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14 February 2013 | Adam Leach
Andrew Gilkerson has been appointed as group procurement and commercial director at healthcare services provider ChoiceOne, where he will work to ensure the company meets the purchasing objectives of its clients.
In the role Gilkerson, who was previously a category lead at pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, will deal with procurement teams at the firm’s clients on behalf of event management arm W&O Events, communications business Choice Healthcare Solutions and medical research firm Choice Pharma. He will work to understand the client’s objectives and identify ways in which ChoiceOne can help them achieve their procurement goals.
Speaking to SM, he explained the involvement of client procurement teams in supplier management has increased and while ChoiceOne is comfortable dealing with its core points of contact at clients, it has recognised the need to identify what procurement wants to get out of a relationship. “The company knows how to talk to a marketer about their events or a medic about communication needs but less about how they build and maintain a relationship with procurement and where, as a supplier, they sit within the procurement strategy can be improved,” he said.
A key part of his new role will be for Gilkerson to use his purchasing experience to explain the client’s strategies, and what that will mean for ChoiceOne to the business development team and other departments. The role will also involve consulting with clients to develop sourcing strategies for their meetings and events category.
Gilkerson explained a challenge of the role would be to change the general perception perception that client procurement teams complicate the process and sometimes make them “jump through hoops”.
“A lot of it is about speaking the same language but also changing some of those myths and explaining that these are category managers with objectives to justify the company spending that money and make it work a bit harder,” he said.
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