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AOP Introducing

AOP Introducing… Fine Tune

By April 9, 2024April 10th, 2024No Comments

For more than two decades, Fine Tune has been helping procurement teams manage some of their most complex, burdensome, and high-stakes expense categories. With all of that experience comes hard-won insight into precisely what it takes to address seemingly unsolvable spend management problems.

To find out more about Fine Tune’s ‘recipe’ for expense management success, especially for highly complex categories, I recently spoke with their CEO Rich Ham. Since co-founding Fine Tune in 2002 – in a basement, no less – Rich has overseen the company’s growth journey from a small team and a handful of clients to a large network of in-depth category experts and their current large roster of Fortune 1,000s and Fortune 100s, responsible for hundreds of millions in annual spend.

And, even though Rich says Fine Tune itself isn’t technically “in” procurement, they do serve and support procurement programs, particularly those that need help managing highly complex categories like waste and recycling, pest control, energy and utilities, security guard services, or uniform rental services. 

With a background in the industrial laundry industry (which Rich refers to both as a “maddeningly complex category” and as Fine Tune’s “Trojan horse” in which they entered the market), he acknowledges that these categories could strike the “unindoctrinated” as a kind of “hodgepodge of expenses.” But, he says, “when you talk specifically with procurement folks about supporting these categories, they go, ‘Yes, I get it – these are the most complex expenses in the indirect services world.’” 

Offering a solution for some of procurement’s prickliest expense problems isn’t easy, but Fine Tune has 22 years under their belt learning exactly what it takes. They’ve created a bespoke 3-pronged model that includes 1) world-class category expertise, 2) technology via their custom in-house auditing software, and 3) dedicated, continuous management. “Without any one of these legs,” said Rich, “the strategy doesn’t work … but if you bring them all together, we’re solving complex challenges for our clients.”

By taking this approach and positioning themselves as an advocate and support team for their procurement clients, Fine Tune is able to help organizations not just with cost and time savings in these categories, but with sustainability and ESG initiatives as well.  

“Bringing sustainability – which is really a passion of mine and my founding partner, Matt Smith – into what we’re doing at Fine Tune is very exciting, and our clients are more and more asking for our assistance, whether it’s better sustainability data or carbon-reduction initiatives,” said Rich. “You name it, we’re really excited about the work that we’re doing in that space!”

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