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25 January 2012 | Adam Leach
Retailer Tesco wants to expand its procurement team to maximise the buying power of its operations across Europe.
The supermarket has recently advertised for eight roles in categories including IT, professional services, marketing and energy. Desirable skills included European experience and a second language.
Odette Beattie, manager, resourcing, corporate purchasing and marketing at Tesco, told SM these are of particular importance as the company is looking to leverage the buying power of both the UK and Central European operations.
“What we’re in the process of doing is looking at how we can start to work with our Central European businesses and start to procure for them and obviously by doing that we leverage size and scale,” she said.
She added the company aims to attract dedicated purchasers. “We’re looking for a world-class procurement background, people that understand and are dedicated to procurement as opposed to people who have maybe worked in another function and fallen into it,” she said.
The procurement team at the company is responsible for an annual non-retail spend of over £6 billion, buying in goods and services, from plastic bags to employee mobile phones.
Beattie explained the function has seen its stock rise recently. “Procurement, in any market economy in which we’re operating is rising to the top because companies are starting to focus on cost and of course the quickest way to win back money and reduce cost is to spend less. That is when you really need your good buyers and procurement to come into it. The procurement guys are about to change the way that Tesco buys.”