Who are we?

Our Procurement team is at the heart of how the Partnership operates as a business. We dedicate ourselves to achieving the best possible value:

  • We create value through the tenders we run and contracts we negotiate
  • We protect value through the support we give to our business stakeholders in managing their contracts and supplier relationships
  • We assure value through our detailed and diligent supplier on-boarding and risk management processes

We’re a team of 65 talented Partners, representing a diverse range of backgrounds and ways of thinking, and collectively, we are responsible for a spend of over £1.4bn each year on Goods or services Not For Retail (GNFR).

What we’ve set out to achieve

The Partnership Plan, our business-wide 5 year strategy, articulates 2 very clear missions for Procurement:  Deliver the necessary reduction in our cost base that will enable us to afford the investment we have planned; and Provide an assured supply base and where risks exist, those risks are known, owned and managed.

The long term sustainable future of the Partnership depends on Procurement delivering its missions.  To enable this, we sit in the same directorate as our Commercial Finance colleagues to amplify our voice.  We report progress into the Executive and with our colleagues in Finance, hold the Partnership Leadership to account for their delivery against savings targets.

We are broadening our horizons as well, and the value of Procurement to the Partnership goes beyond savings to the P&L.  The experience of our Partners help secure new routes to market, new revenue streams, new technological innovations that improve customer experience and all the while managing supply chain risk and playing a significant role in achieving the Partnership ambition to be a Force For Good.

What makes us different

First and foremost is the unique nature of the John Lewis Partnership.  We still call it an experiment almost 100 years on but we genuinely believe we have a better way of doing business.  Every employee is a Partner.  This means we are co-owners of the Partnership.  We have responsibilities beyond our job outlines to act and make decisions on behalf of the business and Partners past, present and future.  Our democratic ethos holds our leadership team to account. Truly working together as a team for the same common purpose.  To find out more about our history and being a Partner visit:

Second to that, we are going through a digital revolution implementing a new end-to-end, source-to-settle solution.  This new system will give us a raft of benefits and open new exciting opportunities.  Not only do we have a new sourcing solution that has enhanced analytical capabilities, not only do we have a new requisition functionality that will for the first time give us crystal clear classification of spend data, but we will also benefit from an exemplary new risk assurance process.  Across multiple risk domains, the Partnership will see where the risk lies in our supply chain.  And through the integration of this end-to-end solution, those risks identified in the sourcing process will feed directly into the contracting process, and drive action plans for the contract managers throughout the business.  This digital revolution will drive transparency and accountability throughout the Partnership and is such a step change in capability, that Procurement have been tasked with deploying this solution to enable the Goods For Retail buying teams to benefit as well.

The investment Procurement is receiving from the Partnership Board is unprecedented in the function’s history.  The faith and commitment shown in the value that our Profession brings to the business is significant, and a responsibility for us to live up to.  The Partnership has continued to invest in Procurement throughout the Covid-19 crisis and it gives us an incredible springboard to deliver our strategy.

What role could you play?

Our function splits up into a number of different specialities.  Whether you’re early in your career or a seasoned professional, there are roles in Procurement that will suit you.  Under our Head of Procurement, this is how we are set up for success.

The Partnership is structured around recognised “Professions”.  These are teams and departments that have a common purpose and skillset.  Partners representing a range of Professions from across the business will come together, deliver a project, and then disband to join the next piece of work.  This flexible, matrix style working is our way of responding to the dynamic nature of our industry, while maintaining centres of excellence to leverage skills development and knowledge sharing.  

Within the Procurement Profession, we have 4 distinct teams outlined below:

Category Planning & Sourcing

This is a team of business partners and experts in negotiation. Engaging with their stakeholders early in the cost cycle, these Partners seek to negotiate the best possible deal to achieve their stakeholders’ objectives.

Procurement Leads
These Partners lead the 5 category teams outlined below. They sit on stakeholder leadership teams and contribute to the strategic direction and decision making of functions throughout the business. These Partners also manage their teams, plan workloads and facilitate opportunity workshops with stakeholders. They bring their knowledge and skill to bear to drive the function forwards. Our 5 category teams are:

– IT
– Marketing & Print
– Property
– Supply Chain
– Retail & Professional Services

For more information on the challenges and opportunities each category is facing, please refer to the job advert for any open vacancies we have.

