Why Procurement is my chosen profession

Over the past 10 years, the procurement profession has been gaining recognition as a major contributor to company growth. In fact, as the economy continues to present a bleak outlook, Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) are becoming an important face in the boardroom.

Procurement is a diverse function, largely responsible for a range of service deliveries from optimising costs and reporting on savings to the delivery of tangible benefits to the community. The jury is often out in terms of where procurement best fits into an organisation due to the diversity of the function. As such the role may include deliverables such as:

  • Negotiating multi-million dollar contracts,
  • Enabling innovative new processes
  • Risk, Contract and Project Management

Despite the opportunities to get involved in a vast range of activities, there seems to be a shortage in the number of talented professionals looking to enter the procurement profession.

Let’s face it, procurement is not a sexy profession from a young age – not many four year old children will cite “Mummy, I want to be a Procurement Manager when I grow up” (We all wanted to be fire fighters at that age didn’t we?).  Personally, I fell into the role of a Contract Manager while on military operations in Afghanistan and fell in love with it. I have yet to meet someone who woke up at the age of 18 and said “procurement is my dream profession”. Sure procurement may not have the same appeal as a career in law or accounting, but the profession has plenty of variety and opportunities to offer. Salaries are on par with those in other more prominent sectors, including marketing, finance, IT and human resources.

Procurement can offer a wide variety of different projects. Some of the projects that I have personally worked on require a focus on analytics and delivering rapid cost savings, others may call for a more hands-on approach to deliver something such as a $2.6 billion urban renewal project.

The sheer variety of sectors that procurement comes into contact with also makes it appealing for anyone looking for new challenges. Procurement is predominantly outwards focused; you collaborate with individuals from various sectors, gaining a wealth of cross-industry experience. In my career I’ve managed a range of projects, from specialised military equipment to bushland regeneration for the whole of Western Sydney.

Am I selling you procurement as a profession yet? Don’t worry, like most professions there are downfalls. Procurement is still an extremely challenging career choice. Whether you’re dealing with difficult suppliers or working through a company merger, you will be tested and pushed to the edge in some cases. The people who prosper in our industry have strong presentation and analytical skills and can communicate their ideas through a wide range of formats to a variety of stakeholders.

Procurement represents a fantastic choice for those after a challenge or straight out of school, seeking a varied and exciting role with great career prospects. This is one of the few sectors where new employees are given the opportunity to prove their worth and take charge of their own projects, from start to finish. The current economic climate has seen an increasing number of businesses turn to their CPOs to deliver growth, improve margins and seek new efficiencies.

If you are in a procurement role and are in need of assistance to re-brand procurement or to identify how your function can operate as a service delivery not a road block, please get in touch with us today. Many of our clients have enjoyed the benefits we have delivered to date, including nominations for awards on a global scale. We offer strategic thinking to match our products and services to each of our clients. There are no bolt on solutions here.

 

Kristopher Wozniak is the founder and Managing Director of Procurement and Contracts Division (P&CD). P&CD are an Indigenous and Veteran certified business, offering clients a range of procurement services.

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  • Larry McDonnell
    Reply

    A colleague once told me, you don’t choose the procurement life . The procurement life chooses you! I feel that this statement is very true. I love technology but I didn’t care for the technical side of it. I did helpdesk support, accounts management, programming, website design and management, and now procurement. I like procurement of IT commodities and services a lot more. It is very challenging. Just recently I got my certification at the State level, I am looking forward to my new professional career.
    Something I realized, all agencies and organizations need someone to do the purchasing for them. This is a pretty decent position to be in.

    • Michael Jacob
      Reply

      Larry, I don’t know many of us whose early aspirations were to grow up to work in contracting. And personally, I bristle a bit at the terms, procurement and contracting. That isn’t what I really do. I solve multi organizational, multi-cultural problems., across organizational lines and cultural barriers. I mitigate risk. I create, implement and manage solutions. I teach, and learn and add value, not just by cutting cost or just making sure all the paperwork is correct but by seeing the end while you are in the middle, and helping others see the end too.

  • Donald T. Sheldon
    Reply

    Most of the reference to contract management refers to procurement/acquisition. There doesn’t seem much discussion on the sales side? Have any group members had experience with the sales aspect of contract management?

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