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2 April 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Close collaboration with other divisions in the company and earning your seat at board level are key to creating a successful procurement function.
That’s according to Simona Pavelescu, head of global sourcing services office at Ericsson, who was speaking at the ProcureCon Indirect conference in London this morning.
Pavelescu told delegates how she took a consultancy approach to sourcing after understanding the complex nature of the different departments at the company. “We have a chocolate box of assorted chocolates from which you can choose and pick what suits you best,” she said.
“Also we realised that the complexity of our customers was so big that we needed to adopt a consultant approach in order to better meet their needs. We are now a [function] that is connecting people, functions, geographical dimensions and we became a core business enabler.”
Pavelescu explained partnership played a crucial part because it “brings business value” which is “more important than just getting savings”. She added: “We say that partnership is the new consultancy because we together try to understand what is best – the involvement should be from both sides.”
Pavelescu shared her top tips for success:
• Use your own legacy. “We have a tendency to think that we are the most important function and we should do things by ourselves,” she said. “That is not true. You have to work together with the other functions in your company and try to use what is best from them. Here what we realised is that we have a solid service structure, so we use that expertise when we set up a service.”
• Earn your seat at the top table. This was not an easy journey, explained Pavelescu. “We just tried to be knowledgeable enough to be taken seriously, we tried to be professional enough to be recognised and respected, we tried to be unique and honourable, and we never gave up,” she said. “It’s very easy to find a wall in front of you when you first try but don’t give up, you will manage.”
• Drive it as your own business. This will help you take more responsibility and assess risks properly, Pavelescu told delegates.
• Human touch. “We never forgot about this and it [played a part] in our entire journey,” she said.