Wednesday 6 June 2012

Purchasing - trade, profession, or something anyone can do?

I attended an interesting session on collaboration yesterday run by CLD Standards Council for Scotland at Glasgow's Trades Hall. As I sat there I looked around the room at the list of Conveners since 1604. Trades of those conveners included:
  • Cordiner
  • Cooper
  • Tailor
  • Skinner
  • Maltman
  • Tanner
  • Weaver
  • Hammerman
  • Baker
  • Barber
  • Gardener - first appearing in 1789
Whilst today there are many amateur gardeners, the professional gardener is still an acknowledged and respected tradesman and professional. I'm sure Cleve West, winner of RHS Chelsea's best in show, isn't short of people asking him to design their gardens for them. I'm also sure that whilst many may have opinions on his designs that they certainly listen to his advice.

These thoughts had me recalling a session I facilitated with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) board of management a few years ago. I asked them to use the surrounding gardens and landscape as a metaphor for their long term strategy. One group returned from the graveyard next door with an interesting insight that many gravestones showed the profession of the deceased - Dr, Lawyer etc. They hoped that purchasing professionals would be proud enough to be a member of the purchasing profession and want to do the same.

I just wonder what has to come first. The professional being proud of the value they deliver or their internal stakeholders appreciating the development undertaken, skills required and the tools & techniques used to be a purchasing professional.

Just like amateur purchasers, amateur gardeners can deliver an acceptable, colourful, weed free and sometimes exciting garden - however it's the professionals who clients trust with their garden, win best in show and bring new techniques and varieties to gardens around the world.

As a procurement professional what's stopping you from being proud of the fact you are. As business managers what's stopping you from using the professionals?

Alison Smith
Sowing the seeds for professional cost reduction in your business +44 (0)7770 538159

No comments:

Post a Comment