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Name: Jack Appleton

Position: Category Buyer – Furniture 

How long have you been working for YPO? Eleven years

What do you like the most about YPO?

I joined YPO from school, on an apprenticeship, and have never looked back. YPO is a company that has the right ethos and has it's customers and employees at the heart of everything it does. I have seen the company expand over the past eleven years, but it has never lost its core values. The popular answer when asked about a workplace is to talk about the people, but for me YPO really is a place where the people make it an amazing company. There is a family feel across the business and the company cares for its employee’s wellbeing. There are endless opportunities to learn and develop your career. Every employee is given the same opportunities and chance to develop.

It is also rewarding to know that the hard work I put into my job is so that we can put money back into the public sector. Knowing that everything I do is to provide the public sector with ‘value for money’ is great for job satisfaction.

What are your main responsibilities?

I currently look after several frameworks within the furniture section. My framework portfolio includes Office Solutions, Educational Seating, Educational Tables, Outdoor Furniture, Educational Storage, Dinning, and Writing and Display. I am responsible for ensuring the public sector has compliant routes to procure through and that customers can achieve value for money. I also support customers by being the point of contact for any help they might need with their procurement.

I run further competitions, pricing exercises, provide specification guidance, market information and any support a customer might need. Within the section I am also responsible for furniture catalogue production.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The multi-tasking is a very difficult part of this role. As a category Buyer you may have times when you have a number of different projects at the same time; a marketing campaign going on; visits to new customers; supplier performance reviews, catalogue production, and writing new tenders. Although this is the most challenging part of the role, however it is also nice to be busy as you know you are making a difference to the sector and helping with several customer procurements.

Describe your role in three words:

Enjoyable, challenging and diverse.

How did you get involved in procurement?

I originally worked in the customer service team as an apprentice and although I loved my time there, I wanted the next step in my career. As a customer service advisor, I worked closely with the procurement side of the business and had a good working relationship with my procurement colleagues. Procurement seemed to offer more opportunities also, the role allowed me to be involved with tactical buying decisions and create relationships with a supplier and customer base. I love dealing with people and procurement seemed to offer me a lot  of interaction.

I worked extremely hard on gaining the correct skills, knowledge and experience, and was eventually rewarded with a secondment for an assistant buyer role; the rest has been a progression from there.

Tell us a bit about your procurement experience

I have been very lucky with my procurement experience. Over the past eleven years I have had the chance to work in different buying sectors. This has allowed me to understand different procurement routes and learn from experienced buyers. For a long period of time I worked in product buying, purchasing from different markets. I have procured paper, AV, ICT and furniture. This was great for me and was how I learnt my trade. In 2019, I was seconded to a more responsible role within the furniture product part of the business, this gave me the experience and confidence I needed for the next step.

More recently, I have become the Furniture Category Buyer. Over the past three years I have worked at buyer level, working on huge projects and have provided many solutions for the public sector. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have chance, I like to play football on a Saturday afternoon with my local side. However, I have 2 little girls (Harper & Lydia) and a little dog (Nelly), so most of my spare time is spent with my family. We love going off for long walks and stopping somewhere for some lunch, maybe even a quick pint!

 

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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Jack Appleton

Category Buyer for Furniture
YPO