The year before last, I had the chance to sit next to Quentin Roach at an ISM award dinner for the Richter scholarship. What struck me most about him at the time was how rounded he was. Here was someone who understood sales and account development as much as procurement and supply chain. He had also learned lessons from what happened when his earlier bosses beat suppliers into a pulp -- observations he made during his initial procurement career in the US auto industry. But at the time I met him, Quentin had transcended his automotive past, and was running Global Customer Strategy and Process Management for Bausch & Lomb (he had previously run their procurement and supply chain teams). I've always believed that sales and procurement are really two sides of the same coin -- and that those that excel at either could competently lead-up the flip side. Perhaps this explains in part why Quentin was recently named Bristol-Myers Squibb's new CPO and SVP. His appointment suggests to me that procurement executives should not just view themselves as supply chain, manufacturing or negotiation experts. Rather, those who truly succeed at the highest Spend Management levels excel most at building relationships with -- and getting to know the rest of -- the business versus simply becoming expert in a single area.
- Jason Busch