Candidates hoping that procurement recruitment agencies will help them advance their careers by finding the most prestigious procurement jobs on offer have been handed some sage advice by an industry expert on keeping abreast of tech innovations in the field: get out more.
James Taylor, head of marketing at alcoholic beverages giant Diageo (whose brands included Smirnoff, Johnny Walker and Guinness) was speaking at the ProcureCon Marketing conference in London this week, when he advised procurement staff to get out of the office more frequently to attend industry events and meet suppliers if they wanted to enhance their ability to bring technological innovation to their business.
Procurement teams, he maintained had the potential to become “big enablers” of emerging technology but to do so, they needed to “get out of the office and into the environment you’re trying to buy from.”
He urged buyers to spend more time in the marketplace rubbing shoulders with not simply “the clever sales guy in the suit” but with developers and tech experts who can expand understanding of what their creations can do to transform procurement.
“We need to be at tech conferences. I don’t understand how blockchain works, but actually if that’s the reality of what we need to be involved in the future we need to go and find out these things.”
Procurement staff needed to be adept technology users, he advised, not only as individuals but in their business environments. He urged buyers to “play around” with new tech, downloading it onto their smartphones and finding out first hand what they can do with it.
Currently, Diageo is itself heeding Taylor’s advice and exploring new-gen technologies such as voice search and blockchain. But beyond “big hardware” there were other highly valuable tech innovations buyers could exploit, including the dating app Tinder and the LadBiblewebsite which opened up entirely novel ways of reaching customers.
So, if you want credentials for improving your business, you need to get out more. To find your next procurement interim job click here