Buyers fear job cut threats

12 October 2008
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13 October 2008 | Paul Snell

More than two-fifths of buyers are worried about losing their job, according to the latest SM Poll.

The latest poll of 100 buyers revealed 41 per cent are concerned by the threat of job cuts at their organisation. This compares to 59 per cent who felt comfortable with their position.

Last month figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed redundancies were up by 28,000 compared to the three months previously and up 18,000 when measured against last year.

Many of those who felt under threat said it was a result of their organisation downsizing and reducing head count to cut costs. Others that work in particular sectors such as manufacturing said lower volumes of work might lead to the closure of facilities and result in cuts.

Even those in the public sector said they were feeling the squeeze, citing budget cuts and the knock-on effect of the economic downturn.

Most of those who were not concerned about their job security put their faith in the value of procurement to the firm in these tough times. Many welcomed the opportunity for procurement to demonstrate its value.

"Now is our opportunity to shine and really contribute to the bottom line ," said Chris De Luca, CPO in BP's refining and marketing division. "Buyers should consider the current climate as a 'call to arms'," added Guy Allen, director of sourcing and supply services at Fujitsu.

David Henshall, president at consultancy Purchasing Practice, said firms will want to avoid the "survivor guilt" that occurred during the 90s' recession, where job cuts affected the morale and productivity of those staff that remained.

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