Buyers reveal 'sexy' elements of procurement

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
posted by Adam Leach
19 December 2011

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Turning parts into finished products, negotiating great deals and collaboration are the “sexy” features of working in procurement, according to buyers.

When asked by SM to describe the "sexiest aspect of procurement", IT procurement specialist David Morgan wrote: “Finding ways of reducing costs by efficiency rather than just buying the cheapest on face value”. He also suggested collaboration as one of the most exciting aspects: “Meeting suppliers and discussing, how can you solve my problem efficiently rather than just having a shopping list”.

The discussion was prompted by comments earlier in the year that said the challenge of getting indirect procurement right makes it a “sexy place to be” for procurement professionals.

For Trevor Black, managing director at Blackwolds Consultancy, the climax of product development is when the process of sourcing the materials pays off: “The satisfaction of transforming a component from a drawing, to the finished product and knowing that the customer’s delight is partly to do with your skills and expertise.”

Ned Oak, a marketing procurement specialist, suggested it was the general “satisfaction of a job well done”. But he added there was particular glee after a deal, when “all sides come out feeling that they have contributed to the overall success of the project and are happy with their side of the bargain”.

Neil Dixon, head of procurement and supplier management at LeasePlan UK, also sees it as the satisfaction of deal done well: “It’s knowing that you’ve done a great deal. If you don’t get a buzz from that then you are in the wrong job.”

For Sue Fleming, a partner at DrummondFleming Associates, it’s the chance to travel and meet interesting people. And Samson Idahosa, procurement consultant at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, finds the rigorous approach necessary in the job exciting.


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