Kimm Krueger joined Commerce Decisions back in 2017 when international travel was a core part of our ability to run a global operation. Having quickly adapted to remote working with our overseas colleagues, constant long flights and jetlag remain a thing of the past (for now). But almost 5 years ago to the day, Kimm was able to take full advantage of what we once considered “the norm”.
When I started my new career with Commerce Decisions in April 2017, I had no idea that I was to embark on one of the most interesting roles that I have ever had the good fortune to take on.
Walking in on my first day, I was excited and looking forward to a new challenge and a bit of an adventure. I had sold software and services for many years, but many aspects of this particular role were completely new to me. I had never worked for a UK based company. I had never started a satellite office. And I had never sold into large Canadian government agencies, where the sole focus was procurement, in the niche area of Bid Evaluation.
I thought that this new role and market focus was a bit of an interesting twist for me, a push outside of my existing comfort zone. But very quickly it became more than just interesting, especially to someone who up to this point thought “procurement” just meant purchase orders!
Forget the fact that I had no network established in this industry, and often found myself standing alone at networking events. Forget that it was the first time I had ever had to converse with Brigadier Generals, (all that gold braid and medals are only a little bit intimidating but they’re really very approachable once you get used to it). And forget that all of a sudden I was dealing with some of the most razor sharp Government of Canada (GoC) procurement teams who build our ships, buy our jets and deploy our satellites – was I put on edge/challenged/overwhelmed? – well you could say just a bit.
With my head still spinning from how much I’d learnt from my first 2 weeks on the job, I then had the added element of jetlag to contend with after flying 5,000 km to visit our head office in the UK.
Here’s what I already knew about Commerce Decisions: we’re an established, agile, and focused organization that makes a difference by helping people around the world benefit from the right procurement decisions being made on important projects. Always striving for the best possible outcome; for our customers and our employees. We are known for our best practices within the realm of strategic procurement. What I didn’t know until joining the business, is that this care and compassion for people and desire to achieve the best outcome, well and truly extends to employees.
Our senior management are always very encouraging of new hires to shadow their more tenured UK colleagues. I didn’t know what to expect but looking back now, I was very fortunate to have this experience. As the UK Government Account Directors embarked on their meetings that week, I was intimidated by the company names appearing in calendars. Home Office, Crown Estate, BBC and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), and I got to sit in these meetings!
The UK MoD meeting was an incredible experience. Over 20 individuals from various teams sat in a room. Between them they had a lot of challenging questions leading to a somewhat exhausting, but exhilarating and informative 2-hour meeting. This was on-the-job training that I’ve never experienced before. That was when it occurred to me: if these are just some of our Tier 1 UK clients – we can go after customers just as big in the Canadian market!
I flew back to Ottawa determined to secure a similar, if not more significant clientele over here.
And so it began, over the past 5 years I have been able to build relationships with a variety of GoC agencies, ultimately securing business and building relationships, establishing that all important network in the industry. I’ve had the honour of supporting teams building our ships, buying our fighter jets, devising complex training programs and securing a variety of equipment for the Government of Canada.
There is a great sense of pride, that along with the larger Commerce Decisions organization, our team in Canada is assisting our GoC procurement leaders to deliver the best possible outcome for their strategic projects. None of this would be possible without the assistance of our experienced procurement consultants, underpinned with our evaluation software platform AWARD®. For the first time in my career I felt I was helping Canada –a sentiment that is underscored further, for me, especially considering the world events of the past few years.
Present and future
Throughout my time thus far at Commerce Decisions, I have learned a great deal from the business, my colleagues, and our clients. From what Commerce Decisions delivers, to how their best practice approach is applied, not only to client delivery for product and services, but also tor their employees and how we are able to learn and understand, from each other on a global scale. Even COVID didn’t stop this approach, philosophy, or methodology.
These dedicated efforts will continue to yield the best possible outcome for our existing and future clients throughout 2022 and beyond. I look forward to the day in April when I will quietly celebrate my 5 year anniversary at Commerce Decisions amongst colleagues and friends. This marks a milestone for me to be proud of what myself and Commerce Decisions as a whole has delivered and continues to deliver in the niche and ever so important area of Bid Evaluation for some of the most advanced, demanding and progressive procurement clients in the world.
Find out more about Commerce Decisions’ work in Canada here.