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County Durham procurement firm want to help more young talent

ByDave Stopher

Apr 9, 2024

Johnson Procurement Solutions (JPS) is focused on developing more young talent after watching an award-winning member of staff successfully save huge organisations millions of pounds.

Procurement officer Niall Douglas was rewarded for an incredible six-year journey with the Newton Aycliffe business when he was named one of the Young Achiever Award winners at March’s NEPIC Industry Awards.

The celebration of achievements of companies and individuals from processing industries across the North-East of England at Hardwick Hall recognised how Niall has become an invaluable member of the JPS team.

That was achieved without the keen non-league footballer being enrolled on an corporate apprenticeship programme since leaving 5am shifts at a supermarket behind – and now he is responsible for huge projects on behalf of multi-billion-pound clients.

Steven Johnson, his mentor and JPS’ managing director, said: “I am very proud of Niall. It has been incredible to see him on his career path.

“There is a level in the beginning where you have to hold a young member of the team’s hand to guide them through, so it’s fantastic to now have real confidence in him, he knows what he is doing, and he is a safe pair of hands in the organisation.

“Niall deserves the recognition because he hasn’t come through on the normal journey. He’s already at the cutting edge of the business and operating with huge competence.”

Niall, from Shildon, Co Durham, joined JPS 12 months after it was founded seven years ago. He has seen the business grow from working with small to medium businesses into procurement specialists providing flexible interim procurement and commercial support for blue chip organisations such as Worley, Centrica, Johnson Matthey and PX Group.

With realistic seven-figure targets set for 2025, JPS are looking to hire post-graduate quantity surveyors within weeks and then a project procurement manager within the next four to six months.

Steven said: “We are a strong growing team and I believe we will only grow stronger by developing more young individuals. That is a huge part of the strategy.

“We want to replicate what we have achieved with Niall, in many respects, on the QS and procurement side.

“I want to be able to shape and develop young individuals with potential to help them become seasoned professionals in the industry. Our varying portfolio of clients will mean they get involved in different aspects of procurement and commercial management.”

Niall, despite his tender years, now has the experience to look after projects worth in excess of £25m. JPS want to provide that kind of exposure to determined individuals keen to make an impact in the world of procurement.

As a proud North-East business owner from Darlington, Steven wants to ensure JPS provides the opportunities for more people from the region to shine in the years ahead.

He said: “We are very focused on Teesside and the North-East. We work with clients across the UK, from London up to Hull, Teesside and beyond. We want to give people in this area a chance.

“It’s up to me to have the right structure and platform in place to thrive. I would love to leave a legacy. The company is just a name, it’s the individuals who make a name that lasts.”

JPS provides major blue chip global organisations with live major project procurement by developing their project procurement and contract strategies, putting teams in to deal with those on a full-time interim basis. Post-contract commercial management also forms part of their service offering.

Steven said: “We originally worked with companies turning over £30-40m seven years ago and now we help organisations with hundreds of millions or even billion pounds in turnovers. It was a strategic shift that has given us rewards and continuity.

“We offer that flexible extension to existing teams, who receive all the senior management support that comes with that to help achieve their goals.”

*For further information check out www.jps-procurementsolutions.com