How did you get your start in procurement?
Most Procurement Pros tell us they 'fell' into the profession, rather than making a deliberate career choice.
Certainly in my case, I joined the 'Strategic Partnership and Procurement' team more as an escape from being a Lawyer, than as a long held dream to get into Procurement! In fact, I don't even recall Procurement or Supply Chain being suggested to me as a career choice back in my Uni or High School days.
Since then, I have (naturally!) realised what fascinating issues Procurement Pros deal with on a daily basis and would recommend it as a career path to anyone with an interest in deepening not only their commercial understanding (and view up/down the supply chain) of how businesses operate. The fact Procurement Pros develop such transferable skills and are paid comparably well to other professions....makes procurement a no brainer!
I'd be interested to find out how you got into Procurement? What did you know about the profession before you started? And why would you recommend it to grads?
Wanted a job inside, was working in London 17 floors up in the mid eighties (yes I am old) on scaffolding, November, fitting new cladding to a very ugly buildings exterior, 2 degrees c, raining. Got a job as buyers assistant, then assistant buyer, buyer, senior buyer, chief buyer. Moved to the former Soviet Union in the early 90's as a buying manager for a ministry of foreign investments. Fell into it before I fell off the scaffolding.
Hi Lisa, what a coincidence. Likewise, mine was a deliberate switch from being a legal counsel to contracts manager in Strategic Procurement and Contracts followed by an added responsibility under Global Supply Chain Management. I had wanted to see more action and have a better understanding of the company's operation. And I am still learning and growing with the company.
I got my start in procurement when I started an internship at General Motors. They told me that they were placing me in the 'worldwide purchasing and logistics department' which didn't really mean anything to me as a green graduate - I remember my flatmate saying to me 'you'd better read up on what purchasing really is?'. But regardless of how clueless I was at the time, I had an excellent opportunity there as a logistics buyer, and it was great experience straight from school to set me up in good stead for a very interesting career as a procurement practitioner and as a procurement management consultant
Am a tertiary qualified fish farmer (Bachelor of Aquaculture, 1st class Hons), but ended up managing a series of aquarium stores. Did some stock replenishments, nothing fancy.
Got a break becoming the inventory controller for a FMCG.
Then made a deliberate decision to embark on a Procurement career
I would recommend it to grads cos
1. Better earning potential and growth than other supply chain roles
2. Seemingly endless skills to learn, improve and apply
3. Many networking opportunities as often you're in the buffer zone between internals and suppliers
4. Every day, every project, every obstacle is different, never a boring day
5. Licence to stickybeak into all or most categories
When I was doing an internship at retailer (FMCG), I want to more knowing, like we learned in High School. Ofen, I went to work early that I see when is the purveyor comming and I controlled correctness shipments (pricing, goods), and I talked with chauffeur, who worked away and why. Maybe or sometimes I was aggravating, (too much questions) :) My boss sad me, "that is not yours postion, if you become good grade, go back to serve sy sg!" -
I interested moore the processes of transport and purchasing, like only selling or sitting only on desk. I like smell of pallets and bills :)) My boss is a shop manager, on the next week had up. He tolerated my ambition, therefor delegated some purchasing tasks. I was very happy. A few years later, I acquired a command of commerical manager and logistics, afterwards I learned more and more.. I think that, I was 16-17 years old - I knew, I going to logistics / purchaser. After 15 year, I had many position near these hugeous area, but I dont find exactly what I searched. That's for sure, I have to decison,
where do I go from here, (maybe go abroad for self-expansion) I would like to CIPS Certifcates.
I am one of those who stumbled across procurement by accident when I took a role as Stores Admin Assistant at my current organisation. I was offered the opportunity to develop my skills in procurement and grabbed the opportunity with both hands! The aspects of the role that appealed to me were dealing with a variety of different people, being able to secure value for money for the organisation and the variety of the role as no two days are ever the same! I was lucky in that my employer paid for me to become MCIPS qualified and afforded me the time to undertake my studies.
I started as an admin temp photocopying contracts and after asking my colleagues lots of questions about what they did decided Procurement was for me!
i got interested in supply chain management when i was doing my first university degree, at that time i did one introduction course of procurement and as a unit course of my BBA degree from that i decided to be nerd in supply chain management and i did MBA-in procurement and supplies management
I fell into it! I studied HR/Management, and did Co-op for Vodafone NZ in their Supply Chain division. Loved it!
