Credit where due

2 November 2006

2 November 2006 | Paul Snell

Procurement should not claim savings they've made for other departments as their own, purchasers have been told.

Dr Gordon Murray, procurement programme manager at development agency IDeA, told the newly launched Association of Procurement Practitioners in the Fire Service that buyers should be generous in crediting colleagues.

"Do not claim that you brought in suppliers or that you reduced costs," he said. "Let them claim the savings and be benevolent, because you couldn't have done it without their money."

Murray said procurement could only improve its profile with the support of other functions. "Purchasers don't have an automatic right to sit at the top table," he said.

He suggested buyers assist those at lower levels in the hopes they will pass the message of procurement's value up the hierarchy. Murray said procurement needed to take a more professional approach to the business by developing a purchasing strategy for the whole organisation. He also warned that increased professionalism would compel purchasers to leave behind some parts of the job.

"Buyers want to constantly bring 'shopping' with them," he said. Some focus too much on this element of procurement, he said, because it is this part of the job they enjoy the most.

"Perhaps it is the shackle that destroys us. Don't let shopping distract you," he added.

* The Association of Procurement Practitioners in the Fire Service was launched last month to improve the expertise of fire service buyers. It will also act as a networking organisation. It was set up by the Chief Fire Officers Association and Firebuy, the service's national procurement body

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