Did it feel like you were thrown in at the deep end upon entering the procurement world? Some of Procurious’ resident experts offer some career advice to anyone starting out on their journey….
Starting out in a new career is never easy; there’s so much to learn, good impressions to be made and new people to meet. But all that’s made easier with a little help from your global community of procurement friends!
The discussion board on Procurious never disappoints as a hotbed for rich debate and discussion. So, of course, we weren’t surprised by the wealth of responses when a procurement pro in need reached out for some advice as a newbie to the profession.
To give you a helping hand we’ve compiled some of the best responses from our members….
The procurement debate rages on regarding professional qualifications. Are they beneficial, are they important? Do you really need them in the age of the internet.
The general consensus amongst Procurious members is: Yes!
Anthea Simon said ” I would say a top tip would be get your CIPS qualifications, this is the advice I was given by my mentor who is a CPO for a leading manufacturing company. If you have ambitions to excel within your procurement career I would say try and get yourself a mentor.”
Steven Onyango agreed saying “have the CIPS qualification, you will really enjoy as it’s detailed and you will love and relate well with some of the units.”
Whilst Chris Cliffe conceded that the CIPS qualification will be “very valuable and worthwhile” he advises aspiring professionals not to rush “make sure it’s the profession for you first, and then commit to the training.”
Open a book
Sometimes funding and timing restraints don’t allow for official certifications and training. In these instances it’s your responsibility to take control of your career and your learning.
Anthea Simon says “read… read… read….read around procurement. There is so much information out there on procurement, supply chain management; anything and everything you want to know about this’ wonderful world of procurement’…
“I spend a good portion of my day reading procurement material whether on the internet, books, audios. Also ask questions. I work closely with the Head of Procurement for my organisation, and I’m always asking him questions if I don’t understand anything or I just want to learn more about something.
Sheri Daneliak agrees advising professionals to “read everything you can get your hands on concerning Procurement and Supply Chain until you can get your certification. This site is a great place for help…”
To succeed in procurement, building relationships is of the utmost importance; with suppliers, clients and stakeholders.
Mike Lewis suggests that procurement pros ” View [their] critical suppliers as partners and develop relationships based on positive mutual benefit.”
Chuck Intrieri agreed stating “The key to procurement is collaboration. Adversarial relationships do not work. It has to be a “win-win” for both parties.”
“Bringing value to your end users and customers (suppliers and co-workers).” is Tahj Bomar’s top advice. “People, process, and technology. The process and technology, figure what works in the company culture/environment. But, getting people on board and understanding I find is the key! Create “win-win” situations”
Understand your company
“Understanding in your company, area, category or commodity exactly what you are spending on what products with whom and why.” is Jim Reed’s advice. “I have been asked to save money several times in an area where the spend was low, optimised and attacking it would have been a waste of time, whilst big ticket opportunities would have been ignored. Being able to articulate the spend context has always enabled me to turn that round.”
Marcin Witkowski supports this and instructs professionals to “get as much information as you can about what you are supposed to buy.”
“Listening is the key” says Terry Gittins “find out what you customer wants and work with them to achieve it. Keep it simple and you will bring them with you.”
Click here to view the full discussion and all responses.