Flying high and taking in the views

20 July 2010
Buyers often describe how they “kind of fell into the profession”. They didn’t intend to build a career in procurement, but once they tried it, they liked it and stayed. What I hear less often is the great things ex-buyers go on to achieve after they move out of procurement. And that was the inspiration behind our cover feature in the 22 July issue of SM. As you’ll see in the feature 'Life after procurement' there are many huge success stories that place members of the profession in a huge range of positions and often at the very top of business. I think this is interesting as well as inspiring. Interesting because of the ways the skills they developed as buyers have helped them in their subsequent careers. And inspiring because of the huge successes they have achieved in industries as diverse as mining, automotive, sport, technology and even comedy. Wanda Sykes is to my mind a surprising ex-buyer. And surely the only one with her own TV show. Of course we are not trying to tempt people out of buying, but isn’t it refreshing to know where else your skills could be applied? Sticking with high-profile figures, we also interview former cabinet minister Michael Portillo in the new issue of SM out on 22 July. He will be speaking at the CIPS Conference on 23 September and, as former chief secretary to the Treasury, has first-hand views on public sector procurement. As he says in the piece: “If we could raise public sector productivity and efficiency to the best standards found in the private sector, the whole amount could be found in reductions in waste.” The “whole amount” he refers to is of course the budget deficit. Whether you would like to take him to task on this opinion or just to hear more, come along to the event in London - click here for details or view the digital edition of the Conference programme here. In addition to other speakers there will be interactive sessions on outsourcing, improving relationships, a focus on the public sector and a legal surgery. Steve Bagshaw is the editor of Supply Management
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