Our Clients

We Are

…specialising in procurement

We have worked within a broad range of sectors whose common mutual goal is the demand for unprecedented talent. Our breadth of experience has helped these companies succeed in providing factual insights towards a successful hire.

We work with our clients to identify the precise attributes required for their business, moving away from the conventional approach to recruitment.

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Our Clients and Candidates

Our clients and candidates are both equally important to us. We work with a range of organisations seeking intuitive ways to attract outstanding talent. Several of our clients have either provided cloud-based procurement solutions or consulting services required to optimise and implement them successfully.

We truly understand procurement, the skillsets required to deliver, and how to attract talented executives. Our network and knowledge has organically grown through personal relationships based on a foundation of trust and respect.

Here are just a few of our recent client projects and candidate successes, to give you a flavour of how we work and what we have achieved.

Martin Hook – UK MD, Ayming (Business performance Management Consultancy) UK & GERMANY.

“Iain and his team have provided Ayming both with an Interim CPO and 2x Managing Directors in Procurement who would run our procurement practice at two separate sites of ours.

We have used various generic executive search businesses historically, with many of these companies having sold us on the size of their databases and the quantity of roles they have placed. But Iain and the team cut through all that and got straight to the heart of what we needed, helping not just with finding the right people for the roles we had, but also helped guide our thinking when it came to building the new practice. With very little effort (from our perspective) they introduced us to a qualified selection of procurement professionals, two of whom we’re now happy to say are a permanent part of our team.

Does Sourcing Solved add value? Absolutely, they understand the issues that come with procurement, helped us develop our strategy and continue to explore options with us, collaboratively. They are who we call on first for supporting our delivery of a client’s organisational change management program who may require an executive search company to fill gaps in the executive line-up…”


The Project Brief:

The client was keen to move procurement away from the typical procurement model and for it to become a strategic partner of the overall business, and therefore required a new position of a Cluster Director to manage the implementation.

The transformation of the whole procurement organisation itself involved changing the perception of procurement; its processes and culture. The influential factor in this change initiative required addressing internal mind-sets, how procurement historically interacted with the overall business, and what needed to change.

Sourcing Solved were commissioned to headhunt for a ‘Cluster Director’ position, who would ultimately provide the CPO with additional leadership support and who shared similar values, passion, drive and have a strategic mind-set.

They would drive change in professional services and possess the ability to use creative thought processes to overcome complex problems so needed to be experienced within this field, with a strong ability to enhance the vision of the CPO and the organisation.

Our Approach:

Our first approach was to have a face-to-face conversation with the CPO, to understand the key challenges internally, how he approached change and the overall plan to address this.

We then created a unique specification that was both visually engaging and empathetic, and demonstrated the current challenges and planned career progression. This specification defined a clear journey, key challenges and the complexities of the position. The specification required input from prospects, to map out their first 100 days, their approach, and how they would manage and influence the team and key stakeholders.

Having spoken to over forty prospects and assessing all, we reduced these down to three leaders who demonstrated the right understanding and emotional intelligence, coupled with the right approach to change. After much consideration and discussions with the client, we hand-selected one particular individual, who had a healthy blend of managerial talent and the capabilities of influencing with the right EQ to manage change.

Offers and on-boarding:

To support the CPO in budgetary requirements, Sourcing Solved provided the CFO with a benchmarking report and financial data, to assist in designing the desired overall package for the successful candidate.

In the months following the start date, we provided ongoing assistance to ensure both parties had the necessary support required throughout the on-boarding period. It was found that this helped to facilitate a smooth transition, using open and honest communication with all parties.

When did you first work with Sourcing Solved?
In February this year (2019), I was contacted by Iain regarding the leadership role at Cap Gemini. I was very interested in the position due to the way that this opportunity was described and presented to me from the outset. Through the entire process Iain and the team communicated and kept me up to date, it felt great to be well informed about where I was throughout the journey.

What did you like about the process?
From the first and last communication received from Sourcing Solved, it felt really personal and engaging in comparison to others. I really felt Iains’ passion for the role, and even though we talked via webcam this came across on screen. Iain ensured I fully understood the role, what would be expected of me, the career developments available and what the process would entail.

Did you find the process empathetic and personal?
Yes, I really understood his approach and how it was different to a normal recruitment process. It was clear from the outset that it was less about numbers and more about getting the right person for the role and the right fit for the company. The specification design and compiled by Sourcing Solved and Cap Gemini was truly unique and representative of the role.

What was different about the executive search process?

