Hi, I'm Ian,
By qualification I am a mechanical engineer, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering & Management Studies from Imperial College London, way back in 1985. Since then my working life has encompassed project management, procurement and consulting.
After 25 years of being an employee, I moved into consulting in 2010, and was a director/consultant with the niche procurement consultancy PMMS/ArcBlue for 7 years.
Today, my main focus is on helping the capex and construction project industries to increasing return-on-investment for project clients, whilst at the same time increasing profitability for the supply chain. This involves changing how projects are procured and managed, and reassessing the suitability of perceived 'best-practice'.
My book, The Executive Guide to Breakthrough Project Management, which was published in late 2016 describes the idea. Whilst simple in principle, and based on proven improvements, it still represents a significant change in how this kind of project is managed.
I know that persuading people to make this change will not be easy, but I want to try. I have always been driven by improving things, and this is a field that I am convinced can be significantly improved, and that I can make a difference to.
Well not so much a traditional bullet-point CV, but more my career story about what I did before.
If you do want to see my CV, please get in touch using the form below
In 1979-80 I spent a year before university working at a chemical factory, and on graduation in 1985, I joined what at the time was one of the largest chemical companies in the world - ICI.
I spent the next decade working in maintenance and on projects to upgrade and build new production facilities. When ICI split itself in two in 1993, I went with the Zeneca half, and it was during this period that I first held a procurement role.In 1996, after over a decade working on the 'client-side' of the table, I moved to work for a service provider - Eutech (then owned by ICI, subsequently acquired by ABB), where I managed projects for paying clients, as well as delivering training in project management, and specialist consulting assignments.
One project that I managed for Rohm & Haas, was executed using the then innovative contracting approach of a Project Alliance. As well as being a good project for the client, this project was recognised with the Teesside Business Award for Supply Chain Excellence, as well as being a demonstration project of the Government-supported ACTIVE initiative.
The consulting assignments included validating the project management capabilities of managers in a major petrochemicals manufacturer, facilitating value analysis and risk assessment sessions for clients' major projects, and an internal project to acquire and move to new HQ offices. An interesting assignment in 2000, took me to the Ukraine not long after the opening up of Eastern Europe, where I carried out a project feasibility and readiness audit for a private investor.
In 2000 I moved back into procurement in the pharmaceutical industry at Glaxo Wellcome, as Global Capital Sourcing Group Manager. Within a year of my joining, Glaxo merged with Smithkline Beecham to for GSK, and the challenging and responsible position that attracted me to join Glaxo disappeared as part of the post-merger changes. I fairly quickly left GSK after that, and moved into management consulting with REL (now part of The Hackett Group).
At REL I worked on a major procurement transformation for Sears in the USA, and several short working capital improvement projects in Europe. I worked on, and later managed, a major assignment for steel maker Arcelor, helping them significantly improve inventory and customer receivables management.
After a few years with REL, in 2004 I was tempted back into procurement, as Head of Procurement at the UK's leading M&E construction contractor NG Bailey. In 2007 I was appointed Group Director of Supply Chain, leading a team of over 70 procurement staff. During my time there I led a major transformation in how procurement was managed across the business, delivering significant financial and operational benefits. Part of this programme was recognised with a UK National Training Award in 2007.
In 2010, I moved back in to consultancy with PMMS (now operating as ArcBlue). PMMS/ArcBlue is one of the longest-established niche procurement consultancies in the world. Initially I worked as a UK-based consultant, then in January 2013, I moved to Dubai as Managing Director of ArcBlue Middle East - setting up a new office in the Gulf region. in the Gulf, our main initial client was CIPS - The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, for whom we designed and delivered all the regional training, and I acted as CIPS's MENA Head of Training.
I returned to Europe in 2015.
In late 2016 I changed to working part-time with ArcBlue, to allow me to work independently on other projects. Since mid-2017 I have been fully independent.
I live in the north-west UK, midway between Manchester and Liverpool airports. I also spend quite a bit of time in Switzerland, where, when I am not working, you can find me walking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
I am passionate about improvement. As a consultant I will always be honest and give you my opinion, whether it is what you want to hear or not! That is what my clients expect of me, and that's how I deliver most value. If you want a consultant to reconfirm your opinion, even if they disagree, then I'm not your person.
I travel to wherever in the world my clients want me to be, though, thanks to technology, a lot of my support is given remotely.
Copyright 2019 Ian Heptinstall