to introduce anything new.
Joe Hage: You were saying that you rarely use software. Rather, you work with the client’s regulatory department. Is that right?
Lee Robinson: Yes. As purchasing, we have to comply with procedures, and our client’s Regulatory departments may use software.
Joe Hage: We in America have group purchasing organizations, known as GPOs. They aggregate purchases/pass bulk-purchase savings to members.
Joe Hage: I would think this would be a service every client would leverage.
Lee Robinson: Most! It offers simple, quick and easy cost savings with very little effort so it’s fairly compelling.
We’ve yet to find a company we couldn’t add significant value to in their Purchasing and Supply Chain practices…
Joe Hage: This sounds like a no-brainer for “found money.”
Lee Robinson: It really is! Our projects are entirely self-funding!
An average engagement for us is 9-10 months, and we’ve yet to work on one where the savings weren’t at least 16x our fees.
For one company, we returned 68 times their investment in our services!
Joe Hage: Incredible! Wow, Lee, very enlightening. Thanks for sharing today. Is there anything you’d say to the Medical Devices Group?
Lee Robinson: I’m an open networker and happy to connect with the group. If I can be of service, I will be.
Thanks for having us today, Joe.
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