As well as the professional communication received throughout (which I hadn’t received from the standard recruitment method), I was asked by Sourcing Solved to complete a 100 day plan which detailed the actions and steps I would apply to the first 3 months in this position. Following this, I was asked to answer specific questions around my understanding of how I would engage with stakeholders and how I would align my strategy with the companies objectives.

What other experiences have you had with standard recruitment consultancies and how does executive search compare?
The standard recruiters who I have previously engaged with made me feel that the process was rushed, with most of my interactions being on the telephone. They never invested time to meet me, understand me as an individual and the majority of the questions they asked were very basic and only around my skills and experiences. In addition I wasn’t informed of the timelines or given enough time to prepare.

The executive search approach was completely different, it was structured, informative, thorough and certainly felt more professional and empathetic. To me, I felt Cap Gemini had differentiated themselves from their competitors by using such a unique approach.

What three words would you use to describe your experience?
Positive energy, thorough process, personalised experience.

The Project Brief:

A review undertaken by an external management company, highlighted the need for a new CPO position who would be able to design, implement and deliver the new strategy aligned the required internal changes.

Our client had identified the need for greater visibility of spend under management and to do so required the support of a talented CPO to create value by cost reduction, providing greater collaboration and transparency through their supply chain. The CPO position was pivotal to the organisation, as paper was a declining and competitive market place.

Sourcing Solved worked collaboratively with the chairman and CFO, to establish the core competencies required from this new position, and to ensure that our search process was aligned with the board and the precise assessments required to measure the CPO’s abilities to succeed in such a decentralised organisation

Our Approach:

As the board had previously engaged with external CPO’s, with little success, it was our responsibility to understand from their original search what they felt was missing from these candidates and what core competences were needed to deliver change.

The Specification:

Designing the CPO specification required many discussions and invested time to decipher their interpretation of the overall procurement strategy, and how they envisaged how they would increase spend under management.

We worked with them to identify their overall strategic plan, milestones which they agreed on and how they would capture the data necessary to capture this spend. And also, to what extent they would transform the organisation from one that which was locally driven, to one that is led by a centre of excellence.

As part of this process, and to provide us with an accurate context of the requirements, we used mind mapping to create a fuller picture of the role and its progression. Using this method enabled us to create a unique specification which detailed the scope of change, purpose, priority, as well as focus on the benefits this CPO would achieve when creating this new procurement function to lead valuable and measurable change.


Within this phase of the process, we benchmarked CPO’s who we believed had an entrepreneurial approach to procurement, and who could provide a detailed analytical approach focused on identifying value and differentiating the good and bad costs from one another.

The Selection Process:

During each initial discussion with potential candidates, we assessed body language, how they interacted, their creative energy, how they worked collaboratively, their authenticity and how they forged the trust with their team and stakeholders.

The timescales for delivering this project were exceptionally tight, so to speed up the process and to help with our search, we chose to take the extra step in undertaking an HTPI test as part of our selection process.

We contacted one CPO as part of the benchmarking process, the Chairman and CFO felt they no longer required further searching to commence as the perfect CPO had been delivered in the second phase of the process. The data compiled by Sourcing Solved corresponded both analytically as well as from an emotional intelligence perspective, which they felt was the main characteristic needed to deliver change at this scale.

Offers and Onboarding:

Sourcing Solved provided the CFO with a benchmarking report and financial data to assist in designing the desired overall package for the successful candidate.

In the months following the start date, we provided ongoing assistance to ensure both parties had the necessary support required throughout the on-boarding period. It was found that this helped to facilitate a smooth transition, using open and honest communication with all parties.

Darren Hall – CEO, Franklin Dayim – (industrial and commercial vehicle hire) FRANCE.

“I first met Iain while I was Managing Director at Safetykleen (UK/Europe). One of my key challenges was to find a Procurement Director who would be able to build a procurement function from scratch.

It became clear very quickly that Iain understood the Procurement process and what skill-set was required to develop and implement a newly formed procurement strategy. What also became apparent was that our best interests were his priority. He introduced procurement professionals who could win the hearts and minds of our stakeholders.

Iain came across very professional, spent time understanding the issues of the business and the challenges attached to the role while maintaining friendly and open dialogue. The process was efficient and thorough, delivering tangible results.”

Fidel Sesumaga – Director, Westinghouse EMEA. SPAIN.

I have had a strong relationship with Sourcing Solved for over 10 years. As the Director of Westinghouse EMEA, I was looking at bringing in a new senior manager in Tarragona, Spain, to drive change with stakeholders who were not familiar with strategic procurement.

