Category Archives: #firstmovers

Here come the Millennials: Life as a junior category buyer

Today’s #firstmover is a true Millennial! Say hello to Jannine Wood – and go add her to your network while you’re at it. Read our article on Millennials – here.

Jannine Wood #firstmovers

Procurious asks: Procurement is a far cry from English Literature and Film Studies… When did you decide on procurement as a profession, and what attracted you to it?

Jannine: To be honest, procurement is something that initially I just fell in to. I had been floating around different admin jobs since university and couldn’t quiet decide what I wanted to do. I started working at Valueworks nearly two and half years ago and this is where I gain an interest in procurement.  

It was during my time at Valueworks that I realised that procurement was something that interested me and I had finally found my niche. I think the main attraction for me, is creating and building relationships with suppliers and clients.

Procurious: Could you explain your role within PfH?

Jannine: I’m the category buyer for finance and commercial category and there are five frameworks within the category. These include, debt management, bill payment services, decorating vouchers, vehicle lease and vehicle purchase.

I’m predominately responsible for vehicle lease and purchase.

Procurious: Some would argue that procurement suffers from an image problem; do you feel that there needs to be more education around the profession?

Jannine: I would agree that there needs to be more education around the profession, I think a lot of people are unsure of what procurement entails and often leaves them confused. However once you explain to what is it, the process and what the outcome is, I think it can be really appealing.

Procurious on social procurement: Do you feel that websites like Procurious help connect the procurement community/What have you used it for so far?

Jannine: I think websites like Procurious and LinkedIn are great for the procurement community and help build relationships with others (outside your inner circle). I have actually used Procurious to help build existing and new relationships.

Procurious: As a young female procurement professional – do you feel like there’s added pressure on you, or certain expectations?

Jannine: At times I feel there is certain expectation, especially within the vehicle industry (I worked predominately as a buyer for vehicle lease/purchase), which can be a male dominated industry at times. However I mostly feel pressure from myself, as I want to excel in what I do.

Procurious: We’ve recently written a piece on the millennial workforce [aka Generation Y – those born between 1980 and 2000], and discovered that young people often wrestle with career advancement. Do you have a different view; is there a clear path at PfH?

Jannine: I found career advancement difficult in the beginning, coming out of university and not having much work experience, I found it difficult to progress for the first few years.

However over the past two years I have found it easier to progress in my career and there is definitely a clear progress path at PfH.

Procurious: Is there a particular aspect of your role that provides you with job satisfaction? And can you recall your proudest moment?

Jannine: Seeing my relationships grown and develop over time is something that gives me great satisfaction, especially with the suppliers. Another aspect that is rewarding is helping a member resolve an issue/problem.

I think my proudest moment so far has been helping one of members conduct a mini competition in a very short space of time and working with the suppliers to ensure that the bids were completed quickly yet efficiently. The member was very grateful that the process had been completed so quickly.

Procurious: What’s your best advice for young people thinking of following in your footsteps?

Jannine: My best advice would be to any kind of work experience to begin with, although I didn’t get in to procurement for a while, the skills that I developed during my time in my other roles really benefitted me once I did move in to procurement and gave me great confidence when starting out in the industry.

We’d like to thank Jannine for taking the time to talk to us – and if you’d like to get involved too, send us a message.

What does procurement mean to developing countries?

For our next instalment of the #firstmovers series, we’re travelling to Zimbabwe and catching-up with Happymore Mambondiani.

Happymore Mambondiani

Happymore has spent his past three years in the mining sector (exploration drilling) where he works as a Store Manager for Ox Drilling of Zimbabwe. He also holds a CIPS diploma.

Join Happymore as he tells us of an altogether different procurement journey…

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

I am from Zimbabwe (and being a developing country) it means procurement is still in its early stages  of being adopted as both a profession, and a function within organisations.

Procurious: What does this mean for procurement in developing countries? What are the main challenges it faces? 

Currently procurement is undertaken by unqualified personnel in the majority of organisations in the country be it in the public or private sector. In Zimbabwe (unlike other countries where procurement has grown as a profession), procurement has not yet developed into a function. Instead it has been lumped into a wing under the finance department – this is true except for all but the biggest firms like Tangaat Hullets (a sugar producing company) in the South East Low veld of Chiredzi/Triangel.

At a National level procurement is undertaken by the State Procurement Board which is under the Ministry of Finance. The State Procurement Board should be a ministry dedicated to the handling of government purchases of goods and services.

Does there need to be more education around the procurement profession?

There are initiatives by the government to enhance procurement as a profession through the availing of degrees at two of the states university i.e Bindura State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology. These initiatives will increase the number of procurement professionals in the country, as of now this figure stands slightly north of 15000.

Procurious: It’s heartening to learn there are professionals such as yourself who are fighting to speak-up for procurement. Is this why you joined Procurious? 

I joined so as to develop as a person and a professional in the Procurement arena. I also want to learn about the global language since we are now living in a global community where knowledge is shared through interaction, and Procurious is just that platform for me.

In a dynamic world where there is a drive towards globalization, being an early adopter keeps me afloat.

