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    7,000 Purchasers Trained in Central/Eastern Europe


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2003

    Up to 70% of a firm's export costs result from purchasing and logistics inputs. As demand for improved quality and consistency of supply rises, following closer trade ties with European markets, the role of buyers and logistics professionals in Central and Eastern European manufacturing companies has become pivotal to profitability and survival.

    An ITC project, started in July 2000, was well timed to support the upgrading of the skills and knowledge of professionals in these areas. Professional support associations - essential in most economies - were scarce or non-existent under the former regime. Through a mix of coaching in the practical application of international working practices and transfer of methodologies, training materials and supporting infrastructure, ITC and its Swiss project partner, the Swiss Association for Purchasing and Materials Management (SVME), trained over 180 trainers and business counsellors from partner associations in six countries. These trainers are now part of a network of seven purchasing and supply management associations spanning the region. They support business professionals through information services, supplier referrals, accredited training programmes (both vocational and academic) and tailor-made in-company courses and consulting.

    To date, two new associations have been created, over 7,000 professionals have been trained by associations and many more have benefited from their services.

    In a subsequent project, ITC hopes to bring trainers and industry participants to Europe for training and networking in 2004. This project would also place more emphasis on partnering with local employers' federations to support human resource development.

    For more information, contact Ian Sayers, ITC Senior Officer for the Private Sector, atsayers@intracen.org