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  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

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    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

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    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
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Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
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  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

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Name: Katey Stothard

Position: Category Buyer in Corporate and Financial Services

How long have you worked for YPO: 20 years in November!

What do you like the most about YPO?

YPO is such a great place to work, I cannot imagine working anywhere else. I like everything YPO stands for and totally believe in our core values. Customers are at the forefront of everything and I believe this shines through in everything we do.

I started at YPO a long time ago and the first thing that struck me was how friendly and caring everybody is. It feels like we are part of a huge family and we are all so supportive of each other. YPO has changed so much over the years, but one of the things that hasn’t is the people and the fact that YPO truly cares about its employees.

YPO has supported me throughout my career, putting me through college from HNC Business right through to helping me gain MCIPs. I have worked with some fantastic people over the years and value the people who have mentored me with their experience and patience. People always say they can remember the person who really helped influence their career- I’m lucky that I have several!

Being able to give money back to the public sector is a huge achievement throughout the organisation and I feel proud that we can help our fellow public sector colleagues save money which can then be put back into vital resources.

What are your main responsibilities?

I have recently moved to the Services side of the business after working in products for almost 20 years. I have worked in various departments such as Furniture, Sports and Early Years. The experience I’ve gained from these departments were all beneficial in helping me become successful in my new role.

My main responsibilities as Category Buyer are all in the procurement of a range of Corporate and Financial Services. I currently manage frameworks such as Office Supplies and the Amazon Business framework, and most recently I have been given the opportunity to further my procurement knowledge in managing Cash Collections and Removal Solutions.  I am also researching two brand new (and top secret) frameworks, which is exciting!

Within all the frameworks I am actively engaged with customers, which I absolutely love! There is nothing better than being able to help a customer and build a relationship. I also enjoy developing relationships with our fantastic suppliers and working together to deliver exceptional service and value for money for our customers.

I also really enjoy marketing the frameworks and getting creative with our Marketing department who are so great at helping to turn my text and content into something colourful, vibrant, and engaging.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Customers have different requirements and needs, and it can be extremely challenging to create solutions which are suitable for the large variety of customers we deal with. Although once you do find the solution, it’s fantastic!

Describe your role in three words:

Exciting, Challenging and Rewarding

How did you get involved in procurement?

I originally worked in Sports as a Procurement Assistant, on my first day I found out that the Buyer was, unfortunately, off work for quite some time and that I was the Sports department! Talk about being thrown in the deep end! However, it was the best training I could have had. I had to learn very quickly and make decisions on the spot. I had the best teacher, Richard Tinker, who guided me through my new role and taught me so much.

Over the next few years Sports progressed into Early Years and after being lucky enough to be the Assistant Buyer I progressed to Buyer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sports and Early Years and was delighted to be offered the opportunity to move into the Furniture section of YPO as Category Buyer. 

The opportunity came to apply for my current role, which was totally different from what I was doing, and I realised that a new challenge was exactly what I needed. I applied, was successful and here I am.

I had a strange start to my new role, my first day was the first day of lockdown. It was hard to work from home and not have someone sitting next to me to guide me through my first few weeks like normal. Thankfully, I wasn’t a complete “newbie” and I knew my way around the systems and who to contact should I need help or support. My new team are fantastic, they are supportive and are always at the end of a “Teams” call.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Before lockdown I would be watching my son play football every Saturday and Sunday morning, come rain or shine. Friday nights I watch him play Cricket – it helps there being a bar! I have the most energetic 6 year old daughter who constantly wants a dance off and a 7 year old Westie / Jack Russell who loves long walks. Couple this with my partners two boys, it’s a pretty hectic household!

I have found that during lockdown I can actually cook, and I enjoy it. I have also rediscovered my love of reading and I’m pretty decent at potting a plant.

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!

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Author

Katey Stothard

Assistant Category Buyer for Catering, Workwear and First Aid
YPO