Carmen joined YPO four and a half years ago and is a category buyer for Energy in the Procurement Services team.
Name: Carmen Emmerson
Position: Category Buyer - Energy
How long have you been working at YPO: Four and a half years
What do you like most about working at YPO?
I enjoy the huge variance of what everyone does here as we really do have so much to offer our customers with our vast array of products and services. Also, the history behind YPO and how many people have been working here for so many of years is a testament to our success story. It is such a friendly place to work as well as providing a great work life balance. Personally, this has been great for me and I wish I had discovered YPO years ago as both on a professional and personal capacity, as it has been very fulfilling.
What are your main responsibilities?
My main role as an energy buyer is to work with suppliers and customers to ensure their energy needs are fully met. Developing these relationships means we can save our customers money and offer great energy deals. We help ensure customer requirements are met, developing and managing frameworks that our customers need whilst ensuring they sign up to our deals to get the best savings. To do this we build fantastic relationships with our suppliers, through regular meetings so we are always aware of any market changes and innovations that may help our customers.
The energy team as a whole work together as a team to manage many energy frameworks. We are always looking for new opportunities and ideas that may be of help to our customers. We manage existing frameworks, develop new ones whilst also running further competitions for our customers. It’s all very customer led as they are the main focus of our business here at YPO.
I have recently worked on a large water project that has been very interesting for YPO to be involved in as well as for myself.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I am only a couple of weeks into my new role so I would say learning all the information about our frameworks, suppliers, customers and how they work together is probably the most challenging thing at the moment. It’s definitely a steep learning curve but luckily, I enjoy learning!
Describe your role in three words:
Exciting, interesting and valuable
How did you get involved in procurement?
Prior to working here at YPO I had 12 years banking experience so the procurement world is very different, especially public sector! I started four and a half years ago in the outbound sales team which gave me a very good base, a wide understanding of YPO and our vast array of products and services. Managing customer accounts enabled me to gain a real insight into what our customers wants and needs are. Looking into queries regarding our catalogue items and seeing the end to end YPO journey of the products we sell fuelled my interest into how we actually procured these items and why.
Tell us a bit about your procurement experience?
After two years I was ready for a new challenge and an opportunity came up in the catering section of the waste and FM team as an assistant buyer. I really enjoyed the variety of the products, the different queries and decisions the role involved. I worked in catering for 16 months and then a further 12 months in the same role in the cleaning section which gave me additional product and supplier experience. In both assistant buyer positions, I worked alongside fantastic buyers who gave me the freedom in the role to develop my procurement skills which have been invaluable in enabling me to learn the aspects of a buyer role. This then gave me the drive and enthusiasm to want to progress to buyer level and the energy position has given me the fantastic opportunity to do just that.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am currently half way through the three-year MCIPS procurement qualification so that takes up a large chunk of my spare time, alongside my two teenagers (although the eldest is at university but still seems to monopolise a great deal of my spare time when she is at home)! I also enjoy catching up with friends and family where possible and socialising.