Indirect procurement teams must strive to be ‘beacon of excellence’

Gurjit Degun
1 April 2014

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1 April 2014 | Gurjit Degun

Indirect procurement teams need to make their voices heard within companies and strive to be a “beacon of excellence”.

That’s according to Brian Davy, head of non-production procurement at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), who was speaking at the ProcureCon Indirect conference in London this morning.

“Indirects can have an image problem,” Davy told delegates. “You need to be a beacon of excellence. If you think that you are a second-class citizen versus direct procurement, then you are going to get that reaction. We need to display what we’re good at, so much so we made a film of what we do and showed it at our annual staff event and it does attract a lot of interest.”

He added: “Your voice is as significant as any other part of purchasing so create the function in your own image, which is something that I’ve tried to do in the past 14 years, and create the function of expectation and that beacon of excellence. We’re not the poor relation of direct purchasing, what we do is fascinating and varied.”

Davy also said he uses a “playbook” – a presentation of what the team does and its purpose – to engage with senior stakeholders. “Every time I take it to any board director they absolutely love the interactive nature of it,” said Davy. “It’s your shop window, it’s what you can sell to the rest of the business.”

Delegates were told they need to “have a sense of direction” in what they are trying to do. “Our ethos at JLR non-production purchasing is very much to have a can-do attitude,” explained Davy. “I want my team to be self-confident, top-skilled professionals, empowered, competent and collaborative. Our strap line is ‘everybody’s friend and nobody’s fool’ and that’s how we conduct ourselves.”

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