18 October 2007
The wisdom of filling gaps in procurement staff with unqualified buyers was a focus of SM's second "thought leadership debate".
The topic "How to nurture tomorrow's procurement leaders: recruitment, retention and development" prompted a discussion about where to find the buyers of the future. While some delegates contended talent should be sought from different disciplines, others disputed their ability to do the job.
David Hawkins, director of operations at PSL, said: "Some of the best negotiators I've worked with were engineers, because they knew what they were buying. They just needed some terms and conditions."
But others participating in the event at the Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester were unconvinced and claimed this would lead to a loss of technical know-how. "If you just have generalists, you're diluting it [the profession] and what it can deliver," said Martin Toomey from the Northwest Regional Development Agency.