Charlie's procurement journey
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Charlie's procurement journey

26 May 2020 By Charlie Holland - Assistant Buyer of ICT at YPO

Charlie ict assistant buyer at YPO

When I came to leave school at the age of 15, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career. I found myself pondering whether I wanted to go to college and university, or whether I wanted to go straight into the world of work.

How I came to be at YPO

For me personally I wanted to go straight into work and find something that would work around me playing rugby, I was playing rugby at a decent level and thought I might even make it as a professional rugby player!. I had learnt about YPO from my dad who had worked there for over 25 years and my brother was an apprentice there. So, after speaking to them both about YPO I quickly made my mind up and decided that beginning work was the route for me.

I joined YPO through their apprenticeship scheme. The apprenticeship scheme gave me a chance to learn about the world of work and gain a qualification. The experience I gained from being an apprentice has helped me through my career so far and I am sure will help me in the future.It gave me the chance to work in different departments across YPO, which helped me decide on the type of role I wanted to pursue.

As a 15-year-old, just leaving school, I couldn’t have asked for a better first job and to work for such a great organisation. I think that for anyone who is still unsure on what they want to do when leaving school, apprenticeships are great way to help you gain experience and develop a wide range of skills.

Where did I start?

I started in Sales and Marketing and worked very closely with the events team, helping with events and CPD courses that take place at YPO – I was the first face that greeted any attendees! Helping run these events helped me gain confidence and people skills which I have transferred to my current role. This role also helped with my understanding of YPO and I found that there was more to the company than just being the pen and exercise book supplier from school!

I had been working in the events team for a while before I learnt what procurement was and what it even meant! I also got the opportunity to work within trading which further enhanced my knowledge of procurement by working with the buyers to carry out competitor analysis and proof catalogue pages.

How did I get into procurement?

When my apprenticeship was coming to an end, I joined the Fleet team in Procurement Services as a part time Further Competition Coordinator. This gave me a chance to learn more about procurement, compliancy and build my confidence in speaking with customers.

If you would have told me at 15 that I was going to have a career in procurement I would have said what is that? I don’t think many people would leave school with the idea of becoming a procurement professional but actually it was one of the best decisions I could have made.

Along with stopping rugby as I don’t think I could spend any more time in crutches, casts and popping my shoulder back into place!

From there I have worked in various categories, including Energy, Facilities Management and then into the role of Data Analyst for the Procurement Team.  Here I would help collect data for teams on things such as customer and category spend. I enjoyed the data side but I decided that I wanted to get back into procurement. I joined the ICT team as a Further Competition Coordinator in January 2019 and in 2020 I became the Assistant Buyer.  

What I enjoy about procurement

The things I enjoy most about my current role as an Assistant Buyer in ICT and about procurement in general, is the fact that no two days are the same. Every day I face new challenges and successes.

Working in the ICT team means I get to see new and great technologies are coming to life and be at the front of innovating the world and the way we live. One of the biggest joys is to help people through their procurement journey, making their jobs easier and making a real difference to the public sector.

What's next?

I am currently studying my CIPS. I would then like to increase my knowledge within the ICT market. I have been with the ICT category just over a year now and I am really enjoying it, I can’t wait to help grow and develop as a team.  With regards to the distant future, I don’t know what is to come but I do know that I will not be playing rugby again!

If you enjoyed this read, you can find out more about our employee’s and how they found themselves at YPO, as well as their job responsibilities and progress throughout the business. Meet the YPO team now!
Categories: YPO , Procurement

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