24 October 2008 | Jake Kanter
The CEO of CIPS has urged buyers to seize a "window of opportunity" during the financial crisis to push procurement on to the top table.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on sustainable purchasing in London last week, Simon Sperryn (pictured) said the profession must prove its worth during difficult economic circumstances. "There's a recession and everyone is panicking about survival and their immediate response will be, 'We've got to protect our margins,' so the spotlight will be on purchasers. I think we have a window of opportunity," he said.
"We're going to be brought into the boardroom now and while we're there we have an opportunity to develop the value we bring to the company in more strategic ways than simply getting the price down."
The chief executive added buyers must help their companies to ensure consistency of supply. Sperryn said they can help their organisations to become the "customer of choice" among vendors and make responsible purchasing decisions to mitigate the risks of decreasing raw materials. "The decisions we make about who and where we buy from will become the key decisions that define our businesses."