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Regional Sourcing Manager - APAC

Siti Aminah Ahmad is proud of her reputation as a sharp strategic thinker and passion for driving cost reduction, process optimisation and supply chain excellence. But says her people skills have been just as valuable for her professional success.

She entered the procurement arena straight from school in 2007, ‘learning on the job’ for the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor (Malaysia) before stepping up to procurement executive at Kinetics Link Service, then joining the sourcing team of Fastenal.

Through her early career, it became clear she had a talent for stakeholder engagement, so when she undertook a Bachelor’s degree in management at the Open University Malaysia she elected to take an HR strand to expand her people skills.

Career variety within one company

Until this point, Siti had changed company every few years to progress her career, but her next move in 2015 – to Smiths Detection as senior buyer – changed that. She felt her potential was nurtured from the outset and, within a couple of years, she gained selection for our Leadership Development Programme for high-potential talent.

She said, ‘This fantastic initiative has greatly contributed to my professional development.’

It led to promotion as regional sourcing and category manager, with responsibility for Smiths Group’s indirect spend across Asia Pacific.

This required close collaboration with other Smiths divisions and allowed her to contribute directly to the Group's procurement strategy in order to maximise expenditure.

Her performance was noticed by Smiths Detection, which subsequently appointed her regional sourcing manager APAC, overseeing its direct material procurement activities across APAC, China and India. She said, ‘I strongly believe that this dynamic movement between divisions sharpened my contribution to the company's overall strategic sourcing initiatives and helped boost the various efficiency gains achieved by the divisional procurement functions.’

As an integral part of the Global Sourcing Team, Siti now steers and audits various national sourcing strategies to ensure they align with key corporate policies such as ethics and sustainability.

She helped evolve our materials localisation initiative, vetting and overseeing the onboarding of local suppliers and the international transfer of materials, and is particularly proud of how she’s optimised our supplier network by negotiating favourable terms that saved costs while ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality materials. Such projects benefited enormously not only from her strategic input but also from her people engagement skills.

She also found that working with people from different cultures keeps her ‘captivated’, and she continuously strives to empower their individual talents while uniting them under a common purpose.

Empowered by learning

Having experienced supportive managers herself, Siti proactively helps others, saying ‘It’s so rewarding helping my team to grow, explore and expand their own talents, and work as a team to achieve our collective goals.’

As the region’s SAP champion, she collaborates with Smiths Business Academy to upskill collagues, training across the Group. In the process, she proactively fosters a spirit of cross-divisional collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Her significant contribution was recognised with the prestigious Smiths Star Award. She said, ‘Empowering others has been both fulfilling and motivating.’

Her own professional development has benefited from our Education Assist Programme which helped her undertake an MBA at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) training.

She said, ‘These opportunities have broadened my horizons and I’m more excited than ever to see where my career might take me next.’

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The Smiths Leadership Development Programme is a fantastic initiative which has greatly contributed to my professional development.
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