Issue 6, January 2012

Up close with Manh Tran - Capital Projects Council Member

Category Manager and Capital Projects Category Council member, Manh Tran has been working at Australia’s leading multinational food and agri-business company, Simplot, for over four years.

Manh, whose background lies in engineering and logistics, enjoys the challenges of his role and describes a career in Procurement as a very rewarding one. Here, he shares his experiences of working at Simplot and what he feels are the upcoming challenges for Capital Projects.

Q] What do you enjoy most about your role?

A] I enjoy the challenge of aligning procurement objectives to those of the broader organisation where the focus is to deliver quality and value while maximising cost savings and minimising risk.

I have also found that strategic sourcing can be a key contributor to improving the organisation's bottom line, which is highly rewarding.

Q] As a member, what do you think are the main advantages of the Category Councils and how have they helped you in your day-to-day role?

A] The main advantage of being part of the Category Councils is the peer networking opportunities it offers. I believe it provides a valuable opportunity to learn more about what others in the same profession are doing, and has enhanced my thinking about how I approach my role in a way that changes or adds value.

Q] What do you see as the biggest challenges for managing Capital Projects and what advice would you give to someone who has just picked up the Capital Projects category for the first time?

A] I find the biggest challenges are in undertaking in-depth supply market analysis as well as a focused approach to cost analysis of sub-category components. In-depth supply market knowledge reduces potential contract commercial risk to supply and adds value to the overall project.

A focused approach to cost analysis allows you to identify key cost drivers and develop a better understanding of the whole lifecycle of goods/services, to ensure best value is obtained from the suppliers. For someone who just picked up the Capital Project category, my advice is to put in some time and effort into studying the supply market and conducting a thorough cost analysis of key items. This will greatly reduce any small unexpected cost issues that could occur down the track.

Q] What would you be doing if you weren’t a Category Manager for Simplot?

A] I would probably be a geologist working in the field surveying rocks or searching for oil and gas in the Arctic.