This was a very challenging task: profiles of this nature are not easy to identify. Normally experienced people in Category Management or Project Procurement support functions are used to working in well-structured environments, where they apply well-defined seven or 10 step strategic sourcing processes. It is harder find industry people who can work outside the box and help establish a function from the start, including building relationships with challenging stakeholders.

I required Sourcing Solved to deliver a fully referenced and qualified shortlist of candidates. The team presented us with three candidates: we interviewed three and hired one of them. This was done in a fast and timely manner. All candidates fit the profile which impressed us and also stakeholders that participated in the process.

Retention is something that is very important for us at Westinghouse. Iain and the team found us a great candidate who has been in the business now for over seven years, and is highly valued.

Iain is certainly someone I respect as a contact within the procurement and supply chain space. He understands my needs and screens the candidates thoroughly before selecting them. When I interview a candidate presented by Iain I know I’m not wasting my time.

The Scope:
The CEO and Co-Founder of Vortal acknowledged the need within the business to promote growth and create a new territory for their cloud procurement platform.

Historically, their previous methods of attracting mid-level talent hadn’t the desired outreach. Many applications received lacked experience who could meticulously plan a clearly defined customer segmentation strategy within a new sales territory, establishing goals, and effectively tracking progression within each segment.

The Challenge:
Hiring an experienced and cohesive sales leaders can be a challenging task, especially in the sales process complexity. There is an average of 6.8 decision-makers who are involved in each B2B buying process. Attracting successful Sales VP’s who have a holistic approach to sales, mapping out whom those Executives and the risk attached when using one contact. They had experienced this on many occasions as a consequence; they lost revenue.

The importance to find a VP with autonomy and tenacity to drive sales collaborating with product owners, software engineers, and the Executives on the same vision. Searching for a strategic leader who could deliver with an open communication channel was critical for the executive team.

Our Approach.

The Specification:
Designing Vortals’ specification required many discussion points with the Senior Executives to orchestrate their sales strategy. Throughout our dialogue, we meticulously mind mapped those conversations. Therefore, equipping us with a detailed understanding of their overall business objectives and providing Sourcing Solved with a visual roadmap to communicate seamlessly with the desired impact.

The Benchmarking Process:
On this particular phase, we decided to apply a challenge to the client. Expectations and budget often conflict and the ability to hire from leading providers, which, as a consequence, can be complicated and many showing less enthusiasm when making a lateral move. Many of which are looking for promotion, therefore this impacts on their desired remuneration, scope and territory.

We felt the value of one particular VP wouldn’t compromise on quality. He was able to plan a successful course of action which in turn would maximise revenue using the most cost-effective sales model.

The Selection Process:
The benchmark Sourcing Solved suggested resonated highly with the senior management team, and they agreed to make an offer. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances, the candidate declined the offer. Having undergone this exercise, the client communicated their appreciation in our ability to challenge methodically and rationally, which led to us becoming a valued and trusted advisor based on our foundation of trust and respect.
Afterwards, we proactively initiated a new short-list due to the urgency of this particular search.

Being able to understand rationale requires open dialogue. Being curious, enables us to ask the right questions providing the ability to understand everyones thought process.

This session would entail discussion points addressing the critical topics. In these meetings we studied each VP, monitoring their body language in response to questions on their quota, success, and how they communicated the best course of action to maximise a new territory and sales revenue.

The outcome of these conversations was for each successful VP to create and present a 30-60-90-day plan to the executive team. Together, we would evaluate their ability to identify the biggest challenges of the territory from a sales perspective and a methodical thought process in how to attack those gaps.

A thorough process such as this visually demonstrates to the executive team the Sales VP’s organisational skills, presentation skills and the ability to communicate with the executive team, coupled with the mindset of a tactical roadmap on how they would implement the plan.

The Selection:
Having gained significant insight to each VP and their explanations which helped to explain quota and performance gap. The outcome of this process shifted their decision on who they believed met the desired criteria which changed significantly, and as a consequence moved swiftly to offer stage.

The Offer:
Having open dialogue throughout the selection process with the Sales VP, the discussion topics of remuneration and targets flowed seamlessly, allowing us to address risk, timescales, support and most importantly notice period up front. As a result, both executives mutually agreed on the appropriate overall package and closed the deal over an evening dinner.

On-Boarding Support:
We maintained an open dialogue with the management team, addressing subjects that required that may arise, which requires outside support and as a result, this particulate VP has delivered substantial value, sales success with retention to date of three years, both Vortal and the successful VP are delighted with the result.

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