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Ben Belflower, Reporting & Analysis Manager, Aramark

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Is Your Purchasing Job Boring?

On the surface, the job of procurement has no great appeal to it, it sounds boring and mundane.  There is a particular motion or routine to it that sometimes even the best procurement manager can find that they fall into a rut and just going through the motions of the job, purchasing month after month.  Does this really add any sort of value to you or your company though?  Just simply running through the motions is draining.  We’ll talk about that in a moment however, the short answer is, no.

It is important to challenge yourself as a procurement manager to be proactive!  Michelle Mone, co-owner of MJM International really brings the entire thought into full light, she said “As the world changes the business has to change with it and not be afraid to do so.  Be proactive, bring ideas to the table and don’t just do the same mundane things every month.  Think of new opportunities or places the business hasn’t gone before.  Be creative – that’s what chairmen and chief executives look for.”      

The More Unique You Make Your Role, the More Valuable You Will Be

Creativity is but one of many things that a procurement manager must be. Creativity requires you to have talent, a lot of determination, perseverance; you have to know how to trust, learn, focus, have integrity, be willing to sacrifice, and you have to be ready for hard work. 

For just a moment think about procurement not so much as dull, but more as a forefront of business development.  After all, procurement helps to;

  • Reduce your businesses overhead
  • It increases their margins
  • It allows businesses to source for a higher quality product
  • It makes for a higher level of service
  • It heavily increases organizational efficiency

 Imagine now if you are bored at your procurement job or at a standstill perhaps, out of creative ideas.  Is it as simple as going back to all the things that creativity is, looking at what it does on the forefront and then just getting back into the mode?  What can the procurement manager do to bring back that passion?  The answer to that cannot be a general one; it has to come from each individual person across the board. However, there are a few suggestions that you can do to help motivate you back into the swing of things.

You see, at the heart of any innovative engine is creativity and passion.  They are the key elements and without them, the flow of ideas slows or even sometimes stops all together.  Here are a few things that can help to motivate you and your team if you have one: 

  • Go back to the vision and grasp what it was that you set out to do
  • Have a clear, concise list of goals that are prioritized, both strategically and tactically detailed
  • Set a timeline for each goal and make sure it fits into the overall vision
  • Set regular meetings or some semblance of communication so everyone always knows that is going on and maybe even open it up to others for ideas
  • Have the end result of the success for the project
  • If you are working with a team, allow them to write out the vision to you and let them be the ones to frame the challenge and ideas for consideration
  • Challenge your own or your teams assertion as well as assumptions; encouraging yourself and/or your team to think outside of the box
  • And the biggest one is to go back to your ‘why’.  Without a ‘why’ in a project you will find it very hard to show any kind of creativity or passion, no matter what the job is

How Will You Keep From Getting Bored? 

Every job at some point loses a part of its enjoyment.  Jobs like procurement sometimes have a tough time keeping up having a steady stream of excitement to it.  Purchasing doesn’t have to get boring. Sometimes all it takes is to go back to the beginning of things and remember why you were passionate about it in the first place.  Just like school, in elementary school math was fun but by the time we got to high school you had probably lost a little bit of your passion for it, but you got through it just fine!   

September 25, 2012
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BY Bellwether
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