Shout about it

30 October 2009

As you might have guessed by the new name in the Buyography column, I’m new to SM. Getting to grips with this complex profession hasn’t been easy – the new acronyms, terms and names to get to know – but I’ve made plenty of interesting discoveries along the way.

I didn’t know, for instance, that tennis fans munch their way through 28,000 kilos of strawberries during the Wimbledon fortnight. Or that the chimps at Chester Zoo are partial to blackcurrant juice or a cup of Bovril with their dinner. Well, someone’s got to take these things into account – and more importantly, source them.

As a newcomer, I’m astounded at how many people outside the profession – including, until recently, me – aren’t aware of the range of industries and products that procurement covers, and just how fundamental good procurement is to successful business. But why this poor profile? Why aren’t buyers all over the world shouting about how great their job is?

Bola Afolabi, whose presidency of CIPS ends tomorrow, said that he’s proud to have raised the profile of procurement education in Africa during his term. I might be new, but even I can see that buyers across the globe should be following his example. Purchasing is taking a more strategic turn in these changing economic times, requiring new skills and innovative ways of thinking. The profession should be doing all it can to make it an attractive career option for the brightest business talent of the future.

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