Six decades of buying

PurchasingB2B magazine turns 60 this year

June 18, 2018
by Michael Power

From the June 2018 print edition

Michael Power is editor of PurchasingB2B.

The year 1958 was a busy year for Canada. John Diefenbaker was prime minister and Vincent Massey was its governor general. The Avro Arrow flew for the first time and Canada-wide television broadcasting began.
Sports fans will be happy to know that it’s the year the CFL was established, and the Montreal Canadiens won their tenth Stanley Cup.

For pop culture aficionados, the top grossing film was South Pacific, bringing in over US$16 million.
Among all these events, one stands out for us here at PurchasingB2B—it’s the year the magazine started publishing. You might have noticed the 60th-year anniversary icon at the top left-hand side of front cover on each of our issues this year.

It’s been an eventful 60 years, not only for the world but for the procurement and supply chain. And we’re proud to have served you over the past six decades. My time with the magazine has been shorter than those six decades, but I’ve seen plenty of changes and developments in the field over the last eight years.
We’ve also chosen to feature four women who are accomplished procurement professionals. My guess is that 1958 saw few women working in procurement and supply chain. To honour the progress over the past six decades, we’ve invited four women working in procurement to share their insights. You can check out their stories on page 16.

As well, there have been myriad other changes in the field, even during my time at the magazine. Below are some examples.

A seat at the table: over the past 60 years, procurement has moved from a back-office function to occupying a strategic position within many organizations. Rather than strictly a cost-saving endeavour (that remains important), procurement now serves as trusted advisor, helping organizations to function at a higher level.

Education: as procurement has taken that more strategic position, it has seen a greater demand for certain skills. This includes field-specific and general business competence. (For more on the topic, see our article on the development of procurement and supply chain education on page 9).

Voluntary entry: in my time as editor of PurchasingB2B, I’ve heard many tell me they entered the field almost by default, and usually through another profession or department within their organization. That tendency is fading, and young professionals more often enter by design. Varied and interesting work, exposure to high-level stakeholders and an inherently collaborative nature make it an easy draw for many talented newcomers.

Those are just a few of the trends I’ve seen in my relatively short time here. I’m sure the years ahead will be equally interesting.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all of our readers, advertisers, partners and others who have made the magazine successful over the decades. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the decades to come.