If you are new to procurement and supply chain or willing to work in this career and can’t understand why we love our profession, I will give you 10 reasons why we love procurement
- Procurement is exciting
Procurement definitely is not the routine job that you spend hours behind your desk doing the same thing every day. Procurement day is not the same as the previous one, in today’s fast-changing dynamic business environment you cannot expect what challenges that you will face and you are always looking for new products or searching for new suppliers to meet the variable requirements needed for business operations. In procurement you will not be bored.
- Procurement gives Incomparable Exposure to other Business Leaders
Procurement will give you the opportunity to meet with people in your early professional years that you may not even imagine that you will meet in your senior ages If you worked in another profession. You will meet sales directors, commercial directors, business development managers and even CEOs of companies you may dream to just join these companies if you work in another job. Sometimes those people may seek eagerly to meet with you in order to show you their products or to discuss a huge deal that may increase their profitability and reputation.
- Procurement is global
Working in procurement is global literally, you either buy thing from the global market, or you work with a global company, or you can easily move around the world working in different positions and companies but you still work in procurement. The great thing about procurement practice is that it is the same all over the world; so when you move from industry to another or from a country to another you will not find many differences and if there is any it will be according to the maturity level of the company.
- Procurement is the new competitive advantage
Perhaps the ultimate source of competitive advantage for modern companies is the effective supply management. Either you are working in manufacturing company, retail or even services you will realise that producing products faster, getting them to the market faster then get paid faster will differentiate successful company from others. So effective procurement in satisfying production and operations needs makes this fast market penetration happens and increase company’s profitability and success. The value chain of modern business is no longer about production engineering, but effective supply chain management that enables companies to produce at low cost without neglecting rigorous quality standards, or to quickly convert products concepts to real products and respond swiftly to market peaks or troughs in demand, and take new products from concept to reality in rapid time.
- Procurement is strategic
From 60 to 65 % of companies costs nowadays are spent on materials required for production, so procurement professional now have a greater role in their companies and direct access to CEOs and CFOs as they have direct impact on strategic decisions taken by decision makers, decisions such as what materials to procure or from where to source the required materials, what suppliers to have long term relationship with or to cease working with them are usually taken by the support of procurement. These decisions have direct impact on the strategic direction of the company and have direct effect on company’s profitability, sustainability and long term performance.
- Procurement is challenging
If you are this kind of person who likes challenges, so procurement is the right profession for you. It will take from you a lot of efforts to orchestrate the activities of a supply chain that spreads over different countries and includes hundreds of suppliers and suppliers of suppliers to supply components and parts needed for operations. While doing that you need to manage effectively the risk of increased market volatility and sudden international supply risk, taking into consideration the legal and ethical requirement of product safety and ethical issues such as forced or child labour that may harm your company’s reputation if neglected.
- Procurement looks forward
Unlike finance and HR who spend most of their times analysing past data to get better understanding of the performance of the company and employees; procurement focus on future needs and based on the decisions that procurement takes the future of the company is shaped.
- Procurement develops a diversity of Skills
Working in procurement requires the professional to have a set of basic skills such as negotiation skills, administration of paper work, and compliance with procurement rules. But these skills are not enough for succeeding in today’s procurement practice, the additional set of skills is CEO type skills such as Strategic thinking, Leadership, Understanding markets, Innovation and creative thinking, predicting change and managing risk, and effective communication skills and internal collaboration.
- procurement is a fast growing career
As mentioned in CIPS salary survey report, “Despite a turbulent economic and political year, appetite for procurement hires has continued to increase. 70% of organisations are looking to hire this year, up 6% on last year. This spans organisations in both the public and private sectors, and is an indication of confidence in the market”. Procurement as a career path doesn’t end by being a procurement manager or director but it can lead you to be a CEO of a company and we have good examples such as Tim Cook (CEO of Appel) or Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors).
- Procurement pays well
Hot issues such mitigating corporate risks, maintaining ethical standards or even managing outsourcing relationships keeps modern CEOs always in alert mode. These issues need qualified procurement experts to manage. This demand has resulted in significant earnings increases for professionals.
According to Procurement Salary Guide and Insights 2017, in UK; “For the third year in a row, we have seen an overall growth in salaries, both within the profession itself and in comparison to other disciplines, at 5.3% compared to a national average of 2.2%. 64% of respondents received a pay increase (compared to 68% in 2016 and 61% in 2015,) with the average salary at £44,936”.
Within Australasia in the last 12 months, 66% of respondents received a salary increase – a slightly higher proportion than the 64% in the UK – while 31% received a bonus. The average salary is 139,500 AUD.
In MENA region and despite the challenges due to oil shock of the last two years, the highest average salaries are being seen in the Private Sector and the average salary for all procurement professionals is £56,000, which is higher than the UK average of £44,900. In the last 12 months, 51% of respondents received a salary increase, a smaller proportion than in the UK at 64%, and 41% received a bonus. Of course if you certified you are paid higher than your peers.
Finally, you will not realise how procurement is interesting and amusing unless you start working in it and once you do you definitely will fall in love with this career.
By Haytham Etemad
ArcBlue Egypt Office