The importance of sustainable purchasing and supply
An OPITO case study

Page 1: Introduction

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What would happen if Christmas trees were not available until Easter? How would you feel if you tried to buy a coffee at your favourite high street café only to be told they had run out of coffee beans? Making sure the key components that a business or service relies on are available when needed is the responsibility of the purchasing role. Purchasing and supply – also known as...
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Page 2: The purchasing and supply role

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Every business, from an NHS hospital to the biggest brands in the world such as Coca-Cola or McDonalds, needs supplies. Purchasing may involve the day-to-day necessities like photocopier paper, soap and towels for wash rooms or service support for IT equipment. However, the purchasing role also covers high-tech or large scale equipment for major projects such as the building of an aircraft carrier...
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Page 3: Purchasing and supply in oil and gas

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The oil and gas industry is divided into the ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ operations. Upstream involves exploring for oil and gas and extracting it safely. The downstream part of the industry is concerned with refining, distribution and sales. The supply chain The oil and gas industry has very long supply chains. Many companies may be involved in supplying the materials...
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Page 4: Sustainable procurement

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Other key factors to consider when choosing a supplier include their ability to respond quickly to changing customer needs and how well they can help towards meeting a business’ sustainability goals. CIPS offers a structured online audit process to help purchasing managers map their organisations’ purchasing systems against best practice. This enables them to assess how energy...
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Page 5: Roles and skills

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Although engineering and technical roles are crucial in the oil and gas industry, oil companies also require lawyers, accountants, geologists, electricians, plumbers, crane drivers, mechanics, divers and designers. Roles in purchasing and supply cover all levels, from operational such as buyers and store managers, to strategic such as in supply chain analysis or strategic sourcing, so there are...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Well-managed procurement ensures that supplies of the required quality are available at the right time, place and cost. Supply chain managers help to: reduce costs and improve profitability – bulk buying can provide economies of scale reduce waste by selecting inputs that generate less waste (and also lower costs) manage demand, for example, through just-in-time supply improve cash flow...
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