I spent 14 years working with Retail and Manufacturing companies all over the globe. And finally Procurement and Supply Chain management became my passion! And after all those years and different experiences I had – I can say confidently: Procurement job is the best job in the world!
Procurement job: My Way
I started my Procurement career in the same way as most of Procurement professionals – by coincidence.
The first company where I have met Procurement was the large and fast developing company. This was a retail company which was working with the manufacturers, so I was dealing with direct Procurement. I was supporting the Procurement specialist being his right hand on the technical issues.
We were constantly traveling to our suppliers, discussing prices, contracts, delivery terms and conditions, quality related issues… I have calculated that in the first year I have visited 34 factories and production facilities in 9 different countries. Since we spent around 80% traveling… And I liked it a lot!
I really found myself in this profession. For this reason my career development was so fast. In the age of 30 I was responsible for sourcing of 800’000’000 Euro business.
After that time I have changed organizations and positions. I worked in four different countries, in four different companies and industries. And that was great!! That experiences have helped me to widen my horizons: both professionally and personally.
As of today, I visited almost 100 different suppliers in 15 countries and I met thousands of great professionals all over the world!
Procurement learning: never ending process
Since I have only started to work in Procurement – I was trying to absorb all the things I can from my experienced colleagues. All the best practices, tips and tricks, even the words and phrases.
Being a Procurement specialist made me a different kind of man. I felt the real responsibility for taking decisions. Also I was responsible for consequences of those decisions.
I started to feel the first stresses due to tough negotiations, cheatings from suppliers’ side. Also I remember my first mistakes of over promising to suppliers (I used to promise a lot of things which I couldn’t really have control of. Yes, there were hundreds of other uncomfortable situations. After having many of such ‘painful’ events I valued more and more the advice and recommendations from my colleagues, who were more advanced, more structured, more experienced. Every uncomfortable situation was a sign of growth. And I understood it quickly enough. The more uncomfortable situations you have – the more you grow as a person and as a professional!
After all I have understood – Procurement job requires never ending learning. Step by step. Little by little. Year by year.
Since the very beginning of my career I was very eager to get all possible information around Procurement and Supply Chain Management. And I was practically haunting for the good trainings or opportunities to have the coaching sessions with experts and gurus of our profession. I understood that when receiving the new knowledge, advice or a new method you should start applying this in your daily work. If you don’t apply you’ll forget it. And that means that you wasted the time for this training or education.
The same approach I have today. I spend a good amount of time and money on the trainings, seminars, professional events and online courses. And the most important – I try to apply my knowledge and new methods immediately in real life!
Spreading the good Procurement practices around the world
After many years spent in my profession I understood that Procurement is more than just a job for me. It is much more than just the source of income for my life. And more than occupation. It is my passion. And it is my motivation in itself! That is why in 2014 I decided to establish Future Procurement company. Here I do two main activities:
- Consulting the Procurement and Supply Chain organizations on strategic and tactical tasks,
- Providing the on-demand education for Procurement and Supply Chain professionals.
I am really excited to get the good feedbacks about the job we are doing in Future Procurement. The secret of our success as a company is quite simple. WE ALL LOVE PROCUREMENT!
And we translate this love to everything we do. Real passion to profession combined with a decent experience makes Future Procurement a great place to get the knowledge and expertise. Our special focus is to provide only practical recommendations. Hence we advise only proven tools and methods. Because I already know what works in real life. And I know what are the real challenges of Procurement and Supply Chain professionals.
My mission is: “To improve the world by Future Procurement organizations”. And I really hope that YOU will help to spread the good Procurement practices around the world!
Article by Robert Freeman
Procurement expert and coach at Future Procurement
You can learn more about Procurement and Supply Chain Management at our web-site www.futureprocurement.net