Don't let suppliers become the untouchables, urges the Yorkshire Mafia

20 March 2012

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20 March 2012 | Angeline Albert

Buyers should continually challenge the business about the suppliers it is using to avoid “accidental discrimination” against new vendors. But suppliers also need to build their credibility in the marketplace so purchasers are aware of their existence.

These are among the messages that will be shared by senior procurement professionals with businesses attending The Yorkshire Mafia Conference tomorrow.

Speaking ahead of the event, past CIPS president Shirley Cooper, now executive director Europe of WEConnect, described the challenges surrounding businesses’ attempts to get work from large buying organisations.

“Buyers must make conscious decisions and avoid the accidental discrimination that happens every day because buyers are going to the same old suppliers,” she told SM. “Business units get very comfortable with their incumbent suppliers. Buyers should keep challenging the business.”

Estelle Mutum, a former UK country director shared services purchasing at Thales who now runs her own consultancy P2 Business Solutions, also said: “Depending on the maturity of the function, procurement may operate on a transactional or more strategic level. The mature functions think differently about how they procure. They may target particular spend on local regions. An SME also needs to get a bit of credibility in the market they are in. They need to be seen. Procurement needs to have at least heard of these organisations.”

Cooper and Mutum will be joined on a Hey Big Spenders! panel by current CIPS president David Smith, commercial director at the Department for Work and Pensions, Dietmar Harteveld, director of indirect material for North West Europe at Siemens, Paul Smith, procurement and supply chain director at buying consortium YPO and Ed Winterschladen, managing director, Leeds of procurement outsourcing firm Proxima.

The Yorkshire Mafia Conference takes place on 21-22 March at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.


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