Zoe Jeffery joined YPO five years ago next month but more recently became the newest member of the Technology and Communications Procurement Services Team as a Category Buyer.
Name: Zoe Jeffery
Position: Category Buyer - Technology and Communications Buyer
How long have you been working at YPO: Five years
What do you like most about working at YPO?
I get a lot of job satisfaction knowing that I have been part of providing savings to other public sector bodies. By working with our customers to utilise our frameworks they also receive a dividend, so we are in effect putting money back into the public purse. When the current climate is about more for less this fact keeps me motivated to ensure we have compliant frameworks in place for them to use.
YPO gives me a great work/life balance due to the flexibility and support from my management team and peers. I grab every opportunity that arises, I’m really enjoying the new role and excited for the future here at YPO.
We have a great team who care about each other and the service we provide to our customers. I like being part of that rather than being just a number in a large organisation. People are always the ones that make an organisation, people are so important.
What are your main responsibilities?
My role concentrates mostly on the communications element. This means I manage the technology frameworks that deal with post, courier and print and the hard and soft solutions around these areas i.e multifunctional devices. This is an area where huge savings can be made and so it’s very rewarding working with customers to achieve compliant routes to market where they can also achieve substantial savings.
The role is very varied, which I love. I get to support customers and give them procurement advice and guidance and I also get to work with suppliers through the rigorous SRM process we have in place. This helps build my knowledge so in turn I can support our customers even more.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes it's challenging switching between different frameworks however at the same time many have similarities such as the end solutions i.e hybrid mail. I do like the fact that we manage the frameworks end to end and even get involved with the marketing elements, but managing all aspects takes some planning at times.
Describe your role in three words
Diverse, exciting and fulfilling.
How did you get involved in procurement?
I joined YPO as a part-time term-time telesales operative while my son was still young. During my time in the telesales team I was lucky enough to not only be assigned to an area but I was also assigned to one of our area sales managers that supported our emergency services and blue light procurement team. This gave me an insight into the procurement that took place to fulfil our YPO catalogue from a stock perspective but also the framework services we provided to our customer base. This made me want to become involved and be a part of the procurement function.
YPO promotes job shadowing and also secondment opportunities internally and so I utilised both and was then lucky to secure a full time role and then I finally secured a buyers position in 2017.
Tell us a bit about your procurement experience?
After joining YPO in November 2012 in the telesales team I soon moved to procurement in 2014 on a secondment and then secured a full time assistant buyer role. I moved to the Technology and Communications team as a category buyer in June 2017. I was particularly keen to join the team having spent 15 years in business continuity prior to having my son. I have found this experience invaluable in my current role.
I spent two years as an assistant buyer for cleaning and I worked with an amazing buyer who taught me so much about tendering, supplier management, stock inventory, catalogue and marketing. I then moved to catering and had more exposure to a different category and framework that included more further competition management again working with a really experienced buyer.
I have just passed my Level 5 CIPS qualification and I'm working towards my MCIPS which should be completed in 2018. This consists of 5 x 3 hour exams per year so I am 10 exams in with only five to go!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to socialise however my main priority is my nine year old son Cameron. He's a keen rugby league player and also plays football and cricket. My week nights and weekends are spent taking him to his many sporting clubs. I'm now the rugby manager for his team Stanley Rangers.