Cristina gives us a peek into Procurement
‘In Group Procurement it’s hard to find two days that are the same.’
What’s your career journey been like up until now?
I joined in 2011, almost 7 years ago, in the Livingston (Scotland) office. I started out as Commercial Credit Manager making sure that our commercial customers were paying our invoices on time. From there I’ve moved to cover various roles in projects and when we bought over Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, I’ve worked on the integration activities for the Finance team. Being Italian helped a lot in working with our colleagues in Milan and I truly enjoyed it!
From there, I’ve been involved with Project High Road, implementing SAP and Ariba in the UK and since November 2017, I’ve moved to the Group Procurement team and to our Osterley office.
What does a typical day working here look like for you?
In Group Procurement it’s hard to find two days that are the same! I look after the Global Travel programme so I negotiate deals with airlines, hotels, taxis and rail to make sure that our colleagues travelling for business have the best deal and experience. In addition to this, I work with my colleagues in Group Procurement to drive a more digitalised approach to buying. We are setting up catalogues for the most used suppliers so that it’s easier and faster to buy what we need to keep the business ticking over.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role?
I joined Group Procurement in November. Since I’ve started, I’ve negotiated better deals to help our colleagues working in Sky Spain and Portugal and re-negotiated the hotel deals for all our colleagues. In travel, I’ve also expanded the number of preferred airlines we can use and that are providing us with discounts for frequent routes. I’ve promoted the use of catalogues with our colleagues and hosted a few external showcases to other organisations of how we use them here.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here?
There have been a few. From organising 2 day events for the CFO and their senior leadership in Sky UK, Italia and Deutschland collating material from the 3 countries and ensuring al run smoothly to hep showcasing how we use catalogues in front of an external audience of around 100 people from companies working with SAP. The most recent is to have been shortlisted as “CFO of the Year” from the British Accountancy Awards for the volunteering work that I do with Women in Banking and Finance, a non-for-profit organisation with which I’ve been working for the past 9 years, also sponsored by the business.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job?
Most definitely the variety of what I’m involved in and the fact that I’ve been able to work with different departments and colleagues across the 3 different locations.
Describe your work/life balance?
I’d say I’m pretty balanced with my approach to work. I like to start early in the morning so that I can go through my emails before the madness of the day begins but I always finish in time in the evening to go to the gym or attend a salsa or kizomba class in the city. I’ve been into dancing for a few years and aside from being good exercise it definitely helps putting a smile on my face!
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career?
Don’t be shy to ask others how they did it! I received this advice some years back and when I asked my former Finance Director, a formidable woman who I admired, how she got to where she was, she was delighted to tell me. I used her advice to shape my decisions, get my MBA and join a non-for-profit Board.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you?
I was an extra in the Brad Pitt movie, World War Z