WadeWilson large

Buyer
Protrans BC Operations Ltd.
Richmond, BC

Describe your current work; what is your role there?

I am the buyer for a local rapid transit company. I currently handle the procurement lifecycle of the majority of our goods and service contracts. This includes the starting blocks, such as research and feasibility studies; competitive bidding; creation and negotiation of contract terms; and the latter stages, such as monitoring vendor performance; creating contract amendments; and spend analyses.

The above all tie into other aspects of my procurement activities, such as managing daily procurement needs; environmental, health and safety, and quality controls; cost and spend control; strategic sourcing; reverse logistics; shipping and receiving; review, revision, and interpretation of controlled documents and policies, etc.

We place a high emphasis on maintenance of our mission critical operations, and every procurement decision is based on that premise. Therefore, a high proportion of our purchasing decisions are strategic in nature and we focus on achieving best value while focusing on our core competencies.

Why did you choose a career in the field of supply chain management?

My educational background prior to entering the SCMP program was in logistics and transportation. My first job was as a purchaser for a family-owned manufacturing business, and I progressed in procurement from there.

Looking back, even when I was younger, I was constantly looking for the best value when shopping, sleuthing and researching, always trying to find the best deals and sales, negotiating—without even knowing what supply chain was at that time.

Thus, I’ve felt quite comfortable in my chosen career because it was an extension of what I did naturally. So, if you’re a born shopper, this career may be for you!

What does your typical supply chain work day look like? Describe a typical day for you.

There’s never a dull day in procurement or contracts. You could say I spend more time thinking than doing. I have many projects on the go, and they are extremely layered. Oftentimes, we receive very abstract purchase requests that require significant definition before they can even be put out for bid.

Over the course of my career, I’ve grown focused on risk mitigation and due diligence, just as the companies I worked for became increasingly complex. If you leave holes in your work, your company will be exposed to risk. As a buyer, it is difficult to monitor your purchase because you are hardly ever physically present to witness delivery, especially with services.

Therefore, you must prepare and anticipate everything that could potentially go wrong with your purchase, and offset those risks with contingency strategies. Before buying, a lot of time goes into risk mitigation and due diligence. A handshake is symbolic. Cutting a cheque is easy. But due diligence is absolutely vital.

What first inspired you to seek the SCMP designation?

One of my former managers recommended it. At that time, I had transitioned from an administrative procurement position to a role that had a more strategic focus at another company. That company already had three SCMPs in the procurement department. My manager recommended I should at least take a few courses to improve my knowledge in the field of SCM as it could expand my career opportunities.

After consulting with the SCMA and reviewing the program information guide, I chose to enroll in the full SCMP program. It was the right choice.

How has the SCMA membership/SCMP accreditation been of value to you and your organization?

The education and training I attained through the SCMP program proved invaluable to my career in supply chain.

Because the modules are taught one-by-one, it is difficult to understand the big picture at first. But as the program progressed, what I was learning built on the previous learning,and it seamlessly integrated with my work experience. As well, my capabilities and reasoning became increasingly more strategic.

By the time I had completed the program, I fully understood how it all fit together, and I was immediately able to implement my knowledge to create strategic solutions to suit my company’s needs.

The company I work for is still nascent, and when I started, there was a lot of room for improvement in procurement. With the knowledge I had attained from the SCMP program, I was able to recommend and implement many significant improvements. The outcomes have been excellent, and my employer recognizes the value I create.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in supply chain?

Assuming you have the academic prerequisites, and you are seriously considering moving into the supply chain field, you should consider the SCMP program.

Although you can perform certain tactical supply chain activities with some basic training, if you wish to thoroughly know what you’re doing, and to progress into strategic roles in supply chain, the SCMP program can get you there.

Course topics covered in the program are directly intended for a career in supply chain. When you have completed your three-year program you should be able to make comprehensive strategic business plans, solutions, and decisions that deliver optimal value.

Bottom line, just as with any other education, you get out what you put in. To all who are seriously considering pursuing the SCMP designation, I strongly recommend that you give it your best. The expert faculty and staff are there to help you succeed. The content is relevant and geared towards today’s professional. If you invest your time, it will pay off.

What impact do you think the SCMP will have on your career?

The SCMP education has already had a tremendous impact on my career. Prospective employers highly value the SCMP designation. It assures them of your aptitude and professionalism in the field of supply chain management.

The education and training has enabled me to analyze problems and create professional, winning solutions with ease. I have applied my education to various parts of my job numerous times with superior results.

The intensive nature of the SCMP program also prepares you for, and facilitates, lifelong learning and professional development. That is the key to staying relevant in today’s competitive marketplace.