National Grid: What is it like to work in the global procurement team?
Published: 09 Oct 2017 By Jennifer Jackson
Nicola Rigby White, senior global category manager for IS, National Grid, tells us about what it’s like to work in the global procurement team
National Grid is on a journey to transform our electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner and more resilient energy solutions. Global procurement is at the heart of that journey, we are here to support and drive value into the business teams to deliver an enhanced service to our customers.
Our global procurement team is “one team”. We may work internationally, however, our goals are aligned and collaboratively we aim to succeed together.
Our procurement team is expanding to deliver world class procurement insight and value opportunities to our internal and external customers; we are looking for procurement leaders to be the driving force behind our goal of “turbo charging procurement” to new heights. This is an opportunity to become part of one of the most innovative and significant procurement operations in the country.
Tell me about the global procurement team and the work you do
We procure over £4.5bn of goods and services for National Grid every year, we run hundreds of competitive sourcing events and we are responsible for a supply chain that values quality, sustainability and safety, as well as cost. We have a strong focus to do the right thing and ensure we deliver true value for the business and make a real difference to our customers across the UK and US.
What exciting projects are you working on?
Over the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to work on both global and regional projects. I am the procurement business partner on our Gas Business Enablement program, which has fundamentally changed our cultural thinking about large scale program deployment.
Procurement was a key enabler to deliver an enhanced solution and approach. Implementing the first Agile Sourcing methodology in National Grid, we demonstrated the flexibility to innovate and iterate throughout the sourcing activity, we jointly solutioned with our vendors enabling both parties to have an advanced level of alignment with the core delivery teams and fast tracked the legal, technical and commercial sessions to drive outputs and deliver a tangible value framework.
What makes your place of work unique?
The people. Personally for me, I had the opportunity to return back to the organisation in 2015 after working in the non-regulated market. It was both the vision of our CPO (Vivienne Bracken) and the openness of the wider team that made me want to return. In addition, our procurement teams have won numerous awards including the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply award in 2015. Our supplier diversity, sustainability and mentorship programmes enhance our understanding and support the importance of diversifying the supply chain to ensure we focus on economic growth in the communities we serve.
How would you describe the culture of your workplace?
The global team is extremely ambitious to succeed by collaborating and supporting each other. Whatever your level of experience, the team is here to support and develop you in a way to succeed and feel as if you have accomplished something bigger than yourself. We have an open environment and promote work-life balance, including flexible working, that will help you achieve your ambitions without missing out on the little things in life.
Tell me more about the employee benefits National Grid offers
We offer an excellent benefits plan which includes medical and dental, tuition reimbursement, insurance, a great pension scheme and the chance to buy extra holiday days if you need to. National Grid also provides an opportunity to invest via company shares purchase schemes and allows access to a wide range of retail partners offering excellent discounts. National Grid also gives you the opportunity to grow your network inside and outside of the company by giving back, and to support our local communities.
What kind of people are you looking for?
We are looking for bright, committed and ambitious people who are full of potential! They will have an appetite to learn from our experienced workforce and develop an individual success plan to help move quickly up the ranks. You will need to be comfortable working with a range of business stakeholders and an ability to develop more holistic and agile relationships with our suppliers. We need the type of people that will work to provide sustainable environmental value for the communities we’re part of.
Why would someone want to work in your team?
Join us and you will be part of one of the most innovative procurement operations anywhere in the country. We want diversity of knowledge and ways of working to help us further refine a new operating model designed to drive value and coordination with our business’ diverse spend and suppliers. We want to be connected to our people and give them opportunities to flourish and grow.
What opportunities for career development do you offer?
We offer a range of bespoke career development courses to help you build on your skills and progress within the company. Along the way you’ll learn from our huge range of online learning resources and from daily interactions with some of the most talented professionals in the procurement industry. This is a growing team and there is plenty of scope for career progression.
Sum up what it’s like to work at the National Grid
We are working to innovate and create value for our customers today and shape the energy future of tomorrow.