WINDHOEK, 12 JUNE – Grocery shopping is a terribly boring chore, but one that is essential for anyone, especially families. We cannot live on takeaways alone. We need to
buy, acquire, purchase and sometimes we like to kid and say…’procure some
milk, bacon and eggs’. Well, even though your daily, weekly or monthly
domestic grocery shopping habit is boring, it actually mirrors what happens
in companies, large and small in the purchasing and procurement departments.
In both instances, it involves supply chains and logistics.
We sit at home, round the kitchen table and decide what we will eat in the
coming week, what ingredients we need for that, as well as what snacks,
drinks and other supplies we may need for the house. Are we expecting
visitors, guests, or a gaggle of children to be as hungry as a swarm of
locusts, if so, our grocery buying needs will change and need to be adapted.
The list is made, special offers in newspapers are checked and we anticipate
approximately how much the shopping trip will cost. It all sounds rather
boring, but actually what we do when it comes to grocery shopping is a lot
like what purchasing and procurement professionals do in organisations.
These professionals are essential to any organisation, as they have a direct
impact on a company’s bottom line: cost and sales. They initiate the process
and product improvements as well as supplier relationship management. Very
much in the same way that people have preferred suppliers for their
groceries, you use your rewards or loyalty cards to make savings on your
purchases and you know which stores have fruit and veg that are of the best
quality. Weighing up all these decisions when buying groceries or ‘raw’
materials or goods for an organisation adds value and always impacts
operations. Organisations strive for better quality products while managing
costs and this requires knowledge, experience and training in a professional
Although cost savings is a major part of procurement, negotiations and
contract management form integral elements of it. At home, no one teaches
you about quality, negotiating or any of the other aspects involved with
buying goods. However, we do look and compare costs and decide which
supermarket will give us the best savings as well as the best quality we can
get or afford. We learn as we go along and after a few years we have such a
routine and know exactly what we want, need and where to get it at the right
price that we don’t even give it a second thought.
Professionally when involved in purchasing and procurement you are
potentially the most essential link in the whole supply chain of an
organisation. Without goods arriving on time to be processed, manufactured
or sold, the whole company grinds to a halt and perhaps, as a result, a
whole industry does as well. So, being trained is essential as the training
teaches you all the things you need to know as a purchasing and procurement
officer. Making you a vital employee or department in any organisation, that
directly influences the bottom line of the organisation. This important
aspect not only affects revenue and sales, but also the relationship between
the organisation and the supplier. Strong negotiation skills, supplier
relationship management and agile supply chains are among the aspects
successful purchasing and supply chain management professionals rely on.
Time and availability are key factors of successful deals, as the materials
need to be ready when required. Learning these purchasing and procurement
skills will make an employee a lot more valuable to a company and enhance
your resumé significantly. The Namibian German Centre for Logistics offers
procurement and purchasing training courses that will not only benefit the
individual but certainly the organisation they work for.
Namibia German Centre for Logistics (NGCL)