A project in procurement [JUNE 2012 PRINT EDITION]

Each edition, Purchasingb2b will profile a member of Canada’s procurement and supply chain community

July 3, 2012
by Purchasing b2b staff

Laura Cerullo, SCMP, project manager, health facility planning, internal client relations division, Region of Peel

Q: Describe your current position and what you do.
I’m a project manager for the Region of Peel, I am responsible for the delivery of facility-based projects and strategic initiatives related to health services within the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. I work collaboratively with purchasing and other divisions to ensure projects are planned and executed for a number of programs including emergency management services and public health clinics.

The neat aspect about this position is the ability to combine many of the supply chain and project management principles into a project’s phases from feasibility to completion. An understanding of demand planning and leveraging internal resources and vendor performance optimization is crucial to deliver services to the public.

Q: How did you get involved in procurement/supply chain?
I got my initial exposure to the supply chain field during my first position with a provincial crown corporation while in university. I was able to gain procurement exposure in contract development, specification review, and vendor inquiries and databases while working as a purchasing assistant to a junior buyer. During this time, I discovered PMAC and enrolled in several seminars that provided background into the fundamentals of public sector procurement. I was able to network and see several industries that would benefit from a supply chain professional, so I decided to become a member of the Ontario Institute of PMAC.

Q: What do you enjoy about the field?
The versatility, and the multitude of opportunities to work within various disciplines. Having worked in the industry for more than seven years and project management for three years, I can see how this field is evolving, not just in the legal and functional sense but also in areas where purchasing and other supply chain functional groups link. For instance, working in a municipal purchasing environment, I was able to manage various client groups’ procurement requirements, from construction to energy management to human resources. I made a point while I was in this role to learn each client’s business, understand it so I could incorporate my skills and the value I bring from my work experiences and the training received through PMAC into their business. Migrating to project management over these last three years has definitely called upon my procurement knowledge while planning and designing projects.

Q: What future plans do you have for education and professional development?
Continuing to stay abreast in supply chain trends and procurement law developments are definite interest of mine. Project management is also an area that I’ll be pursuing. I volunteer for a non-profit organization in Caledon where I assist and enable those looking for employment with support in search strategies and resume development.

Q: What advice would you give those entering the field?

PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program (SSCMLP)—accompanied by work experience—provides people not only with education but also challenges them to think beyond their defined job roles and look at other areas of supply chain and consider how one would function in that role. It’s a rewarding field to enter if you enjoy a good challenge.

Would you or someone you know make a good procurement profile? Email editor Michael Power at