22 January 2009 | Jake Kanter
Purchasers must do something that "scares" them every day to make a positive impact over the next 12 months, according to the former CPO of British Airways (BA).
Speaking at an event for CIPS fellows in London last night, Silla Maizey, customer director at BA, said the economic downturn means there is no better time for purchasing to influence the board and "stand up and be noticed".
She called on the audience of senior buyers to be bold and help their organisations tackle the difficult market conditions. "Being scared gives us emphasis and reason to survive," she said. "You have to have a vision. Barack Obama painted a vision at his inauguration when he said we live in a 'new era of responsibility' and I think this was very important."
Maizey also said it was important buyers break out of the profession's traditional thinking: "It irritates me when you hear 'Oh, procurement's not on the board'. It's not about labelling yourself, we are all individuals." She urged purchasers to adopt four attributes - courage, candour, confidence and character - to be effective this year.
Simon Sperryn, chief executive of CIPS, added that procurement had reached a "tipping point" and would migrate from the "back room to the board room" as it continues to influence corporate decisions.