11 May 2009 | Steve Bagshaw
"No matter how good you think you are, it isn't good enough. No matter how good you've been in the past, it doesn't matter."
That was Chris De Luca's stark recession warning for buyers at the 94th annual ISM conference in Charlotte, North Carolina last week.
The CPO for refining and marketing at BP also offered encouragement on how to make the most of the opportunities presented by the downturn.
Addressing the panel session on 'Leadership in Difficult Times', she said the "challenge for today" was helping companies survive and this will call for some short-term thinking.
"The prize in five years won't matter if we are not here in one."
Also on the panel was Shelley Stewart, CPO at Tyco, which makes everything from alarms to water purification systems.
"We have suddenly become popular and everything we do has visibility and CEO support," he said.
Buyers must capitalise on this chance, he added, using this as a time to push through some plans which may have been disregarded previously.
"Now we can get the resources for ideas that are pulled off the shelf.