My first exposure to procurement was as a graduate working in Deutsche Bank's technology team, where I had to engage and manage IT service providers. As part of one of the projects, I had to build a business case for investing in a new technology platform, which required me to work closely with our key vendors. This experience made me focus on commercial aspects and I decided to develop my business knowledge through investing in MBA program. Since then I am worked solely in procurement related roles.
I got interested in Procurement after having worked for an organization in the 1990s as an office manager/co-ordinator but found myself doing some procuring, negotiating leases, vehicle rentals among others. I found that occupying, challenging and took interest to take up courses in procurement and supply chain. I have not looked back!
A box landed on my desk one day. I was a Customer Service Advisor and responsible for utilities as well. The box contained the final invoices from our electricity provider who had been bought out by another company. Looking through there were so many mistakes to deal with I was seconded to Finance to sort them out and centralize the whole service. Two and a half years later I had finally made sense of it all, saved a fortune for the company. Then the law changed and the company was forced to use OJEU processes so they offered me the role based on my utilities experience, paid for me to do my degree and I now run the department. It is one area that still inspires people once they find it. No two days are the same and they keep changing the rules so you can't get bored or complacent.
I am a microbiologist by qualification. The Science and research industry is Australia was small and difficult to get into (unless you want to spend the next 10 years of your life researching and completing a thesis, virtually making yourself a scholar - get where this is going?). I couldn't sell anything even if it meant saving my life!!
So in seeking some alternatives, I realized I was confident in dealing with purchasing and supply and slowly started learning the basics. Then (early 2000s) I didn't realize I was moving into a Procurement career but I know I enjoyed it because of the different flavours and challenges it provides. Today, I have had the pleasure of working with some of Australia's best procurement professionals, across Government, FMCG, Technology, and Healthcare.
I'd recommend a career in Procurement to anyone who likes challenges.
Whilst my first role in Procurement was certainly luck of the draw, I definitely chose it as my next career path. I had just been made redundant from a sales role that I didn't enjoy, and was put forward on a 2 week contract role to help out a UK boiler making company with some e-auctions. Those 2 weeks turn into 6 months when the consultant working with that company employed me to continue in the role.
When I came out to Australia, I realised that it was the industry I wanted to work in when I met Paul Menzies, CPO at Bis Industries at the time. He employed me then as a Procurement Analyst. 4 years later I am still working for Paul, now at Downer EDI in a Category Management role! Definitely the right career choice!
It was all a bit accidental for me as my university courses had nothing to do with it. After graduating in the recession of the 90s I temped in the stores of an IT reseller and later moved to a workshop admin role and then to spares purchasing. The rest is history!
After undergraduation, Got into government job in nepal.
Though, it was in water sector as an Engineer, My boss (regional director) assigned me a job of preparing TOR, Estimate n RFP for the procurement of consulting services, in which I got greater appreciation.
After being transferred to central office, one day I came to know that I was involved in a team as a procurement officer, whose job was to advise Director General in the matter of public procurement.
I started from preparing PQ document for works through preparing COC using FIDIC 1999 red book.
My working experience under the procurement rules of Government of Nepal & ADB has further made me explore & learn more in this field.
My work and involvement in discussion in office on various matters of public procurement further enhanced my knowledge and interest in this field.
Now, I cant even imagine my professional career without working and learning in the field of public procurement.
So I completed my masters in Marketing and as my first job I landed up in Zycus for Marketing Communications but I really had no idea about what Zycus is all about I am passionate about Marketing and that is why I joined. But after working in Zycus for almost 12 months I now realize marketing here is not only about running various campaigns and generating leads, it is much more than that where in we should know what is the Procurement industry actually and how does it function, without this bit knowledge you would not be able to connect marketing activities with your prospects. It is challenging and exciting as well, I think if you have marketed such products and solutions then you can market anything. I hope to still know much more about procurement and connect with people in this industry.
It was my second job after having worked in Accounting. I got an opportunity to work in the Purchasing Department for a Pizza Hut Franchise in 2001, havent looked back since.