Procurement Managers
These Partners are the engines of the function. Owning subcategories within the 5 category teams, the Procurement Managers engage with their stakeholders, plan out projects, find potential suppliers, own the source to contract process and negotiate the contracts that the Partnership relies upon.These Partners work with their stakeholders to build medium – long term subcategory plans and use their deep knowledge of their areas to contribute opportunities and to help manage risk.

Procurement Specialists
The Specialists in the Category Planning & Sourcing team have a dynamic responsibility. At times they will own their own subcategories, and at others they will provide the fresh energy and capacity to support Procurement Managers to deliver complex and high profile projects. These roles naturally come with diverse and flexible responsibilities often requiring rapid response and an agile mindset.

Procurement Specialists – Print
A core team in the Marketing & Print category, these Specialists are dedicated to the sourcing and delivery of any and all print media required. Usually these are in support of our branches, ranging from regular magazine pints to special ad-hoc requests for promotions or health and safety guidance. The work these Partners do is highly visible and has a direct impact on our customer’s shopping experience.

Procurement Specialists – Consumables
A core team in the Retail & Professional Services category, these Specialists are responsible for the smooth facilitation of operational consumables. These are items without which our branches could not open or operate safely. These Specialists work with our preferred suppliers to ensure the right products are in the right place, at the right time – balancing operational risk with commercial considerations.

Coupa Ecosystem

This team are in the vanguard of Procurement’s digital revolution. From the implementation of our new end-to-end Source-to-Settle solution with Coupa, to the integration of multiple other systems and continuous improvement of the entire landscape, the Ecosystem team give us the systemic tools to perform.

Procurement Lead
This role is responsible for the Procurement function’s systemic strategy. This responsibility extends beyond the traditional Procurement remit and now encompasses significant elements of Finance and Governance. This Partner owns the system roadmap and the relationship with Coupa as our strategic partner.

Procurement Manager – Configuration
These Partners ensure the technology deployed does what it needs to do. They work with system providers to review and test upcoming functionality, execute seamless deployments and then work with stakeholders from across the Partnership to continuously improve the user experience.

Procurement Manager – Content
This Partner leads the team that makes sure the system contains all the tools, templates and is set up to streamline the user experience. Working with the Configuration Managers and other users, this Partner manages requests and ensures users across the business have the training required to maximise the system efficacy.

Procurement Specialists
These Partners have a mixed responsibility. Some have a dedicated remit to support a particular area of content, such as system catalogues and the sourcing process. Another has a roaming remit to support the Procurement Managers triage business requests and manages activity logs for the Coupa team.

Supplier Management

The Supplier Management Team (or SMT) own the Partnership’s GNFR supply base. They are central to the Partnership’s strategy to rationalise our suppliers and act as a centre of excellence for contract and supplier management capabilities.

Procurement Lead
This Partner sets the strategy for the GNFR supply base. Working with stakeholders across the Partnership, this Partner extols the virtue of rationalisation, and evangelises the centre-led contract and supplier management capability. This Partner owns the implementation of Procurement’s supplier risk management and assurance process.

Procurement Managers
These Partners define what best practise supplier management means for the Partnership and work with contract managers throughout the business to embed those techniques.

Procurement Specialists
These Partners manage the GNFR supply base. They proactively seek opportunities for rationalisation, support stakeholders in fulfilling their requisition needs, and guide and coach user led sourcing for low value / low risk requirements.

Procurement Development

This team owns the development and implementation of the Procurement Functional Strategy. As part of this broad remit, the team are responsible for the integrity of our data, reporting on performance of the function and policy compliance, and translating Partnership wide strategies for Ethics & Sustainability, and People into functional plans. All of the roles in the Procurement Development team have a flexible remit and are encouraged to proactively develop their workload to identify and deliver on opportunities.

Procurement Manager
Leading this team, this Partner engages with stakeholders around the business to understand their needs and how Procurement can support their plans or strategies. These then feed into the development and evolution of Procurement’s functional strategy. This Partner is also the department’s lead on providing commercial and negotiation consultancy to other functions engaging 3rd parties outside of the traditional procurement remit. This could be mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures or concession arrangements.

Procurement Specialists
These Partners champion data integrity and seek opportunities for greater integration and access to data. They also work to provide the visualisation of that data for the function and other stakeholders. These Partners have a very flexible remit and are encouraged to dedicate time to developing insight from the various data sources and to investigating opportunities they find to support the business deliver efficiency benefits.

What next?

If you’re a Procurement professional looking for the next move in your career, take a look at our current vacancies. If you cannot find a suitable position at the moment, register for job alerts and follow us on LinkedIn for future updates.

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