Jonathan O

Jonathan O'Brien is the CEO of the international purchasing consultancy and training provider, Positive Purchasing Ltd (positivepurchasing.com). Jonathan has over 25 years' experience working in Purchasing. He has worked all over the world to help global organizations increase their purchasing capability through training, education and working directly with practitioners and executive teams to drive in the adoption of category management, supplier relationship management, negotiation, and other strategic purchasing methodologies.

Jonathan is an electronics engineer who ended up in Purchasing. His career in engineering soon moved into supplier quality assurance, and it was the hundreds of supplier audits undertaken involving detailed examination of business practice and process that provided a sound understanding of how organizations work, and thus began the process of working with companies to help them improve. A move to senior buying role in a large utility company shifted the focus to the commercial aspects of purchasing and this career path culminated in a global category director role for an airline business. Jonathan moved to an internal consultant role and helped lead a series of major organizational change programmes. A subsequent move into consultancy, initially with a large global strategic purchasing consultancy and later with his own business, provided Jonathan with the opportunity to work with some of the biggest and most well-known companies in the world to help improve purchasing capability and gaining a rich experience along the way.

Jonathan holds an MBA from Plymouth University Business School, a Diploma in Marketing and an HNC in electronics, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing (MCIPS), and NLP Master Practitioner and a former registered Lead Assessor of quality management systems.

Jonathan and his team at Positive Purchasing Ltd have developed and created the 5i® Category Management process, the 5A™ SRM process and the Red Sheet® negotiation tool that has become the way many individuals and corporations approach negotiation.

Jonathan has published three books. He is also an accomplished broadcaster and artist and lives with his family in Plymouth, UK.

You can e-mail Jonathan at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


A supply base represents a wealth of possibilities and opportunities for any organization, however, few ever get past interfacing with suppliers at anything other than a transactional or contracting level. Yet amongst the multitude of suppliers most organizations carry: value, innovation, efficiency, reduced cost and increased security of supply area available to those that can find it and unlock it. There may even be a handful of suppliers who hold the potential to help grow a brand or business, or improve competitive advantage. The secret is identifying who these are and figuring out how to engage with them in a way so as to enable this to happen. This is a practical book that helps do just that.

Not all suppliers are the same; despite the aspirations many hold to have a closer relationship with you only a small number actually warrant this in terms of the potential value a relationship can bring. Supplier relationship management (SRM) is an umbrella term that is about deciding the level of intervention and the extent and nature of any relationship needed with suppliers. For the vast majority this should be minimal with our precious resources being directed only at working with those suppliers with whom we can realize significant and worthwhile value.

The term 'SRM' holds different meanings to different people and this book seeks to bring clarity here. SRM is a strategic, organization-wide philosophy, that brings together a series of discrete supplier and supply chain approaches including supplier performance measurement (SPM), supplier improvement & development (SI&D), supply chain management (SCM) and strategic collaborative relationships (SCR). SRM provides the means to select and integrate these different components according to how an individual supplier or a supply chain can add value to a business. SRM is therefore an ensemble of complementary supply base interventions, determined and coordinated strategically according to corporate aims and objectives. This book explores each of these components and how, when combined, they form the 'orchestra of SRM'.

If you seek competitive advantage for the future in an ever-changing world, if you need more from your suppliers or if you struggle to get the performance or response you need, if you are concerned about risk in your supply chains or if you believe that your supply base can make a much greater contribution to your future business aims and aspirations then you need to read this book.

I am interested to learn of your experiences of SRM and using the approaches outlined in this book. Please feel free to connect with me on Linkedln or e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it and share.

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