Procurement progress

4 January 2007
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04 January 2007

The role of procurement professionals has changed significantly over the past 10 years and there is "tremendous opportunity" to develop the profession even further, according to some of its senior members.

The procurement leaders were talking at an event in Brussels last month, organised by Supply Management's sister title CPO Agenda.

Speakers included Silla Maizey, head of procurement and finance operations at British Airways and Tom Rae, senior vice-president, corporate purchasing, at automotive supplier Continental.

According to Maizey, procurement has gone from being "relatively transactional" through to something that is "quite commercial".

She cited BA's current relaunch of its Club World business class seat as an example. "When we did the last launch, 10 years ago, procurement's role was just to put the contract in place," she said. "This time my team was also actively involved in the design phase and working with marketing and engineering to deliver the programme, which is commercially important to our business."

Nando Galazzo, vice-president, procurement, at Belgium-based petrochemical firm Borealis, described globalisation and consolidation as two major factors that have opened up procurement development opportunities. "The market that used to be next door is scattered across a wider part of the world map," he said. "And business is increasingly in the hands of big, well organised suppliers."


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