Sourcing project reveals true brand identity

I undertook a sourcing project of my own recently and, like many procurement professionals in a similar position I noticed that different organisations have varied ways of working.

My project was small but equally important at the time. I needed to persuade local companies to part with their cardboard boxes so that I could begin the exciting task of packing up our office ready for our move into new premises this week. I had expected that some would be unwilling. What I hadn’t been prepared for were the myriad of reasons why the boxes I coveted could not be mine.

I figured supermarkets would be the best place to start – lots of deliveries, plenty of nice sturdy cardboard carriers lying around without a purpose – perfect! Sadly not. Sainsbury’s (quite rightly) had a very efficient, eco-friendly policy where everything was broken down the minute goods had been unloaded and sent straight back for recycling. “Go to Poundland” they advised.

Not to be deterred and not wanting to miss an opportunity I popped into Marks and Spencer’s where the staff were only too happy for me to have anything left out in the back. The trouble was I had missed the boat and the boxes had just been collected that lunch time for recycling. Not as prompt or quite as orderly as Sainsbury’s but definitely in the same ball park.

Fine I thought, Poundland it is! They’re quite unpretentious and relaxed; surely they’ll have loads of cardboard boxes floating around that just need a good home. How wrong I was. True to their brand, Poundland really do watch every pound and have an agreement in place where the more they recycle the more money they save.  Economically and environmentally sound. Good for them.

So where did I finally find my prize? Somewhere that welcomes busy parents everywhere and has had the same brand since the invention of the cardboard box (probably). Yes readers, it was Iceland, and they were fantastic.  Not only did they advise me when the best boxes would be available (end of the day) they also put some by for me and broke them down so that they were easy to carry.

So whilst I agree that it’s important for organisations to move with the times and have policies that reflect this, I’m also glad that some companies are still comfortably relaxed about things like boxes. Perhaps that’s why Iceland has survived for so long without having to constantly reinvent it’s brand – it still appeals to consumers for all the right reasons – cost effective, straight forward and welcoming, – “that’s why Mum’s go to Iceland.”

A personal and tailored procurement  recruitment approach, an extensive and exclusive network of qualified procurement professionals and job opportunities, rewarding loyalty and operating locally across Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex, Middlesex, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Surrey  – these are the reasons why people choose to work with Procurement Heads – to join our world visit

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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