What is procurement in ABF?
Procurement by definition is the sourcing and buying of goods. But there is so much more! From sourcing, to negotiating a contract with the supplier you have a huge number of touch points internally with the business too: working with planning to ensure continuity of supply, mangaging shortages or quality problems; to working with R&D and marketing for new product development projects: you are literally involved in everything the business does and act as the middle man between the external world of suppliers, and the internal stakeholders. Procurement is split into two areas:
Directs- this is anything you need in a business in order to make the actual goods that we then go onto sell to our consumers- e.g: fruit, nuts, spices, flour, packaging…
Indirects- this is everything else that a business needs in order to keep it running. For example, facilities management, IT/Telecoms, logistics, stationery…
What will you be doing?
During your two placements, you will do 1 year in two different businesses and get to experience both direct and indirect procurement. From the get go you’ll be leading real projects with real responsbility and accountability and have full ownership of an entire category to yourself- e.g being the category buyer for spices at Pataks! You will be responsible for building sourcing strategies, managing supplier relationships, and leading negotiations. Procurement is a great combo of using analytical thinking but also being ace at managing relationships both internally, and externally. You even get the chance to study towards the CIPS qualification understanding best procurement practice at an industry level. Off scheme, grads have gone on to become procurement managers, or category managers!
Where will I be working?
There are 8 businesses which support 7 schemes. These are based all over the UK (some have internationally based sites). You would start your scheme at a UK based site; then potentially get the opportunity to move to another site or business. This move will be driven by where there is a great business opportunity for you to continue to grow and develop.
What support can I expect?
Whilst the ABF Procurement Programme gives you real responsibility from day one and encourages you to be independent, you will be supported throughout. As a graduate you will have:
You will also receive regular programme-specific and general development training sesssions throughout the 2 years, which will help you with skills such as delivering presentations, managing time effectively and project management.
What’s the application process?
The process is a few stages long and nothing to be worried about!
All of these stages are designed to get to know you and to understand your passion and strengths that would make you a great fit! So be yourself, and talk about specific examples that help demonstrate why you’re fab!
No two ABF graduate schemes are the same, I think that is something that is so unique and rewarding about being a graduate at ABF. My journey has taken me from procurement, to manufacturing and I even spent 9 months working on our Brexit contingency planning! I've learned a massive amount during my time in ABF and have developed both personally and professionally.
I had completed some great summer internships during my summers and spent three fantastic years studying Philosophy at the University of York, and I was ready for a new challenge in the world of work. I knew I wanted to join the FMCG industry- an exciting and fast-paced industry.
After completing my degree in Chemical Engineering, I joined the ABF Grocery Engineering graduate scheme in 2015. The 3 main reasons behind me applying to ABF were: the variety of businesses and roles, the commitment to grads post-scheme and most importantly my love of food!
We offer 7 different graduate schemes, each offering fantastic opportunity and development. Click below to find out more about what we have to offer in ABF Grocery!