Hewlett-Packard’s procurement teams aid perks

Hewlett-Packard has improved its worldwide benefits offerings by working with its procurement teams. Euan Hutchinson, international benefits manager EMEA at the technology firm, said that by partnering with procurement teams across the world it has managed to make significant savings on benefits such as company cars and risk benefits. He said that the procurement team brings a different set of skills to benefits bargaining and are more experienced in service delivery and risk management, which leaves the HR teams to focus on policy and staff. But he added that the intangible advantages even outweigh the financial savings. "This is not just about getting a good deal. It’s about having success by improving terms and service delivery for employees." It has developed a set of cross-border frameworks for many of its benefits such as its pension policies and company cars. Hutchinson said: "We have been trying, where possible, to standardise from the highest level on a country-to-country basis. We recognise that market practice in each [territory] is what drives us and government legislation and tax laws will all drive very different types of retirement programmes and health and welfare [planning]. But there are a lot of things that actually underpin those programmes that are standard across the world. "The reality is that you couldn’t have one standard car policy but what you can do and what HP has done is develop a core policy framework." Hutchinson added that Hewlett-Packard, which merged with Compaq in 2002, spent a number of years on integrating the two businesses and now it has reached the point where he can start to think long-term about its benefits plans.