Buyers emerge from recession with greater responsibility

12 April 2010

12 April 2010 | Allie Anderson

Most purchasers anticipate that their job responsibilities will increase as the world begins to recover from the global recession, the latest SM100 poll has found.

Some 82 per cent of international purchasing professionals who answered the survey said they believed their roles would expand. Many welcomed the opportunity, having demonstrated their value during the financial crisis. “Those who have done so will not only continue with the increased responsibility and influence but actually continue to increase that scope of work as proven deliverers of added value,” said Neil Dixon, procurement manager at vehicle leasing company LeasePlan. “It will be a short-sighted company that sends procurement back to the corner when the good times roll again.”

Christina De Luca, CPO for refining and marketing at BP, said the recession had given organisations the impetus to gain better control of cost and inventory. “This is the bread and butter of procurement and supply chain management. I think it is a lesson many firms will remember for several years.”

Others commented that reduced headcounts had created pressure on buyers to take on more. One said: “This, together with a re-alignment of duties, will increase workload but give buyers better and stronger career growth.”

However, 17 per cent of poll respondents thought their job responsibilities would remain the same. For Martin Wakelin, purchasing manager at industrial group Trelleborg, the recession had simply been a catalyst for the “repositioning” of procurement. He told SM: “The focus on cost has increased the focus on purchasing and allowed us to become more embedded in day-to-day business processes. The challenge is to maintain this position when the focus moves away from cost.”

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