ANNA CARAFFI – GSK
How did you get into procurement?
During my degree at Bath University, I took an industrial placement year working for Kraft Foods at its coffee manufacturing plant in the business development department. I worked closely with many other functions, including procurement. This gave me my first real understanding of what procurement was all about. I liked the idea of working and building relationships with suppliers as well as internal customers.
If you’re at a party and someone asks what you do, how do you explain it?
In short – I’m a buyer! In my last job, I supported the carton category for UK, Ireland and France within the paper packaging team so I would explain it as: “I buy cardboard”!
What does an average working day involve for you?
My current role is in the project management offi ce (PMO) for a large savings project within indirect procurement. As a result, I sit in daily meetings with the rest of the PMO team and the chief procurement offi cer (CPO). We highlight any issues and wins, as well as escalations to the CPO that could prevent us achieving our target and we also discuss on-going initiatives. I spend some of my day talking with the leads of the identified workstreams within the project to offer any support with their savings levers. I also collate the weekly update from the 11 workstreams, which I compile into a presentation for the CPO and workstream leads.
What do you like best about the role?
My current role is extremely interesting because it gives a new perspective on the procurement organisation within GSK. My previous roles have been commodity focused, whereas this job has given me exposure to the high-level view of procurement and the direction the new CPO is taking it.
What’s been the highlight of your role to date?
Highlights include negotiating directly with suppliers and delivering incremental savings to the business. In my new role, it is being part of a project due to deliver large savings before December 2012.