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30 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Almost four out of five of purchasers would use a social networking site specifically aimed at procurement professionals, according to an SM online poll.
This follows the launch of two new social networking websites dedicated to purchasers – CorporateBrainz and Procurious - earlier this month.
When asked "would you use a procurement-specific social networking site?" 31 people voted "yes" and nine said "no".
Members of the SM Jury gave a similar response – nine in favour, with three against.
Neil Dixon, head of procurement and supplier management at LeasePlan UK, responded in the affirmative. “I would use it, providing I felt there was real benefit from doing so. Procurement people have historically not all been the best networkers so anything that helps improve this can only be a good thing," he said.
Chris Graves, head of procurement services at public buying organisation YPO, said he has signed up to Procurious. “In my view social networking is a great way to exchange views and learn about what others are doing, however it can lead to information overload if not managed correctly,” he said. “A procurement specific site will help to provide a focus on the content.”
But Tony Morris, client procurement consultant at Integreon, said he would “use a good one” as he doesn’t feel either of the two recently launched sites suited him. “I am not really sure if I ever wanted one but think its kind of a good idea," he added.
Of those who voted "no" David Turner, director at Spend Solutions, said: “We should be encouraging procurement professionals to proactively share knowledge and experience and I am not sure yet another networking site is the answer as this only serves to dilute what is already in existence.”
John Milne, procurement consultant at Hampco, also voted against such sites. “We already have too many sources of information and further expansion would merely dilute the veracity and reliability of data. Existing sites are dominated by self-publicists and desperadoes, not to mention recruitment agencies and training centres. As we progress I am inclined to stick to simple, uncluttered philosophies. Less is more.”
Elaine Porteous, an independent procurement consultant, who also responded "no," said she is happy to use LinkedIn. “[Those sites] are just another platform for bloggers to let off steam,” she said.