It is important that I develop both as a person and a professional, because it is this ability to change that helps define the future success of our organisations and ourselves.

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Getting connected for me, means knowledge sharing. It will provide me with the opportunity to interact with people who understand the Procurement language and landscape. There is also a likelihood I will discover other suppliers that weren’t on my radar before I joined Procurious.

I also relish the opportunity to learn and share knowledge, together we can hope to enhance the level of professionalism within Procurement practitioners in Zimbabwe (and the rest of of the world).

Procurious: What are you doing to spread the word?

I connected to Procurious using my LinkedIn account so this means I can invite my existing contacts, and share the experience with them too.

I can only invite 10 LinkedIn contacts per day, but I’ve got around this by using the email invitation. You should try it!

We thank Happymore for contributing and for his time. Go and say hello to him!

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed
Sergio Giordano
Paul Smith
Richard Allen

Call on me? Procurious talks to Telstras Richard Allen

The next entry in our #firstmovers series features Telstra’s Chief Procurement Officer & Executive Director of Enterprise Services – Richard Allen.

He may have swapped beverages for telephones, but for Richard Allen the game has stayed the same.

Read more about Richard Allen here.

Richard Allen  (Telstra) on Procurious.com

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Richard: At Telstra I am lucky enough to be able to connect with procurement professionals from around the globe and I’m always struck by the common challenges facing a CPOs or Procurement teams. Often firms and teams are at different maturity levels but there are more similarities than differences.

Procurious: Do you know how many other procurement professionals are in your country? 

Richard: No but its growing. It’s becoming a profession of choice due to the commerciality of the roles and the cross business reach and impact.

Procurious: Are you usually an early adopter? (Perhaps you’ve been a “first mover” with something else…)

Richard: I am an early adopter –  technology and gadgets mainly. One of the great things about working for Telstra is the opportunity to look, feel, and touch the next generation of mobile devices.

Procurious: Why did you join the network?

Richard: I’m a believer in and supporter of the profession and Procurious enables connection to more people. It also facilitates more conversations about what procurement are thinking and working on.

How did you find out about Procurious?

Richard: I was part of the user/beta group

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Richard: Connection, ideas, inspiration.

Procurious: And finally… Are you going to invite your peers?

Richard: Yes – the strength of Procurious is in the depth and breadth of its user base. 

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed
Sergio Giordano
Paul Smith

Is the UK more risk averse than the rest of Europe?

Paul Smith is trying to define where procurement ends and the rest of the business begins…

Paul Smith YPO

Paul Smith is the procurement and supply director of YPO (the largest public sector buying organisation in England). Previously, Paul has spent 21 years working in the private sector.

Read more about Paul here.

Our #firstmovers series profiles those members who we feel truly embody Procurious, and go to show just how “rich” and global our network is becoming.

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Paul: I don’t think the fundamentals of Procurement differ between countries, there is lots of overlap. I have worked in multiple industries and currently work in the public sector having worked the previous 21 years in the private sector, so I understand that there are plenty of differences from one organisation to the next and from one sector to the next.

Thinking about my most recent experience in the UK public sector, I get the impression that we are more risk averse than some of our European colleagues and that rules are more stringently applied. I don’t believe that this is a result of the attitude of the buyer rather it is the increasingly litigious nature of the supplier base who, emboldened by European remedies directive, are more willing to test that processes have been properly applied if they fail to win business.

Having said that, I don’t always think that this is a problem, we should ensure that public money is always spent in a fair and transparent way. I would just prefer a more commercial and flexible approach that achieved great outcomes whilst protecting public money.

Procurious: Do you know how many other procurement professionals are in your country?

Paul: No. There are many thousands (probably hundreds of thousands). It is becoming increasingly difficult to define where procurement ends and where the rest of the business begins. I know of many CIPS qualified people who do procurement work but are not in the procurement department and don’t have it in their job title.

Procurious: Are you usually an early adopter? (Perhaps you’ve been a “first mover” with something else…)

Paul: I guess so. I like technology and have always been interested in social networks. I think I ran one of the first e-auctions in the UK when the electricity market was being deregulated in the early 90s.

I am great believer in how technology will transform business and believe that we’ve hardly begun to see the impact on procurement.

Procurious: Why did you join our network?

Paul: As I said I am particularly interested in social networks and one aimed at my profession is of real interest to me.

How did you find out about Procurious?

Paul: I think I read about it in Supply Management. I guess you got a few new users via that article.

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Paul: There is real value in sharing knowledge and connecting with good people and I hope that the network will help me to do that. 

Procurious: Are you going to invite your peers?

Paul: I already have and a number have signed up.

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed
Sergio Giordano

Sergio Giordano: How to successfully negotiate with an Italian? Play poker

Sergio Giordano reveals that the procurement profession in Italy is not your average Italian job…

Sergio has brought some much-needed Sicilian sunshine (not-to-mention a sense of infectious enthusiasm) to the Procurious network. With over 30 years of experience in industrial procurement, Sergio is now founder (and general manager) of ProcOut s.r.l.

You can read his full story here.

Our #firstmovers series profiles those members who we feel truly embody Procurious, and go to show just how “rich” and global our network is becoming.

