13 May 2004
Delegates heard effective marketing is the key to ensuring senior management understands the value of purchasing.
Speaking at a workshop at the ISM conference, Timothy Campbell, director of operations purchasing for tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris, said purchasers needed to tell everyone in their company the benefits of a strong procurement team.
He said: "If you are seen as a cost centre, you are going to be asked to reduce your staff and expenditure. But if senior managers regards you as a profit centre, you are going to grow your team as you show more people how great the savings are you can make for your company."
Campbell said purchasers had to show people the money spent in procurement was nowhere near as significant as the benefits it won for the organisation.
"Generally, procurement provides financial benefits seven times greater than the amount of money it spends, he said."
An effective approach to demonstrating purchasing's value to chief executives and the board was identifying how it could help them to meet their aims.
Purchasing officers should then track those measures and design an effective marketing campaign to let customers, suppliers and other departments know of their success, he added.
Campbell said marketing must be factual, honest and credible and grab the attention of the target audience.