Interview: Suzie Lynch explains why Procurement is her dream career

Suzie Lynch, iDDea’s sourcing coordinator explains why she chose to work in Procurement and gives the best wisdom she learned so far. 

Why did you choose to work in Procurement?

In a previous role, I worked in sales and then eventually moved into Merchandising Management. Within the retail sector, I saw the impact of merchandising stock to increase sales. From there, I knew I wanted to be at the forefront involved in the decision-making; sourcing the product. Procurement is a strategic function which works with organisations in all sectors to create cost savings throughout departments. Retail is like a cycle- 1. Buying the product- 2. Presenting the product and 3. Selling the product to make a profit. Being part of a team, leading that cycle in the right direction is very rewarding. If you can ‘buy well’ at the beginning of the process then the end result will be more successful.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

There are usually multiple stakeholders involved in any procurement project. Although all experts may work separately on their input, the procurement professional must become familiar with these elements to understand the real cost to the business. When I first started working with clients in the food industry the specification element and technical requirements when speaking to suppliers on commercials was a task in itself. After I got my head around this, non-food tenders then added a further challenge. To negotiate with suppliers you need to also understand their needs as well as the client you are representing. This way the relationship becomes a collaboration because, at the end of the day, both parties must work together to achieve the goal; a cost-effective, fit for purpose product on the shelf.

What is the best piece of career advice you heard?

’Be patient.’ Two words do not seem like the greatest career advice but I am a firm believer in the ‘keep it simple’ mindset.  I admire Gary Vaynerchuk, he is a serial entrepreneur. I recall watching a Ted Talk where he spoke (complained) about ‘Millennial’s’ being too impatient and wanting success straight away without putting the hard work in. I think this also applies to work. Sometimes we can all be guilty of ticking the box and just looking at deadlines rather than the quality of our work. One thing in procurement is if you do not have all the correct info going out to market whether it is specifications or quantity you can be sure to get a poor result.

Why should people use a procurement or supply chain consultant?

Procurement was not recognised within organisations as a department which could add value. Now organisations are investing in this area as a means to save costs and lean out processes. Procurement is still quite a niche area. With the right consultants, such as iDDea, companies can benefit from their knowledge experience and skills, in all areas of their business.

What are the top qualities necessary for procurement professionals?

I think as a procurement professional you need an element of emotional intelligence.  There is a misconception of procurement as being an admin heavy role of contacting suppliers, getting and drafting a contract to close that out. However, procurement professionals build strong loyal relationships with suppliers having the capability to understand and acknowledge suppliers concerns and emotions, classify and then use this information to steer a conversation in the right direction managing emotions to achieve goals.  It is also important to be organised so you achieve excellent results within the time frame.

Suzie Lynch

Suzie Lynch

Before procurement, Suzie worked for various retailers and marketing companies. Her most unusual assignment was a starring role, in a commercial, where she had to steal food from strangers to promote burritos. Realising that this was an unsustainable path, Suzie chose to work in procurement as she gets to work with all departments in each business. As a results driven procurement specialist, Suzie’s top tip on getting the most from procurement is “Know what you want to buy and for how much. This will save you time and money in the long run and will help you achieve desired results.” In her spare time, Suzie plays tag rugby to keep fit and burn off those burritos.
Suzie Lynch

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