September 2010 | Lindsay Clark
managing indirect procurement should see themselves as internal consultants
focused on influencing stakeholders instead of simply offering cost savings,
according to Guy Strafford, client director of buyingTeam.
at the CIPS Conference 2010 yesterday, Strafford
– who works for a procurement outsourcing company – said that buying indirects required
a distinct set of professional skills, because ultimately your stakeholders choose
which suppliers to use.
are not deciding,” he said. “That immediately has a huge impact on the skill
set required, because it is not your call: you are an influence.”
many purchasers may not have joined the profession with the role in mind, those
in indirect procurement are, in fact, consultants, Strafford said. “Once you
get over the self-loathing, it’s actually quite a key point to the nature of
what we are and what our role is.”
said the key to developing internal relationships in order to influence was not
to lead the conversation with savings, because that is not the top priority for
guys are not buying to save 5 per cent,” he said. “[For example], the marketing
director is not trying to save money, he’s trying to raise the brand profile.”
clients include British Airways, Morrisons and Siemens.