Sarah Sesum joined YPO 11 years ago and is now the category manager for Technology and Communications in the Procurement Services team.
Name: Sarah Sesum
Position: Category Manager – Technology and Communications
How long have you been working at YPO? 11 years
What do you like most about working at YPO?
I love speaking with different customers and suppliers, building strong relationships and helping customers. The best part of my role is that everything I do is focused on assisting customers, making savings, whilst helping the public sector. I am lucky in my role that I get to meet all sorts of people and see new and exciting innovative products and services. We are in exciting times for technology and I love that our team at YPO are part of it.
What are your main responsibilities?
I manage the Technology and Communication frameworks within procurement services at YPO. Working closely with the two buyers in ICT, I work with stakeholders and customers to find routes to market for their requirements. The ICT category is so fast moving and fraught with challenges, so an essential part of my role is to build mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers and customers and keep up with customer requirements. This year will be an exciting year for my team, we are putting together some new YPO frameworks for print and fulfilment, data centre management and cyber security to name a few.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are new challenges daily, from engaging with large IT providers, finding the best solutions for customers, keeping up to date on new technology and running last minute mini competitions - I love it! Me and the rest of the ICT team want to do the very best for our customers, so it keeps us on our toes.
Describe your role in three words:
Rewarding, exciting, stressful
How did you get involved in procurement?
Having worked in the private sector in accounts and export for seven years l started at YPO in 2006 as a stock controller, moving to interim stock control team leader in late 2008. I worked alongside the procurement team and wanted to get involved. I secured a role as office products assistant buyer in 2009 and learnt everything I know about procurement from an amazing buyer.
To progress I took an interim role as contracts officer in 2012 and was then was thrilled to get the role as emergency services buyer in January 2013. After five years in that role I felt the time was right to move on and in October 2017 I moved into my new role as ICT category manger.
Tell us a bit about your procurement experience
I have experienced procurement in very different roles, my time in the contracts team was around ensuring all YPO procurement was compliant. Whilst working in office products I had challenging big brand customers, where I was faced with targets.
Through my role as emergency services buyer I could procure on behalf of a large number of fire and rescue and police, learning their requirements and making savings. I learnt so much from that role and loved every minute of researching the products and services and building frameworks for customers. In 2015 I was joined by Sarah Earl, as the assistant buyer, who has since succeeded me. Together we took on the world along with our manager Helen, growing the section and building strong relationships, facing massive challenges along the way. I learnt a lot and it allowed me to grow as a buyer and want to take on a new challenge.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What spare time! I have three dogs, two children and a husband who runs two of his own companies. Last weekend I spent leafleting ‘our’ community magazine and this weekend it’s decorating my teenage daughter’s bedroom, for the second time in 6 months – very glamorous! I love to spend time with friends and family and me and my Husband try and get a weekend in London every two months, my aim is to move there – even if I can only afford a year!