Meet our new Director of Procurement: Lorraine Cox

Last week we welcomed our new Director of Procurement to the STAR team. Lorraine has joined us from Halton Borough Council and the Liverpool City Region. We took the opportunity to grill her in our latest team meeting…

We all love STAR, but what attracted you to STAR?

I saw working for STAR as a massive opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. The previous Director, Sharon Robson, has established a fantastic team and commercial way of working. My role now is to take us all further and to ‘grow’ STAR into whatever it could be testing the ‘Art of the Possible’

You’ve been here for over a week now, what are your first impressions?

Everyone on the team seems very quiet and busy, clearly catching up after Christmas. I’ve visited all three Council buildings now and am pleased to see everything works very efficiently and I’ve been inducted well, particularly with IT which works in all places and is excellent!

What was your first procurement role?

Over 10 years ago I worked in Children and Young People Directorate and part of my role as Divisional Manager for Finance and Resources was to procure frameworks for schools. I ‘fell’ into the role as Head of Procurement at Halton Borough Council about seven years ago due to a whole-council restructure and was appointed more for my leadership and change management skills. I now feel I am a ‘square peg in a very square hole’!

What are your priorities for STAR for the next six to twelve months?

Initially I want to get to know every member of the team and each of the three Councils. I want to undertake a self-reflection/review to look at where our strengths and opportunities sit. I am also keen to champion a higher level of ‘procurement worth’; not just focusing on savings but making sure we get as much worth out of our procurement practices as possible; for example through social value and efficiency.

What do you think makes a good procurement professional?

Someone who recognises that procurement is not ‘black-white’; it is a very complex profession but can be made simple where its lower risk and lower value! Someone who challenges everything!!!! Someone who understands the importance of strategic pre-procurement activity. Robust category management is also the key to success.

How do you see the future of public procurement both local to STAR authorities, regionally and nationally?

Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration! Working together with all parts of the public sector as well as engaging with the private and voluntary sector, particularly our business communities in order to develop what STAR can be and will be in its ambition to serve all of our communities. STAR is recognised nationally through the awards that it’s won and I want us to work as a team to ensure that STAR continues to ‘Be the Best’.

Posted on Friday 13th January 2017