Buyers must develop 'peripheral vision' to tackle risk

21 May 2013

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21 May 2013 | Paul Snell

Purchasing professionals must look outside the day job to be able to mitigate risk effectively, according to CIPS economist John Glen.

“It is about thinking in a way where we develop what I would call our ‘peripheral vision’ - a vision that is outside our traditional core scope of what it is we do, so we are aware of potential risks that might exist in the supply chain and we can start to think about potential strategies to mitigate those risks,” he told the CIPS Middle East Conference in Dubai on Sunday.

“To do that you need to take your vision away from that which you usually focus on and perceive the risks that exist out there.”

Glen also urged the audience to ensure they are involved in corporate strategy to manage potential new risks.

“It is incumbent on supply chain and procurement professionals to become part of the strategic conversation that exists inside organisations,” he said. “Going into new markets is going to bring new geographical challenges and new patterns of demand. It is going to mean the development of new relationships.”

He touched on the example of mining firms that will be looking for deposits in new locations and will need buyers to manage those supply chains and production processes.

“I think it incredibly important for procurement and supply chain professionals to get involved in that conversation and don’t become a residual activity that is brought into the conversation after people have decided what it is they want to deliver, only to find their supply chains can’t support it.”

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