12 April 2007 | Antony Barton
Many buyers think it is not essential for heads of department to have purchasing experience, according to the latest SM poll.
A third of respondents to the survey of 100 buyers said leadership skills were more important, especially when the head could rely on the knowledge of other staff.
Others claimed leaders from outside procurement would offer fresh views on problems or introduce new skills. Yet some said it was arduous explaining processes to a boss driven by savings, and procurement would be accepted at corporate level only if bosses could argue its case effectively.
Christian Verity, procurement manager for civil engineer JN Bentley, said: "Management tools can be taken from job to job, but procurement skills have to be honed with experience."
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