Non-purchasing talent help GE find new mark

4 January 2011
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4 January 2011 | Lindsay Clark

Scouring the business for talent has helped the sourcing team at GE Water & Power to support the company’s push into new markets.    

The search across other divisions identified a number of individuals with relationship-building skills who clearly understood business priorities, Bart Reekmans, EMEA sourcing leader at GE Water & Power, told SM. And it was this appreciation of overall business priorities that had helped the firm launch into emerging markets.

“In the past, procurement was the purchase-to-order pushers,” Reekmans said. “But now, sourcing is involved from the moment the idea springs up.”

For example, the sourcing team is helping the water business move into Russia, with facilities expected to open this year or next. Improving the skills of the sourcing team was also helping.

One of the priorities had been to “pre-qualify” firms to become GE suppliers before setting up operations. “If we had not done that upfront, you’d be looking at a six‑month delay once you go through getting local sources approved,” said Reekmans, who leads a 30-strong sourcing team.

The focus on Russia was typical of the team’s approach to emerging markets, which are a key business focus for GE. “We are going to be [faster] to market in this region than we would have been without having that [approach] upfront,” Reekmans added.

Jos Krijnen, EMEA HR director at GE Power & Water, explained that it was not only sourcing capability that was important to the department. “How you do your job, values and integrity are key measurements in our organisation.”

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