Table of Contents
Plotting the Course
Any individual in the workforce today needs to continually develop and enhance a number of skills to be ready to face the future. Purchasing and supply managers are no exception. For years, the profession has been changing its role from a clerical function into a strategic part of the organization. With that in mind, purchasing and supply professionals need to take inventory of their skills and determine what they need to be successful in their new roles.
Skills that you use to communicate with others are an important part of your professional toolbox. How can you develop effective relationships with internal customers, suppliers, and others if you don't have the ability to communicate verbally or facilitate a meeting? As you're targeting your skills for development, look for ways you can measure your performance and report that to top management. How many strategic alliances have you created? What is your supplier turnover rate?
You will call upon some skills almost daily in your job as a purchasing and supply management professional. These include computer skills, which reflect the automation of the purchasing function, project management skills, and risk management skills, which can help you manage fewer sources of supply.
Developing certain skills will help your overall career as you get in line for promotions and other new opportunities. If you can demonstrate that you are a leader, a strategic thinker, and have an entrepreneurial attitude, you'll be viewed as a valuable asset to the team.
Daniel J. O'Shea
Daniel J. O'Shea is a professor of business management at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida where he teaches various purchasing and supply chain management courses. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in business financial management from George Washington University, and a law degree from Fordham University.
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