Buyers: 'Be more visible'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
12 August 2014

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13 August 2014 | Will Green

A senior buyer at Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has said procurement professionals must make themselves more visible to gain greater recognition.

Noel Sandukiya, senior procurement officer at CEC in Zambia, said the function could “consolidate all the requirements of an organisation”, but it was up to purchasers to sell themselves to stakeholders.

“As procurement professionals we need to be visible in our various organisations,” he said. “We need to make it very visible so if people want services or goods, they will say: ‘We will ask procurement to get them for us, they are the experts’.

“How are we making the procurement function visible in organisations? Visible even at country level? We have the potential to consolidate all the requirements of an organisation.”

Sandukiya, who is also the chairman of the CIPS Zambia branch, said it was important to produce proper records of procurement's achievements for senior executives and to report directly to the boardroom.

“We need to give management proper records so they are able to see the proper picture of what procurement is contributing to the organisation,” he said.

“In certain organisations people heading procurement report to certain directorates but the function in the place I work reports to the CEO.”

Among the biggest areas of spend for CEC is diesel for generators, which meet demand for electricity when the national grid is unable to deliver enough power.

“We spend a million kwacha (£97,000) a month in terms of fuel,” said Sandukiya.

He also said procurement had a target of generating ZK300,000 (£29,000) for the year through the sale of redundant materials. “If a structure is being brought down there are certain things that can be used; steel and other building materials. We sell them for auction. We probably sell them to employees. We will not throw away those items; that revenue comes to the company. We set a target of bringing in ZK300,000 and we are about half way.”

Sandukiya said the company was able to support local firms. “Most of the items we source locally. The only things we source outside are big machinery that we can’t manufacture in Zambia,” he said.

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