“Kirby is a learning organisation; we have two-way conversations with key stakeholders, and we always listen and learn,” says Aidan McAuliffe, Kirby Procurement Manager for Europe

In this #PeopleFirst we speak to Aidan McAuliffe, our Procurement Manager for Europe. Having worked in procurement for over 15 years, he’s worked with Kirby for the last six years to develop supply chains and material supplier arrangements across the continent.

His background at Kerry Group, Nestle and Bord Gáis has supported Kirby’s expansion, as he develops, implements and evolves Kirby’s procurement software, tying everything back to the Kirby Way – the systems and processes that ensure a streamlined approach to project delivery for its clients.

“At Kirby, Value and Delivery are key values, and that’s something that attracted me to work with the company. We have grown sustainably over that time, with a strategy to ensure we continue to deliver excellence for our clients, always operating within the span of our control.

“We don’t overpromise or underdeliver. We understand our capacity and don’t breach it. That includes ensuring we maintain, develop and evolve our supply and materials approach and strategy. For me and the team, that means ensuring our technology is one step ahead of where we are now, with forecasting and constant collaboration with our supply chain partners. Not only to bring them on the journey with us, but also to ensure we have an accurate picture of the next 12 months to two years in terms of the market,” says Aidan, who works in the centralised procurement team at Kirby’s headquarters in Limerick.

World events have seen procurement take the fore with BREXIT and the war in Ukraine putting pressures on global demand for goods. “As a centralised team we provide real value to the company and our clients, we are highly strategic in our approach to critical packages, and now have over 3,000 suppliers to draw upon to deliver projects across Europe.”

Aidan initially joined Kirby as Capex Buyer, before being promoted to Senior Procurement Specialist, and then to Procurement Manager for Europe two years ago.

With legislation, collective bargaining agreements and different unions in individual geographies, he now works collaboratively with finance, HR, legal and operations teams to develop a supply chain framework whenever Kirby enters a new market.

“Kirby will always do the right thing in terms of working in new markets and establishing new supply chains. Before we move into a new location we invest heavily in research and development, ensuring we can deliver compliance and value for our longstanding clients,” he adds.

Procurement is also a key aspect of Kirby’s sustainability policy, as we work with our clients, the community, our supply chain and employees to respond to climate change and develop our business to meet the needs of present and future generations.

“Procurement and supply chain are key to putting into action programmes and practices that reduce the use of natural resources, promote energy-efficient products and technologies to add value for our clients, communities and our planet,” Aidan explains.

For Aidan and the team, this means creating local supply chains to reduce carbon emissions and boost local spend, and fair trade and sustainable materials choices that ensure we can support our clients on their journey to net zero.

“We have also implemented a system of traceability into our own supply chain and on our vendors. This approach has allowed us to better understand the marketplace and our supply chain in detail, and how any products we use have been manufactured to the benefit of our environment and community,” he explains.

Another aspect of our sustainability policy is investing in and developing our people, which Aidan is also heavily involved in. He ensures that the team has access to the expertise and experience they need to grow and develop.

“Everyone in the team has the exposure to key strategy procurement activities, shadowing others, so that they can benefit from the knowledge of a wide range of experts from across the company. They can then use that insight to implement their learning within their own work.”

To find out more about careers at Kirby go to https://careers.kirbygroup.com/.

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Aidan McAuliffe, Kirby Procurement Manager for Europe
Aidan McAuliffe, Kirby Procurement Manager for Europe
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