Procurement Resources

United Biscuits recently appointed their Group HR Director John Titmus into the role of Group Supply Chain Director. Their decision was influenced by his skills in business transformation, cultural change and talent development; topics which have, up until recently, been more traditionally associated with HR.


Procurement however has become a very different operation over the past decade, evolving from a back office function into a business enabler and value generator that can respond flexibly and innovatively to market demands.


Procurement professionals are often responsible for business critical product categories, they have to be able to collaborate on a global level, effectively manage supplier relationships and engage the business in strategic conversations. All of this has meant the function has had to rapidly transform, both in terms of working culture and the talent within.


For Procurement Leaders this has meant finding ways to make sure their teams are fit for purpose and able to step up to the new challenges being thrust upon them. For many this will mean drawing upon more HR related resources such as Learning and Development, Change Management and Talent Attraction & Retention. Current team members will need to be brought up to speed in new systems and processes and in some cases trained in compete new areas of spend. Their development will also extend to softer skills such as relationship management and supplier engagement as well as more traditional skills in negotiation. Many Procurement Leaders will need to go outside of their current teams to find the talent they need to ensure the function can evolve in line with business demand. This will mean looking carefully at recruitment strategy and how the business is perceived by and promoted to the external market.


So whilst the appointment of an HR professional into a senior Supply Chain Leaders role may seem unusual or maverick, it may become more common place as the key areas that affect and challenge businesses cease to relate to individual functions and become company-wide issues.


As a business Procurement Heads is uniquely positioned to understand the parallells between Procurement and HR. We work in partnership with our sister brand HR Heads which enables us to build relationships with senior leaders across the HR and Procurement sphere and gain a deeper understanding of where and why their individual business objectives collide.


Like many of the procurement teams we work with,  we are committed to internal as well as external relationship building – a great way to maximise positive outcomes through collaboration. It also makes Procurement Heads a great place to work:  




About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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