04 November 2004
Communication and drive were two of the crucial skills mastered by this year's individual winners.
Steve Atherton, director of procurement at the Metropolitan Police Service, clinched the CIPS Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year award for his overhaul of the Met's procurement department.
He said good procurement people "must be highly effective communicators, impassioned persuaders and leaders", all qualities he displayed in transforming procurement at the Met from a back-office function into one that directly supports operational policing.
Atherton told SM he had gained satisfaction from his procurement department now being "recognised as a 'real' contributor to the strategic business of the Metropolitan Police".
He is set to become director of the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation at the end of November, having "done the job [he] came to do" at the Met, and goes with its support.
The CIPS Young Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year award went to Paul Parker, sourcing manager in international procurement at GlaxoSmithKline.
He had to overcome cultural differences to set up an e-sourcing programme in 20 international markets, including Africa, for the pharmaceutical giant.
Parker, who is only 24, said: "We had to understand how the different markets worked, then identify the right solutions and tailor them accordingly."
He highlighted Egypt's tradition of haggling as one of the challenges faced in establishing reverse auctions.