20 September 2007 | Rebecca Ellinor
Procurement must get better at marketing itself internally to progress as a profession and to avoid being outsourced.
That was one of the findings at the first in a series of "thought leadership debates" hosted by SM. The future of procurement - how to capitalise on our corporate position
was held at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London last week.
Stephen Wills, head of procurement at AXA UK, said: "In my experience we procurement people are pretty poor at marketing ourselves. We have the view that it's just our job - we do a great deal but then don't present it to the right people, which means we don't influence enough. We should tell others about our contribution to the bottom line."
Adapting what's presented according to the audience is also key, participants agreed. They added that procurement was no longer about the initial deal alone, but the ongoing management of contracts and suppliers throughout their lifetime.
Heather Rodgers, head of group procurement and supplier management at Centrica, said: "I need to be integral to the business, to show how we're adding value, not just a process function. My focus is where we are adding value and ensuring I am ready for any challenges."