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What is Procurement and Supply?

Procurement and supply management involves buying the goods and services that enable an organisation to operate

Your career in procurement and supplyYou may be responsible for sourcing raw materials from suppliers worldwide and bringing them into the organisation to enable the production of goods for customers. Your role could involve the procurement of marketing, advertising or IT related services. A company can spend more than two thirds of its revenue on buying goods and services, so even a modest reduction in purchasing costs can have a significant effect on profit.

Careers in purchasing and supply

Careers in procurement and supply can be both tremendously challenging and rewarding. The role can be the central keystone of organisations and can make the difference between success and failure. Regardless of whether your employer is a large corporate, an SME (small to medium enterprise), a charity or a public sector organisation, your position in procurement will have a direct impact on both the bottom line and reputation. If there is a high degree of wastage in the supply chain it will affect your employer’s profitability and how the organisation is regarded by others (including customers).

Why should I join the procurement and supply profession?

As a buyer you’re in an extremely powerful position. But because buyers often operate behind the scenes, many people aren’t aware of procurement and supply as a career choice. Top buyers are in huge demand around the world and can achieve extremely high positions within companies. Whether it’s sourcing goods from local suppliers or running global supply chains, buying essential services and resources at the right price, particularly in today’s challenging economic environment, can make or break a business.

“I joined my company as a graduate trainee thinking I quite liked marketing. However, after 6 months in procurement I realised this was the hub of the company where making the right decision and negotiating the best deal really mattered. Every day is different with exciting challenges round every corner. I’m currently studying for MCIPS* which will enable me to work anywhere in the world.”
*MCIPS is recognised world wide as the global standard for top quality procurement professionals. It is a professional accreditation for those working in procurement and supply

What skills do I need?

You will need to be able to demonstrate a wide variety of skills including a good business sense, financial management, a flair for communication and negotiation, an understanding of the global market place, creativity and innovation.

In today’s strategic procurement environment, the most successful individuals combine traditional purchasing skills with good relationship management skills - listening, understanding, communicating and empathy.

Traditional procurement skills, such as financial management, contract management, cost reduction and basic negotiation will always be fundamental to the procurement process.

The current relationship between partners (suppliers) is relatively equal in terms of the relationship. The buyer and supplier work together right from the start of the relationship to share information, training, support, technical input and ideas in order to reduce the total overall cost.  At the same time the buyer also needs to work closely with internal customers to ensure their needs are met and to gain their buy-in to the process.

Who are CIPS?

Join OnlineCIPS is the leading voice of the procurement and supply profession and, with a global community of over 103,000 in 150 countries, the largest. We set the standards for the profession and are the only regulated body in the world to promote a Code of Conduct; a code that has become the international model for purchasing and supply practice.

Benefit from increased access to professional knowledge and resources, career support, events and increasing earning power.

Procurement professionals who achieve MCIPS status earn more per annum than non-MCIPS colleagues in the same positions and, as a current member are entitled to use the post-nominals MCIPS.