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Sergio: Once Procurement in Italy was “emotional price negotiation” the Italian Procurement professional was one of the best negotiator in the world … but nothing else. Today in Italy things are partially changed, there are two distinctly separate worlds in procurement management

  1.  The large national and multinational companies in which the concept of Procurement has evolved (not just negotiating the price but the TCO, the knowledge of local and global market, management of the relationship with suppliers, the use of e-Procurement, Lean Procurement approach, etc…) they use the same “tools” and strategies of the most competitive and advanced European nations.
  2. SMEs (92% of the Italian companies …), in which almost nothing has changed in the way we manage procurement. In fact they follow two directions:
    1. Search for the Lowest price
    2. Trust to a single supplier without constant monitoring of market

Today, however, SMEs are realising that joining in network can help to become competitive to the market as large companies and things are changing also in the Procurement management.

However, in my opinion, one distinctive difference will always remain and it depends on our Latin nature, during the negotiations Italians tend to play “Poker” instead of “Bridge”…

Procurious: Do you know how many other procurement professionals are in your country?

Sergio: I have no idea.

Procurious: Are you usually an early adopter? (Perhaps you’ve been a “first mover” with something else…)

Sergio: Not usually, the choice depends heavily on the personal interest I have in the product or service and not just because it’s “new”, for example I think I was one of the first Italian Procurement Professionals to join Procurious! Right?

Procurious: Why did you join Procurious?

Sergio: Great place to exchange knowledge and experiences in particular between the old and the new generation of Procurement Professionals and, as Chantelle Genovezos said: “being in touch with the global Procurement community”!

Italian Sergio Giordano talks procurement and supply chains

Procurious: How did you find out about us?

Sergio: From an article on http://www.supplymanagement.com/
[
The now-infamous SupplyManagement article can be read here]

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Sergio: Expand my reputation but never stop to learn about Procurement from other people experiences

Procurious: Are you going to invite your peers?

Sergio: I’m doing my best to involve the entire Italian community of Procurement Professionals that I know…peers, LinkedIn contacts etc.

Many thanks to Sergio for taking time-out to answer our questions and for all his support so far.

If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please drop Matt Farrington Smith a line – he’d love to hear from you! (Bribes may or may not be encouraged…)

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed

Hal Good fills us in on procurement in the United States

Meet Harold (Hal) Good, one of our #firstmovers

Following on from our last infographic-filled blog post, this is the first entry in a new series that will profile selected members of the community. These are all members who we feel are truly embracing the site, and go to show just how “rich” and global Procurious is becoming.

Say hello to Harold (Hal) Good. Hal is a career procurement professional with over 30 years experience in venues including airport, convention center, city, county, emergency services, hospital, public safety, public works, state, utility and public-private partnerships.

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Hal at All Military Academies Ball held at Union League Hotel PhilaHal: I think that procurement has developed a bit differently in the United States because procurement professionals had to choose among paths to receive credentials and professional recognition.

Private sector procurement professionals were most likely to be influenced by the credentialing systems and continuing education provided by National Association of Purchasing Managers, (NAPM), now ISM, which relied heavily on manufacturing and supply chain roots.  State and local government procurement professionals tended to be drawn into the educational programs sponsored by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, (NIGP), and its credentialing programs administered by the UPPCC.  

Contractors doing business with the US Federal Government, are committed to utilization of the FAR program which gave rise to the National Contract Association (NCMA) and its educational programs and credentials.  

This has spawned a difference in terminology and to some extent practices within the profession in the USA itself, as well as with the rest of the world.  That is probably due to the vast influence of CIPS in the international arena.

It should be noted that in the medical profession, procures are pretty much universally called the same thing.  In procurement however there is a wide variance in what is meant by something as elementary as tendering vs. bidding or tendering versus requesting proposals.  It is a situation ripe for someone to propose a universal standard that would be accepted by all. 

Procurious: Do you know how many other procurement professionals are in your country? 

Hal: No, I don’t.  It depends on the definition of a “professional”.  In 2008, according to the Department of Labor, there were 68,000 “purchasing mangers” employed in the US.  The latest Bureau of Labor statistics estimated 504,600 “jobs” for Purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents.

Procurious: Are you usually an early adopter? (Perhaps you’ve been a “first mover” with something else…)

Hal: I have always been an early adaptor! Example: I was head of the first city procurement department in the US to do online bidding.  I pride myself on being on the cutting edge of new technology and methodology.

Procurious: How did you find out about Procurious?

Hal: I found out about it from Stephen Ashcroft of Brian Farrington Ltd.

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Hal: An opportunity to improve the procurement profession globally. Proactively do what it takes to make it more strategic and less function based, more emphasis on overall value and contribution to the organizational mission, less cost driven.  Also become an influential global driver for the standardization of terminology, methodology and position descriptions.

Procurious: And finally, are you going to invite your peers?

Hal: Yes!

Procurious would like to thank Hal for his time, and for answering our questions.

If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please drop Matt Farrington Smith a line – he’d love to hear from you! (Bribes may or may not be encouraged…)