Buyers 100 per cent in favour of helping each other

25 October 2011

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25 October 2011 | Angeline Albert

Purchasers have unanimously said they would help a buyer at another organisation and many already do, according to the SM100 poll.

A total of 100 per cent of respondents said they would share information with one another. The question was asked following Ellis Watson's presentation at the CIPS Conference this month, during which he urged delegates to share good ideas with one another.

Those surveyed said the benefits of helping one another include making better use of resources, learning from past experiences, exploring potential collaborative opportunities and identifying new ways of working. 

Paul Revell, supply chain manager at Capita, said: “Our trade as buyers is based 50 per cent on what you know and 50 per cent on who you know. Having a close circle of contacts across different industries is the way buyers can extend their breadth of knowledge and experience.”

Neil Dixon, head of procurement and supplier management at LeasePlan UK, said: “It could be the buyer of one of our suppliers because improving their skills and performance has to be in our interest. This is something we have done with positive results for both companies and we get further advantages for being the people that helped.”

Purchasers said, however, that they would not divulge anything commercially sensitive, such as pricing, or share with a direct competitor. Dorothy Holland, procurement director at Dot Purchasing, said vigilance was needed and “clearance from managerial level, irrespective of how senior you are as a buyer in your organisation”.

Vincent Fernandes, interim head of procurement at Home Learning College, said: “I have been supporting various procurement professionals (mainly through LinkedIn). I am a believer of the “teach a man to fish” ideology and as such I would not spoon-feed. So if someone requests advice or information from me, I would rather they have done some research or homework before approaching. Most of my relationship contacts are individuals who I have helped and they in return have ensured I am supported, as the need arises.”

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