Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Purchasing Coach: Procurement

30+ years ago as my finals approached I still didn't know what I wanted to do, and went to see a career's adviser who said, "with your out going personality and analytical skills I'd suggest procurement is the profession for you".

And as they say - the rest is history: expediter, direct buyer, indirect buyer, category manager, procurement manager, communication and personal development manager, and for the last 10 years procurement and supply chain consultant, speaker, trainer and coach (see blogs on the enablers covered in recent category management and supplier management workshops).

After qualifying in coaching, soft skills and use of some highly unconventional tools there have been times in the last 15 years when I've thought I might like to venture into life or business coaching on a more full time basis, or considered delivering self development workshops, but the pull of procurement has always been greater.

I remember listening to this video blog a few years ago, and hearing my enthusiasm for procurement towards the end of the recording.
I realised that if you cut me through the middle it says procurement - it always has and always will be a big part of my life.

It's why I now focus on delivering the coaching, soft skills and unconventional tools to procurement professionals and teams. I understand the work procurement does, I understand best practice and the challenges of implementing it, and have certainly got the T-shirt with working with challenging stakeholders and suppliers.

It's my enthusiasm for procurement and for inspiring change within it that shines through the work I do. It's what keeps me engaged and enthused, and yes often provides the momentum for the rants shared in the blog.      

If you're in need of change in your procurement team then why not get in touch and let's explore how I may help your team achieve achieve their goals, and even exceed expectations. or +44(0)7770 538159. I look forward to hearing from you.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - inside and out

This first week of 2017 I've explored the topics that make me tick - those topics that inspire my action (including the odd rant), and that are subjects that I share often in the procurement consultancy, speaking and coaching work that I do. They're also subjects that I have expertise in, enjoy, and that also make a difference when applied well.

Posts have covered:
  • Don't leave your humanity at the door - because I get frustrated when I hear people tell me that we have to leave our authentic selves/humanity at the office door, and instead apply rules that cause other people and the planet great distress. I believe taking our humanity to work with us is what being a B Corp is all about, and is something I'm going to be talking to B Corporations about during the year. (Post script links to two posts that explain more about this. My response to the excuse for the lack of humanity in business "that's just the way business is", and "the sky is not the limit" a reminder that nothing is impossible.) 
  • Language - because words have power, and we often unconsciously use words that hinder us achieving our goals.  
  • Soft skills - because if your goals rely on working with other people soft skills are the fastest way to achieving your goals
  • Use of unconventional tools - as above because they're particularly good at bypassing barriers to change. 
  • Inspiring change - because effective change comes from motivated people. 
  • Creativity and Innovation - because there's a law of diminishing returns, and if we keep doing what we've always done we get what we're always got!  
  • Procurement in large corporate organisations - because it's the environment I've worked in for over 30 years. (Did I really type that? Although more can be found on the journey of working for myself in my happy 10th anniversary blog written in March 2016.)
Another means of finding out more about who I am, what I do and the results achieved can be found be reading 2016: My year in blogs which was written at the end of 2016.

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