Six Months in Procurement

Graduate Apprentice Haris Habib talks through his journey of growth and learning as he completes his second term with the CHIC Procurement Team.

My second placement at CHIC was with the Procurement team, the main hub of the business. I kicked off with a deep dive into evaluating suppliers for our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) routes to market. It was an intensive and continuous process, where I scrutinised suppliers on their financial health and quality, to ensure our DPS routes to market stood firm and dependable.

Managing suppliers on our CHIC internal database marked another important aspect of my role. This database sets the foundation for effectively maintaining relationships. Prompt and efficient responses to supplier enquiries became second nature as I recognised that transparent communication is essential in effective procurement operations.

I also played a crucial role in the initial stages of mini competitions, collaborating closely with my procurement colleagues. This presented both challenges and accomplishments as it can be highly technical. It involved laying the groundwork and maintaining transparency throughout the tendering process. As my responsibilities expanded, I actively supported the establishment of our new internal CHIC frameworks, including the recently launched Newbuild and Healthy Homes Framework.

Outside of the usual day to day work, participating in CHIC’s Framework Launches provided me with invaluable networking opportunities and insights into industry trends. It served as a platform for me to represent our organisation and engage with the members and suppliers we work with.

Following on from this, a significant chunk of my experience also involved collaborating with CHIC colleagues to examine its internal procurement processes from inception to completion. This was about identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, smoothing out procedures and helping with CHIC’s overall procurement efficiency.

In my role, I managed our workflow by striking a balance between paying close attention to details and keeping an eye on the bigger picture. This involved using a mix of familiar and new software tools to track our progress. I also developed advanced skills to handle data and documents more efficiently.

Working in procurement has been a great experience, both personally and professionally. It has been really enjoyable working and collaborating with colleagues, both in procurement and the wider team, where I have learnt more about myself and in the process, also met some amazing people!

Reflecting on this half year period in procurement and my initial 6 months working with the Member Services team, I can see a great personal and professional development. Each task has refined my abilities and broadened my knowledge of the procurement area and its importance to the wider business. It has been a very busy but rewarding path of learning, and as I move into Strategic Services, I anticipate this continuing on my journey with CHIC.

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