Keeping costs under control in times of austerity

I attended the Public Sector Procurement conference in London last month, where I was privileged to run a masterclass addressing procurement strategies in a world where the focus is on austerity and the expectations of government is to maintain control and compliance.

It occurred to me, during my numerous conversations with people from the public sector, how similar the parallels are across all industries, with the underlying challenge being to drive simplicity into a complex world. It is only when simplicity is at the forefront that we actually remove the weaknesses in our processes.

All too often people think a multi-page document well appended with lots of references is the way to ensure our processes are robust. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you cannot say it in two pages then you miss the point. Communication is all about brevity and laser like focus on the issue, not filling in reams of verbage in the mistaken belief that people can actually spend the time to read it and understand the meaning!

I am all for simplicity in a complex world. Only then will we get to the heart of communication. Say it with meaning and say it often.

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Robert Kirby has more than 20 years experience in the expense management and payments industry, and has led business operations from three different continents. Prior to co-founding Spendvision in 2001, Robert held senior executive positions with Globeset, where he was initially based in Austin, Texas as VP responsible for B2B transaction services. Later he moved to Australia to become VP and general manager of the APAC and Japan business unit. Prior to Globeset, Robert held senior management positions at Telstra and led the development and implementation of eCommerce and payments products and services. Robert has held a position on the Board of the Australian Payments System Council – a body charged with advising the Australian Treasurer on the efficiency of the Australian payments system. He is also a member of the Commercial Payments International advisory board.