Always something to learn—MARCH/APRIL 2012 PRINT EDITION

Learning about life in the procurement classroom

April 9, 2012
by By Michael Power

I get a lot from each edition of Purchasingb2b we put together, and I learn not just about procurement but about the business world and life in general. Often, these lessons only become clear once I step back and look at the big picture. While perusing the stories for this issue, I’ve come away with a few points:

Communication is king

Strive for simplicity when communicating. Our experts touched on this during a procurement law roundtable we held in February (see  page 10). It’s important, they point out, to ensure complex language is understood by everyone involved in the RFP process. Know what you want to say, then say it clearly and as succinctly as possible.

It’s all about people
In our In The Field column (page 46), Steve Booth, contract manager at BC Hydro, notes the importance of purchasers ensuring they’re communicating with end users—those who use the products and services they procure. Sounds elementary, but Booth offers examples that highlight the importance of putting this into practice. One of the messages is, doing business is all about people. If you’re not ensuring you know what the people around you need, how you can help fulfill that need, and if you haven’t gathered all the necessary information, then ask yourself: are you serving your organization as well as you could?

Passion counts
This is the advice that Tom Hudel, manager of purchasing and accounts payable at ESRI Canada, gives those entering procurement in our Procurement Profile (page 7). Procurement, he says, can be exciting, challenging and rewarding for those who truly care about the field. The more passion you brings to a pursuit—a job, hobby, family or philanthropy—the more impressive the results.

It pays to give back
There truly is an ROI to sustainability. In this issue, the University of Regina shows the value of trimming paper output and the number of printers used (page 29), and our feature on e-waste (page 33) highlights the benefits of planning for how to dispose of electronic equipment at the end of its useful life. These articles show again sustainability is more than recycling pop cans—it pays dividends to organizations that pursue it.

So there’s always more to learn. And knowledge is power, as they say.