About Marc1 Ltd

Marc1 Ltd is recognised internationally for its thought leadership in procurement, shared services, outsourcing and efficiency generally. A regular adviser to government committees and other bodies, Colin Cram, its managing director, is well known in many parts of the world as a conference speaker and chair and for his journalism, broadcasting and workshops. He will have chaired and spoken at 30 conferences in the UK and Internationally in 2012/13.

Marc1 Ltd has established itself as a first choice consultancy for many private and public sector organisations. It has access to an exceptional range of consultants, dedicated to delivering outstanding and on-going results for its clients.

About Colin Cram

Colin M Cram FCIPS

Managing Director, Marc1 Ltd

Present Positions

  • Managing Director of Marc1 Ltd, which is recognised internationally for thought leadership, consultancy, conference and training services. Clients have included major UK and international public and private sector organisations.
  • Chief Executive, Open Forum Events Ltd
  • Contributing Editor, Guardian’s Public Leaders Network (National UK newspaper)
  • Executive Fellow, Academy of Procurement Professionals, Institute for Competition and Commercial Studies, Bangor University.
  • Associate Fellow at Manchester Business School (University of Manchester)
  • Member Association of Asia Strategic Sourcing Alliance
  • Member Academic Advisory Board to the Association of SE Asia CEOs

Career Résumé

  • As Creator and Director of leading edge joint and collaborative public sector procurement organisations for the past 30 years, Colin was responsible for securing efficiency improvements from third party spends of up to $10bn a year. Cash savings from his initiatives exceed $1.5bn pa. He has been responsible throughout for initiating and implementing innovative strategies for procurement, shared services, outsourcings, tackling monopoly supply situations and cartels, trouble-shooting and organisational re-engineering. He was a pioneer of ‘Lean’ procurement.
  • His teams provided contracting support for major projects, including the 4th most powerful computer in the world and a specially constructed Antarctic research ship. His breadth of experience of UK public sector procurement is unrivalled.
  • In the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, Colin initiated the drive to improve UK public sector procurement. He initiated the pan-public sector procurement training programme.
  • Colin pioneered public sector outsourcing policy in the 1980s, which has led to the UK government being at the forefront of service outsourcing.
  • A trained fraud investigator, one of his initiatives in the 1990s led to the continued drive to address UK benefits fraud. Since then, savings have run into many $billions.

Major Reports

Adviser to Government and Public and Private Sector Bodies

Colin has been a member of EU working groups on innovation, procurement and sustainability, has been an ‘expert witness’ to UK Parliamentary committees and has advised on various reviews of public sector procurement. He has been consulted by politicians of main political parties and has advised the team reviewing National Health Service procurement and the Cabinet Office on central government procurement. Recent published reviews on which he provided advice include:

Broadcaster, Journalist and Business Awards Panellist

Professional Journals. Colin is a regular contributor to professional journals and web-sites including:

Broadcaster. He has been interviewed several times for BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Radio 4 and 5 Live and Procurement Insights (Canada).

Awards Judge. Colin is a regular judge on awards panels for business and the public sector including for the Health Service Journal, Municipal Journal and National Business Awards.

Conferences and Workshops. Colin is a sought after speaker, chair and programme designer for UK and international conferences, seminars and workshops.

UK Conferences, Events and Workshops in 2012/13. 30 events including:

  • Combating Procurement Fraud
  • Transforming Procurement
  • Organising Procurement to Deliver Exceptional Results
  • NHS (National Health Service) Procurement
  • Procurement for Housing
  • eWorld Purchasing
  • Lean Government
  • Income Generation
  • Shared Services
  • Association of University Administrators Wales Network Conference
  • Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Local Government Procurement Network
  • Round Table Debates: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Government Computing

International Conferences, Events and Workshops in 2012/13. 16 events in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Johannesburg

  • Strategic Procurement Fraud
  • Transforming Procurement
  • Creating World Class Procurement Strategic
  • Procurement and Contracting
  • Public Sector Procurement
  • World Class Procurement


  • London School of Economics Strategy and Management Consulting Conference
  • Bangor University: Procurement Week 2012 and 2013
  • University of Manchester Business School: ‘Underpinn’ Conference

Other conference topics for which Colin has chaired and put together programmes in recent years include Managing Public Sector Procurement, Local Government Procurement, Greening the Supply Chain, Outsourcing, Managing the Deficit, Efficiency and Reform, Operational Efficiency Programme.

You Tube. See Colin on YouTube.

Past Positions

  • Director (and founder) of the North West Centre of Excellence. This led the drive for efficiencies through collaboration, joint procurement and better practice across 47 local authorities.  Its scope included procurement, construction, shared services, health and social care and the English lead for local passenger transport.
  • First Director of the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium, increasing membership from 13 to 22.
  • First Director of the Benefits Agency Contracts Organisation (which he created and where he pioneered a category management approach to central civil government procurement).
  • First Director of the Research Councils’ Procurement Organisation (which he created and which was the first procurement organisation in the public sector to provide a complete procurement and contracting service to independent bodies).
  • Head of the Research Equipment Affinity Group (which he created), a collaboration of universities to reduce the costs of research equipment.
  • Founder Member of ProcHE – to develop strategies to address UK higher education’s $6bn annual procurement spend.
  • A founder member of the Central Unit on Purchasing, created as a result of his procurement reviews and reports to secure much better value for central government procurement.
  • Senior Adviser to the Office of Government Commerce.
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the University of Glamorgan Business School.
  • Chair: Information Society Alliance (EURIM) Procurement Committee.
  • Member of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).
  • Trustee of the CIPS pension scheme.
  • Fraud Investigator with Customs and Excise

Qualifications and Professional Membership

  1. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (FCIPS).
  2. Member of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives).
  3. Member of IACCM (International Association for Contract and Commercial Management).
  4. Honorary Associate Fellow in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research in Manchester University.
  5. Executive Fellow, Academy of Procurement Professionals, Institute for Competition and Commercial Studies, Bangor University.
  6. Associate of ResPublica.
  7. Member of the Society of Purchasing Officers.
  8. Associate Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
  9. Royal Military College of Science (now Cranfield University): Diploma in Management Services and O and M

In The News

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