Just been reading about Keith Jubah the senior procurement executive in Liberia who was shot dead outside his house a week or two back. I saw this story again whilst I was abusing the Supply Management Blog for giving airtime to the Daily Mail’s criticism of MOD Buyers. You see, buyers worry about how they are perceived by other colleagues – rightly so, because mostly they are a bit rubbish. For the last ten years I’ve spent a lot of time going around meeting lots of organisations and meeting up with tons of buyers. Its often not a particularly fulfilling experience because they are mostly negative, out of the loop and have no real idea on how to contribute to their organisations. When there’s a recession – its usually a time for buyers to come into their own and really contribute and only some actually rise to the challenge. I call the others ‘Jurassic Buyers’ and there are plenty of them around. It hacks me off to see more discussion on why buyers should be seen as more important – i.e. not ‘Paper Clip Monitors’ because, at the extreme Keith lost his life – no one knows why, but he must have done enough to get somebody upset enough to take the ultimate action against him. So, buyers need to get a grip and focus on improving what they do as well as working on building their internal reputations and not whinging on about the fact that people sometimes look down on them – for good reason in my experience. So now it’s the wet flannel and the darkened room again for me.