Adam Webster, Procurement Manager, Procurement
"I like having an impact in the organisation, it doesn’t feel like I’m just a number. The projects I support have a direct impact on the area I live and my friends and family."
Can you tell me about your career background, progression and how you feel that has prepared you for the job you currently do?
I have covered a number of roles within a Public Sector Organisation, I started at the Highways Agency in Facilities Management, I had a short stint in Record Management and then moved into Procurement, within Procurement I started in Low level Purchasing (under 15k) this was a great step into understanding Procurement Process and following Contract Standing Orders it gave a great grounding in the world of Procurement. I was Responsible for taking forward procurement exercises for non-strategic procurement. This mainly involved processing call-offs from frameworks and acting as the central point of contact for procurement, providing advice and support on non-strategic procurement. I also managed the Purchase to Pay process.
I then got promoted to Procurement Business Partner at Highways Agency (now Highways England) for the Operations Directorate in Yorkshire and North East, This was working on larger Procurements which involved the full end to end Procurement Cycle, from developing Procurement Strategy/Market Engagement to Contract Management. I was involved in implementing the first Asset Delivery Frameworks and in lead on the award of a 17 lot of Construction Works Framework for Area 13 and Area 14 worth 500million.
I then became a Procurement Delivery Specialist Procuring on behalf of the IT Directorate, This involved a variety of different Projects, Tyre Technology, Software Procurements, a big part of the role was training in Procurement, I also worked on a competitive dialogue for the National Roads Telecommunication Service Value (Smart Motorways) which was £900million, The main challenge of this role was developing a working Pipeline with the directorate and compliantly procuring IT at short notice.
What does your job involve and what do you enjoy about it?
My job involves Procuring Strategic Procurements for the Combined Authority but also embedded compliant ways of working, managing change in the business and working with Stakeholders to come up with the best solution, compliantly while ensuring Value for Money. I enjoy navigating through Procurement to get the best end result. I’m a big fan of processes and seeing stakeholders grow a greater understanding of Procurement; this has happened with a number of people I have worked with here, some have had limited knowledge when I first started to now when they approach us early with Procurement issues early on enabling us to find the best solution.
How do you find working alongside your team and the wider directorate?
We are a relatively new Procurement Team (I may be biased) but I feel we have hit the ground running, worked through a high volume of work over short space of time while implementing new ways of working/templates and training. We have a positive team who are willing to take on a lot to support each other. We have a variety of experience from different organisations which brings new ideas and allows us all to grow, the wider directorate are supportive of us and we work well together as a wider team, they are approachable and accommodating.
I like having an impact in the organisation, it doesn’t feel like I’m just a number. The projects I support have a direct impact on the area I live and my friends and family.Procurement manager
What training / learning opportunities have you taken part in whilst at the Combined Authority?
I have managed a number of Procurement related training opportunities, Contract Management, Framework Management, NEC4 training all which link directly to my role but I have also recently do the PRINCE2 training course, mainly to understand the processes Project Managers have to follow but it has also given me ways of working in my own role.
What do you like most about working for the Combined Authority?
I like having an impact in the organisation, it doesn’t feel like I’m just a number. The projects I support have a direct impact on the area I live and my friends and family. The People I work with are kind and considerate and understanding.
Imagine you could go back in time to when you first started in your current role – what tips/advice would you give yourself?
Be patient and you can’t do everything. Stick to your own values and be true to yourself.