May 17, 2020

Procurement and supply chain jobs up 13% in the UK year-on-year

Procurement
uk jobs supply chain
uk job logistics
Supply Chain
James Henderson
2 min
Jobs on the UK's procurement industry are on the rise
The number of procurement and supply chain jobs in the UK rose by 13% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same time last year, according to new...

The number of procurement and supply chain jobs in the UK rose by 13% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same time last year, according to newly released figures.

The latest Robert Walters UK Jobs Index found that mid-level professionals were the most highly sought after, with IT procurement specialists in highest demand.

As businesses prepare to adapt to new economic conditions outside the European Union, developing new robust supply chains and procurement strategies is a high priority for employers.

“Businesses are aware of the significant impact poor supply chain strategies can have on the bottom line and as a result, securing top calibre procurement and supply chain specialists is a high priority,” said Neil Morgan, Associate Director.

SEE ALSO:

“In particular, as businesses prepare to adapt to new conditions following Brexit, supply chain and procurement professionals with an international background are highly sought after.”

“Developments in e-commerce have led many employers to initiate projects to develop their online presence and expand their market share, in turn triggering demand for specialist IT procurement professionals.

“Among financial services firms, pressure from regulators to develop robust data protection systems has made IT procurement a particularly high priority.

“Given that employers face significant skills shortages in this space, hiring managers will need to ensure that salaries are on offer to secure top talent, as well as promoting the opportunities a role can offer for structured career progression.”

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?

supplychain
Procurement
budgets
strategies
3 min
Often overlooked, government procurement professionals will play a critical role in helping communities, and local businesses recover from the pandemic

Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less. 

According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”. 

Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge

Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals. 

These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects. 

Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity. 

Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets 

And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns. 

Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.

Share article