The times they are a-changin’ - Supply Management

The times they are a-changin’

23 August 2013

The time has come for me to leave the world of procurement journalism. So in my last entry on the SM blog, I thought it would be good to reflect a little on what I’ve learnt. I’ll be honest that on my first day at SM I didn’t even know what procurement was (some might argue I still don’t). But having written countless articles on sustainability, risk management, bribery and corruption and, of course cost cutting, I’ve have seen just how crucial a part it plays in the modern corporate world.Turn to the business section of any broadsheet newspaper on any day and you will find stories on resource scarcity, price inflation, the impact of environmental change and corporate social responsibility. Alongside you will find pieces trashing those businesses that have been held up as greedy and ruthless over their tax arrangements, pay structures and a range of other practices that stick in the throat of parliamentary committees and the public. My point is that business has changed. A company's success is no longer just measured merely in terms of profit, but in how it goes about making that profit. It is here I believe procurement can provide value. Whether it’s boosting the local economy, minimising waste or stopping public funds from ending up in the wrong pockets, procurement professionals are fundamental to making ‘responsible capitalism’ a reality. Success won’t happen over night and it won't be easy. But I have absolutely no doubt procurement has the potential to instigate real change, and in many places and businesses this is already being done. For it to occur on the scale required, buyers must not let their progress be dictated by other functions. So shout louder about the value you create, because nobody else will.

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