"The future of procurement is technology, innovation and sustainability. We will need to push the envelope to build new initiatives," says Sia John. ©PerthPhotography.com
"The future of procurement is technology, innovation and sustainability. We will need to push the envelope to build new initiatives," says Sia John. ©PerthPhotography.com

Best advice? Ask questions, says Sia John

The category buyer at Compass Group in Perth, Western Australia, talks to SM.

How did you get into procurement?
My first office roles were in marketing and merchandising, which provided a good insight into the world of supplier relationships and contracts.

What was your big career break?
After 12 years, I was ready for new challenges and secured a position as assistant buyer with stationery company OfficeMax, where I managed the day-to-day running of two big categories.

What does an ‘average’ day look like for you?
I could be working with a supplier to negotiate a deal or looking through data, networking with internal teams, or researching products and ideas online.

The best part of my job is…
Learning and growing – and you definitely get that in procurement. My role plays a huge part in ensuring we secure the best deals for our clients and it feels great to know that what I do makes an impact.

My current top challenges…
Trying to juggle studying for my co-joint degree, which requires at least 15-20 hours of study per week on top of my full-time role, parenting and sport.

Tell us something about your organisation.
Compass is a world leader in catering and support services, employing 10,000 people in Australia alone.

What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Ask questions. Surround yourself with people who will help you grow – I am so grateful to those who did.

What advice would you give?
Learn as much as possible about your role and how it fits into your organisation. Your ability to influence internally and externally will be incredibly important.

The future of procurement is....
Technology, innovation and sustainability. We will need to push the envelope in terms of collaborating with suppliers – to develop and build new initiatives.

Who is on your fantasy dinner party guest list?
Barack and Michelle Obama, for their fascinating stories, and Serena Williams for sporting inspiration.

What is at the top of your bucket list?
To watch an All Blacks game at the 2023 Rugby World Cup and graduate with double degree honours.

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