Personal profile


David has over 25 years’ experience at senior executive/director level driving value and change through procurement and organisational transformation.

David’s varied background enables him to draw on not only his various global experiences, sector diversity and responsibilities within many Public Bodies as well as FTSE 100 companies such as, Inchcape plc., Arriva (DB company), Oaktree Fund Management, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS trust, Westminster City Council, Associated British foods (ABF), Carphone Warehouse plc. (CPW), Barclays Bank plc. WS Atkins plc. & SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline) but also the experience gained in the Construction and Property sectors at the beginning of his career. He therefore has a real feel for the commercial and business drivers of the corporate customer to the private trader and what it takes to deliver sustainable bottom line results in the optimum time frame.

He is currently the Director for Aquitaine Strategy Limited. Delivering consultancy, advisory, training and development for a variety of global companies. He is also the principal advisor and researcher to Wezard, a collaboration advisory and platform specialist. Previously as the CPO for Inchcape plc., responsible for all procurement activity across 29 countries. Establishing a procurement function on a group wide basis with a centre led team of specialists to form a matrix organisation connected across the regions. The group employs 16,500 people and has a turnover of £8 billion. Prior to this David was Asset Management Director for Arriva plc. Responsible for Group Procurement, engineering, Fleet Management, & related Environmental aspects across Europe, including the UK (14 countries and over 63,000 employees, approximately 20,000 buses & 1,500 train sets and more”), Developing and executing a unified strategy for Asset Management across the Arriva business ensuring that the optimised management of our assets becomes a key enabler for business growth and performance. Lead strategic initiatives across the Asset Management function – e.g. competitive advantage from procurement initiatives, asset value optimisations through better fleet utilisation and process innovations. Enhanced data analytics through technology led projects to drive innovation and better decision making. Advised and guided the group wide ERP solution and took a lead role in the continued development and implementation of the asset management elements of the solution. Identification and delivery of opportunities for functional excellence relating to e.g. technological innovation, better information, asset utilisation, process efficiency, and shared applications.

Previously a Non-Executive Director for Westminster Business Council, championing the EU funded mentoring scheme for small businesses. Formerly as the Chief Procurement Officer & Head of Supplier Relationship Management at Westminster City Council (WCC) designed a new target operating model and reduced the headcount by 30%. Instituted a new structured training and development programme, for all staff. Responsible for, and/or leading on all major negotiations for the City Council, as well as being the primary commercial advisor. Developed a new gate review process, toolkit and championed the constitutional changes necessary to bring this to fruition.

At ABF (British Sugar- UK & Poland, Illovo - Africa, Bo-Tian - China) he was part of the Purchasing Leadership Team (PLT) for the £6.5Bn Food giant and divisional Purchasing Director for British sugar and its subsidiaries/Joint Ventures and was responsible for the transformation of the function and the integration of the disparate entities of the group. An agenda founded on collaboration to raise the skills profile of the function, while delivering a 100% improvement in the bottom line savings.

As Group Procurement Director for The Carphone Warehouse Group plc. (CPW), David was challenged with the task of building a whole new function and delivering significant results all within the first year!

As Change Director for the FTSE 100 giant Barclays Bank Plc. Successfully developed and implemented a £150 Million cost reduction programme. In GSK he was the VP & Global Purchasing Director for all capital expenditure, a portfolio of around £500 Million annually, Programme Director for Facilities Integration and rationalisation in Latin America, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dealing with all aspects associated with the £250 Million + investment over a 3½ year period from inception to completion. David has an acute appreciation of the commercial values as well as the cultural diversity around the globe and how to harness multi-cultural teams to deliver.

David has always enjoyed active sports life through cycling as well as being a certified SCUBA Instructor (PADI 641325), Rescue Diver & Divemaster.

Key Research Interests

Behavioural Procurement

To validate the findings from Behavioural Economics (BE) and its impact on the profession of Procurement, Supply Chain Management (SCM) & Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) to establish the validity of a derivative; Behavioural Procurement (BP). Identify the gaps in research and ensure that the project effectively closes those gaps to provide substantive research and experimentation to address these. The approach will include a full literature review up to the point of the project delivery.

