Buying the Right Way Making Smart Buying Choices in Unprecedented Times
O ver the last year, the industry saw unprecedented changes and challenges for purchasing and stocking products. Strategies magazine spoke with Sarah Lee, Blish-Mize vice president of purchasing, for some expert insight and tips to help take you into 2021 and the Spring Buying Market.
Lee has worked for Blish-Mize for 19 years—the past 12 years of which were spent in the purchasing department—where she has held the positions of assistant buyer, merchandise manager, purchasing director, and now, vice president of purchasing.
Strategies : What can you tell us about your role in the purchasing department at Blish-Mize? Sarah Lee (SL): I oversee the purchasing team, and I work strategically to negotiate the best programs and pricing, decide the best direction to make each category a stronger, more well-rounded department, and make sure the orders keep flowing. Our primary department responsibility is to keep Blish-Mize in stock, therefore keeping our customers in stock. Our No. 1 priority is maintaining a high level of service to our customers. SL: “Unprecedented” seems to be the word of the year. However, it perfectly describes what we’ve faced in supply chain management. The last year has been unlike any other where product procurement has proven more challenging. Overall, as a company, we have done a great job maintaining a respectable Strategies : What is the current status of the Blish-Mize supply chain?
“The last year has been unlike any other where product procurement has proven more challenging. Overall, as a company, we have done a great job maintaining a respectable fill rate for our customers.” —Sarah Lee, vice president of purchasing
4 Spring 2021 • Hardlines Strategies
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