Focus on the how, not how much, buyers urged

3 May 2007
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04 May 2007 | Paul Snell

Buyers should be more focused on implementing deals, rather than negotiating them in the "new era" of purchasing and supply.

According to Tim Minahan, a former procurement analyst and now senior vice-president of marketing at e-procurement firm Procuri, continuous improvement in purchasing and supply is now more important than setting up the deal. "You have to realise that supply management is a true end-to-end process to achieve the best results," he said.

Minahan said buyers should ensure their buying strategy is aligned with the business goals, that the best procurement people are used and training is provided "early and often".

He added CEOs, CFOs and other departments are turning to procurement for help, because it often has the knowledge about suppliers needed by other parts of the business. By making this knowledge available buyers could earn a seat on the board. "Shamelessly market your results," he said.

He claimed much of procurement's focus had changed in the past few years from looking internally to make efficiency savings, to looking externally to make savings in the supply chain.

But Craig Dowling, head of global sourcing at Barclays, said that buyers should not disassociate themselves with cost-savings. "Often the only objective the COO is interested in is cost reduction," he said.


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