Quarterly crisis

9 October 2012
alt="" width="100" height="100" />So October is now upon us, the nights are drawing in and in a few weeks’ time we will be turning the clocks back in the UK. It can only mean one thing – the start of the panic saving season. Oh yes, that time of year when everyone realises that they only have one quarter left to achieve their objectives. It seems strange that although we have a full year to plan and achieve our goals, we still end up scurrying around at the last minute. Why does this happen? A key part of a procurement manager’s role is to project manage, so how do we end up in this situation? There are a number of contributing factors: poor planning; focus on the everyday tactical rather than the strategic; inadequate reporting; and, in some cases, a lack of leadership focus. However, it is not fair to say everyone is the same. Many of you will doubtless disagree because you are in control and confident that come December you will have achieved what you set out to. I’ve seen companies that are fantastic at monitoring and managing their objectives, ensuring there is a robust plan in place and that it receives sufficient focus from the senior leadership team and support from the business as a whole. However, I have also seen companies 
that have a plan simply showing everything being delivered at 
the back end of the year without 
due consideration for the 
support required from other business functions. This is a 
plan to fail. If you fall into the ‘last-minute 
brigade’, take a step back and 
take a good look at what you 
can do now to hit your 
December deadlines and 
start to plan for 
next year. It really isn’t that far away. A winning team Just last month, I was once again presented with the opportunity to enjoy five minutes of feeling like a celebrity as I got glammed up and then papped entering the Grosvenor House Hotel for the CIPS Supply Management Awards. And what a fantastic night I had. For those of you who haven’t been, I would highly recommend it. I always leave the event feeling truly inspired, re-energised and ready to take the profession forward in my organisation. And this year was by no means an exception. In the past, I have watched as other teams have celebrated their successes. This year I was very proud that one of Heathrow’s procurement managers, Dianne Sanders, led us to success in winning ‘best contribution to corporate responsibility’ category. What an amazing achievement and what a great feeling for us all. That is the great thing about these awards – even if you’ve not been directly involved in the particular entry that won. To win is professional recognition for procurement as a whole and something that we can all share in. ☛ Nicola Bromby is head of commercial management, Heathrow Airport
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