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Simon WhatsonPrincipal

Career background

Prior to joining Efficio, Simon was a strategy consultant in Oliver Wyman’s energy practice. Before that, he spent five years working for BrainNet Supply Management Consultants in both Germany and the UK. His career started in industry with a role in the European supply chain team of global firm Wolseley.

Simon has a BSc in Mathematics from Durham University, which was completed with a year’s study in Strasbourg under the Erasmus programme.

He is a native English speaker and fluent in both German and French.

My role

Simon joined Efficio in 2015 as an experienced hire, having previously spent time in both industry and consulting roles. He is a multilingual, senior project leader who manages international teams of consultants to deliver large-scale procurement transformation projects, many of which are global spanning a range of sectors.

Simon is also a digital procurement expert. As well as supporting clients to develop and execute digital procurement strategies, he has hosted events such as the inaugural World Digital Procurement Summit in 2019 for senior procurement professionals. He has written several articles on the topic and been quoted widely in the procurement press. In 2018, he led the development and launch of Efficio’s first piece of thought leadership on digital transformation, in cooperation with Cranfield University.

Experience and recent career highlights:

  • Procurement Transformation – Financial Technology Company (UK/US): Conducted a rapid two-week opportunity assessment on all third-party spend and built a six-month procurement transformation plan. Led a team of consultants and client stakeholders across two continents to deliver above-target savings through price reductions, demand challenge and specification challenge. Efficio was awarded an additional two years managed service assignment to complete the transformation of the existing function to world class, including a significant shift to digitally enabled procurement
  • Procurement Managed Service – Utility (UK): Managed team of 15 consultants to deliver a managed procurement service to a large client alongside 25+ client resources delivering over 5% savings in a mature procurement landscape on a large annual spend. Managed the smooth transition and handover of a world-class function back to the client at the end of the agreement, including upskilling new hires and the team, and the implementation of procurement technology
  • Digital Procurement Study – Global: Led Efficio’s global study on digital transformation of procurement in collaboration with Cranfield University and publication of a thought leadership piece entitled: “Procurement 2025 – Is the digital transformation driving more effective procurement?”. Study included results from an industry-wide survey and expert interviews. Presented findings at a launch event for industry professionals, which also included a panel of experts debating the topic
  • Digital Procurement Roadmap development – Pharmaceutical (SWI): Conducted a series of trainings and workshops with this blue-chip client’s procurement leadership team and developed a five-year digital roadmap encompassing all elements of transformation across the procurement value chain


What I like about Efficio

Aside from the chance to return to procurement, Efficio has also offered a culture that suits me perfectly. Born and raised in the UK, I've always been keen to use my French and German language skills and Efficio offers endless travel possibilities for those who like the international aspect. Additionally, it blends the friendliness and warmth of a small company with the scale and leading thinking of a large one. As it has grown, Efficio has managed to retain an environment in which anyone with an idea is encouraged to come forward and develop it with others. That, together with the opportunity to work with exceptionally smart people on a daily basis, is why Efficio is a great company to be part of.

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Using technology to create a more user-friendly procurement experience

Procurement departments often cite a lack of engagement from the wider business as a key reason for why they can’t add more value to their organisations.

Do procurement leaders feel let down by technology?

A large majority of procurement leaders believe making better use of existing digital procurement technologies is a key next step in their digital journeys

Using technology to develop strategic supplier relationships

In our recent survey around two-thirds (64%) of respondents agreed that strategic supplier relationships will become increasingly important as companies look to achieve their future objectives

Ensuring a positive return on technology investment

A recent Efficio survey of 225 procurement leaders found that technology is driving significant activity in their organisations.

M&A procurement: How early engagement can help post-merger transition

We look at how early engagement with procurement teams can help smooth the post-merger transition.

Carillion: Key lessons for suppliers

Following Carillion's compulsory liquidisation what actions should procurement functions that employ these types of companies take to ensure proper financial controls are in place?

Three Brexit questions CFOs need to ask their CPO

In an article first published in Financial Director, Simon Whatson highlights the three Brexit questions CFOs should be asking their CPOs today.