A procurement and supply chain specialist who transformed companies across Europe has given his own business a new lease of life.
When Covid-19 took hold in the UK earlier this year, Tom Evans was forced to pivot and change his course of direction to navigate the economic challenge facing all sectors.
As managing director of Pro Outsourcing, he has spent almost a decade working as a consultant and commercial savings expert with blue chip giants of the manufacturing, aerospace, retail, distribution, and automotive industries.
But in March – as was the case for many organisations – the Wrexham-based firm suffered a sharp downturn in client work and was forced to re-evaluate.
Tom decided to launch Purchcare, a venture buying bulk and circulating personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, at a time when they needed it most.
The move was successful as a short-term solution to the pressures brought on by Coronavirus and gave him a fresh perspective on how to be even more flexible and forward-thinking in the face of a global crisis.
Seven months on and with a clear vision for the road ahead, the 45 year-old – who grew up in Ruthin – is fully focused on driving Pro Outsourcing to further success in its second decade.
“When the pandemic arrived we took a hit so I had to quickly pivot and use my knowledge and expertise to create a new revenue stream for us short-term,” said Tom, also a CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) lecturer at Bangor University.
“I’m glad to say that helped us through those tough months for all businesses in the Spring and Summer and gave me time to reflect on Pro Outsourcing and where we want to go as a company.”
He is keen to ‘give back’ to companies in North Wales and believes the way in which consumers relied on the local supply chain is evidence that long-term, organisations should be looking a lot closer at their carbon footprint and granular spend.
“When I launched Pro Outsourcing, I wanted to be different from the norm,” said Tom, who has three children with wife Sian – Joe, Rhian and Ffion.
“I had previously worked for large organisations who would hire a consultancy to produce an expensive report telling them what was required, and then they would leave.
“The first thing I thought about was adding value, so what we do is identify what needs to be improved, what savings can be made, and then deliver the work. Rather than just identifying problems we come up with solutions and see them through.
“You almost become part of the business, you are part of its journey to becoming more profitable and efficient, which is very rewarding.”
He added: “We have worked in sectors across Europe, from the German automotive industry to food firms on Anglesey, retailers, distribution, manufacturing and even the company that makes touch screens for McDonalds, whom we helped grow from a small facility to achieving significant turnover.
“Procurement delivers a range of benefits. It not only seeks to reduce costs and to ensure supply, but also supports strategic organisational objectives such as market expansion and product innovation.
“We evaluate everything, and the result is you spend less, save more and continue to deliver a quality service.”
The impetus now is on rebuilding into 2021 and supporting SMEs and anchor companies across the region as they also lay foundations for the ‘new normal’.
“We really want to help those businesses that have struggled and faced challenges during the pandemic to move forward, to buy more from homegrown firms, look at their culture and ethics and support the UK economy, especially here in North Wales,” said Tom.
“That means being greener, more sustainable and working smart as well as working hard.”
He added: “It’s easier than you think to buy better and to do things the right way for the good of the local and national economy and our carbon footprint.
“One thing this year has shown all of us is we need to be prepared for anything and minimise risk. There is no amount of planning that could have prepared us for 2020, but sourcing locally would have minimised disruption when the crisis was spreading globally. That’s something we all need to consider in future.”