Interview: Mary Ryan, Procurement Account Manager

What do you like about iDDea?

iDDea is a young progressive company that offers a comprehensive end to end Procurement service to its clients. We are also is keen to influence all audiences. Through our research, iDDea  established itself as a forward-thinking and moving training and knowledge centre. We allow others to benefit through sharing knowledge. When working with clients, we take their information and data, and set out a bespoke solution for their Procurement needs. The approach will always be guided by the best solution which gives the most benefit to the client.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten?

It can be summed up in a word; “Listen”.  We all tend to get carried away in our own thoughts. We hear things but on reflection, we wonder if that what was actually said. Our working lives and indeed our home lives are very busy. We pride ourselves in being able to multitask, juggle and do it all. It is easy to get carried away but when we remember to Listen, it forces us to focus on the task at hand and brings us back to the moment, and to take in what is actually being said.

What do you think will be the biggest change for procurement professionals in the next 12 months?

Dealing with the potential impact of Brexit is going to the biggest challenge facing Procurement professionals not only in Ireland, but also in the EU and the UK. Currently, we can only prepare and speculate on the ‘what if’ scenarios. However, there are a lot of variables to be considered. Trading in currencies has always had its challenges. Differences in regulations and trade tariffs will add new complications.  Changes in laws and regulations will not only affect new contracts but also existing contracts and agreements. Procurement professionals will now have to consider where their suppliers are located, if they are based in the UK or if their current route to Ireland is through the UK. The implications of additional paperwork, tariffs, as well as potential customs delays which will have an impact on all business enterprises.

What advice would you give to people new to procurement?

The function of procurement often offers a wide mix of roles and issues. The most fundamental areas to get right from the beginning are the scope of the project and getting the best data available.  Often the data that is provided does not give a clear picture and needs to be worked and cleaned in order to analyse the spend, understand the company, the market and competition. Asking good questions (What? When? Where? Why?) is a great way to identify key information about what is expected from the project. The process of teasing out these answers will bring clarity to all involved, and often not just the procurement team.

What advice would you give to new clients?

Take time to decide what is required and the timeframe for the project. When engaging with the Procurement team, have a clear end goal in mind. Be mindful and as open as possible when sharing data. It needs to be as relevant and robust as possible, as this will inform the procurement team on current spend and baseline indications amongst other insights. There is a wealth of knowledge and information to be gained from the experts in the marketplace, the suppliers. The process of Procurement should not only be viewed as a means to get the best cost. It can deliver much much more.  Be open to solutions and alternative results that the Procurement team might present.

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