My way to the top - Vickie Malyon

15 October 2009

22 October 2009 | Vickie Malyon

Win trust and gain experience in other departments says Vickie Malyon, head of procurement at the RSPCA

Buying revolution at the RSPCA

The RSPCA, like most other organisations, is under financial pressure to reduce costs and has launched a three-year plan to save £35 million.

The procurement function was established in December last year because a more strategic approach to controlling spend was required. This involved recruiting up to five category managers, implementing a centralised purchasing system and introducing spend control and policies. The procurement team is now seen as a major contributor to the savings target.

Winning over stakeholders

Many organisations have similar procurement issues. I enjoy working in an area where I have little specialist knowledge with stakeholders who have doubts about procurement.

When I look at new projects, the first question I ask myself is "how could we do this differently?" It's a good feeling when you see a stakeholder's attitude changing as they realise you understand their issues and can propose solutions.

I love encouraging other people to be positive and open to new things and we often find the biggest doubters can end up being our biggest supporters.

My best achievement

As a buyer on a global logistics sourcing team at Gillette, I had to investigate ways to make the processes more efficient at the worst-performing warehouses. I learnt a lot about distribution and as a team, we saved millions.

People should try to get as much varied experience as possible and look for opportunities to work in different departments to see things from another point of view.

Global recognition for purchasing

In five years I'd like to see procurement properly integrated and understood across the RSPCA. I'd also like to think we would have successfully achieved our objectives and that everything is bought with a purchase order. Across the world, I hope procurement is recognised for the value it brings to an organisation at board level.

CV: VICKIE MALYON

Career history:

2008-present: Head of procurement, RSPCA

2007- 2008: UK procurement manager, Damovo UK

2001-2004: Indirect procurement manager, Gillette Management

Education: Business administration, University of Huddersfield

Hobbies: Cycling, travelling in France

Favourite film: The Departed

Most treasured possession: Bianchi road bike

Greatest fear: Fire

Guilty pleasure: Marks & Spencer jelly sweets


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