Meet Samantha Young, Landell's Director for Procurement Advisory | News

Meet Samantha Young, Landell's Director for Procurement Advisory

Samantha Young, Landell’s new Director for Procurement Advisory talks about why she’s so passionate about growing the procurement agenda and incorporating social objectives.


For those who don’t know you Sam, can you tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve been doing that has led you up to this point in your career?

S Young Profile Article Pic


I’ve always been an avid lover of the great outdoors, and my introduction to procurement was through facility management contracts for Victorian Government recreation camps. I worked with camp managers to manage assets through good planning, effective supply and continuous review. 


With this change, the owners and I spent less time on managing facilities and could focus more on creating a fantastic experience for visitors.


Through this, I became passionate about the power of procurement and the impact towards creating value. Importantly, I learned the value of strategy and ensuring that all stakeholders could see how they contributed to the end goal.


Since then, I’ve gone on to work with great people to build the procurement agenda in organisations like Victoria Police, the Country Fire Authority, the Department of State Development and Department of Treasury and Finance.


I’ve also provided strategic advice to Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB); considering legislative and policy objectives to create pragmatic strategies on the ground with departments and agencies. I really enjoyed establishing the whole of government framework for approaching the market including the establishment of a suite of contracts to streamline the way the State procures and establishing the VGPB Accreditation framework.


What are some of the most rewarding things you’ve done in your career to date?


I’ve worked with many different people, and I thrive off their enthusiasm to make a difference. Some of the many highlights would have to be working with VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria to develop their procurement strategy. They’re very progressive and innovative procurement teams, who have embraced the benefits of establishing a strategic approach to procurement – and it’s paying off!


Their executive teams understand the power of procurement to be a driver of increased organisational productivity and the social value it has the potential to create beyond service delivery for the Victorian community. 


What do you want to achieve now and how does joining Landell help you do this?


Procurement as a profession, and the value of good procurement is recognised in organisations that deliver goods, but demonstrating the benefit in service delivery can often be challenging. Joining Landell will give me the opportunity to work with more organisations to make the connection between community, service delivery and supply. For me, this is where procurement can create social value beyond just service delivery.


If you could save an extra dollar from your personal expenditure that could allow you to make your money go further and add to your quality of life, wouldn’t you, do it?  That’s why I became so involved in procurement. The concept is the same for any organisation. An organisation has its core objectives and it has a budget to achieve those objectives.  If it manages expenditure effectively, the organisation can get more “bang-for-buck” or in procurement speak, value for money. 


When reflecting on your experience in Government procurement, what do you think are the opportunities to get even better value for money from supply?


Planning the way an organisation undertakes its procurement, including establishing effective category management, resource management and measuring the benefits of supply is the key to obtaining better value for money.  It is quite common for procurers to undertake procurement, establish a contract and then think their job is done, but the job is only half done! 


As procurers, the ongoing monitoring and management of supply is just as important. Are we getting what we originally sourced? Are we still obtaining value for money? Is the arrangement still comparative to the market? What can the supplier tell us about the market to meet the outcome we are trying to achieve? 


Effective category management can help to drive change to improve value for money. Ongoing review and recognising the benefits of measuring performance and reporting upwards is key to leveraging the value of procurement. 


What do you think are the biggest threats to progress made to date in Government procurement?


The biggest threat to procurement reform is the fact that we think the job is done.  We have established a procurement strategy, but we are not undertaking continual review to ensure the strategy maintains relevance.  Anytime there is major change, be it a machinery of government change, or a new policy or initiative is established, the organisations procurement profile changes (expenditure, governance, resources etc). The organisation should review its procurement strategy to ensure it is still fit for purpose.


I feel this is where I can make the greatest contribution to help clients set, monitor and adapt their strategy as the situation changes to ensure consistent value for money objectives are achieved and strategic risks are managed. Value for money is not just the value of saving a dollar but making that dollar go further.  I am keen to work with organisations to incorporate social objectives into their procurement strategies.


When professionals see the difference, they can make to someone else directly through their actions, this creates incalculable social value and equity within organisations. Without the continual evaluation and adjustment to strategy, we could miss opportunities to help someone less fortunate than ourselves, or to give someone a life-changing experience, just like I had through my passion of recreation.


Thanks for your time Sam. Sometimes when you change jobs, it’s difficult to stay in touch with colleagues, clients and suppliers – are you worried about that?


I am not worried, I hope those former work colleagues, clients and suppliers know me well enough to know that I’m only a phone call away. I’m really excited because moving to Landell makes keeping contact with everyone a priority, so I really can’t wait to carry on the conversation about driving the procurement agenda and where I can make a contribution.


Samantha can be reached by phone: 0410 542 397 or email