BLOG: Buying local isn't about business - it's about people | Wates

According to national enterprise campaign, StartUp Britain, there have been 224,552* new business startups registered in the UK so far this year, keeping pace with 2016’s record of 657,790*. Though this is extremely positive news, during Local Business Week, Wates Construction’s Rachel Baron-Kordecki argues that only by forging long-term relationships with local businesses will their sustainability be truly achieved.

“Whether we talk about businesses starting or growing, we are ultimately talking about one thing – people. People are at the heart of every business, be it small or large, and they are also the ones affected by a business’ successes, or indeed its failures. This is what makes my job as Procurement Manager so rewarding; I have the job of making sure Wates’ work supports local businesses, and ultimately local people, in the right way.

I am responsible for implementing Wates Construction’s supply chain strategy in the North East and Yorkshire, engaging with local subcontractors and suppliers, and working with our estimating and commercial teams to match local businesses to our projects. In many ways, my job is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. I ensure we have the right fit for our projects, taking into account any specialist skills, services or materials needed, and do so while appointing contracts as locally as possible.

If you had asked me when I was at school what I wanted to do as a career, I’m not sure I would have even known what a Procurement Manager was, let alone known that I wanted to be one! I happened upon a career in construction when my high school was being rebuilt and the company responsible was offering paid quantity surveying placements. That was the start for me and after completing a Higher National Diploma in quantity surveying and a degree in construction commercial management, I have spent 16 proud years part of the construction industry, eight of which have been with Wates.

Being a Procurement Manager gives me the chance to engage with and make a positive difference to a vast variety of businesses. For me a big part of this business engagement is sustainability. It wouldn’t be right to award a huge contract to a small and potentially under-resourced business and then never work with them again. We have to treat businesses fairly and ensure we support their forecasting and growth in a manageable way, not least because this has a direct impact on employment.”

Rachel Baron-Kordecki

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