The research will primarily evaluate and identify behaviours, segregated by Dependent Variables (DV) & Independent Variables (IV) as they relate to current established practices that deal with the parallel activities in BE as they relate to procurement and management practices that assimilate to the following. Equally the research will adequately document what exists as well as assumptions in the body of the project.

• Game Theory (e.g. negotiation)
• Bounded reality (e.g. known custom and practice)
• Optimism bias
• Planning fallacy
• Hindsight bias
• Impact bias
• Heuristics & biases
• “nudging”

The above are some (not all) of the core actors that are evident in current custom and practice that often impede effective decision making. [Research may expand or reduce the core actors through the rigour of research]. Equally how BE/BP may positively and negatively impact current models that are largely “process driven” and take no account of behaviours as they are often purely data driven.

The approach will seek to both isolate and test variables such as; personality, demographics, organisational model (central, control & command, matrix, devolved), experience, age, gender, culture, etc. in a way that allows these to be assessed for impact as a DV or IV in modelling outcomes.

Evaluate which areas of procurement are more susceptible to impact through behaviours, e.g. directs materials (commodity goods as part of a manufacturing process) versus services (outsourced pension provision, travel management, personal car fleet, etc.). The latter being described as the “more emotional” spend areas.

Experiments shall look at three principal areas;

 Policy change (Sensitivity to organisation and individual, such as Travel, Fleet, etc.)
 Business Case versus moral dilemma (Purchasing printed matter from a non-profit back to work entity versus maximum savings – often the dominant objective for procurement)
 Investments (how risk behaviour influences these)

Develop the scenarios and experiments so that they can be piloted in a survey (probably 20-30 people initially) to ensure realism and the ability to make effective analysis, etc. in a full developed scenario for each area to be subject to experimentation and/or survey. This will be followed by interviews to the surveys along with parallel documented research from BE.

Ultimately the research must ensure that all the variables are verified, understood and documented to allow full comprehension of the experiments and the value they will add to practitioners.

Key Research Interests

My research is aimed at providing a mixed methodology research to contribute to the understanding and impact of non-process and technical skills and competencies that both negatively and positively impact the outcomes of complex procurements in the UK Construction sector. 

My specific focus will be in relation to cognitive frames; institutional theory and contract theory, in order to ensure sufficiency of focus for the research. The Construction sector in the UK accounts for between 9-10% (2.731 Million people) of those employed in the UK, with an output of £164 Billion, involving 296, 093 organisations, according Statista ( 

The UK construction sector refers to the procurement process as “contracting” and in some cases is also inter-changeable to the activity of Supply Chain Management (SCM), especially where a framework of key partners has been established and are pre-qualified to bid. Some key landmark reports (Latham - 1994, Egan - 1998, Wolstenholme - 2009, Construction 2025 – 2013, Farmer Review – 2016, CLC: Procuring for Value – 2018, The Hackett Report – 2018 (Grenfell Tower), have called out a stop to lowest bid and re-bidding of contracts as a practice that must stop. 

In the UK construction sector between 70-85% of the project work is sub-contracted to third parties, i.e. procuring packages of work of varying size, value and complexity to be coordinated by the main or principal contractor. The sector is by and large project based, save for those arrangements that involve partnering and alliancing (circa 4% of all output). Cherns and Bryant referred to this as 'Temporary Multi-organizations' (TMOs) working together on the project. Additionally, there are many organisational, professional and institutional systems of meaning, language, norms, values and beliefs, further complicating the structure. 

The Theoretical contribution of this research is to explore the cognitive frames and framing used, especially in relation to both the formal and informal exchanges in relation to construction contracts and formal agreements/mechanisms.

Key words: Cognitive Frames, Framing & Re-framing, Procurement (Contracting & Supply Chain Management), Institutional Theory, Contract Theory & Temporary Multi-Organisations.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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