03 October 2002
Sir Nick Scheele, president and chief operating officer at Ford Motor Company in the US, has urged purchasers to be more proactive and sell themselves to the boardroom.
Scheele told SM, in a filmed interview to be shown at the CIPS annual conference next week, that purchasers are "a strategic weapon that every company should use. But if it doesn't, that's because you haven't been able to communicate, to sell the value that purchasing brings."
Purchasing is clearly a strategic function and often makes the difference between a profitable and unprofitable company, said Scheele, a former Ford purchasing manager and since late 2001 second only to chairman Bill Ford Jr within Ford.
Last year, the firm lost $5.5 billion on sales of $162.4 billion and has set a target of mid-decade to regain a healthy profitability.