GfA backs Elaine’s move into Purchasing

7 November 2023

Elaine Kilpatrick's story at GfA is one of determination, continuous learning, and thriving in the face of challenge.  Her journey began in October 2019 when she joined GfA in a Customer Services role; a couple of years later an opportunity to progress as Purchasing Administrator was too good to pass up!  

This is a story of how employer investment, encouragement and trust can reward a focused, high-potential member of staff with a rewarding career - by recruiting and recognising the talent they already have.

In February 2022, an internal opportunity arose in the Purchasing Department at GfA and Elaine seized the chance to take on the role as Purchasing Administrator, embracing the opportunity with open arms. Mum of two, Elaine worked more than five hours weekly completing online lectures, coursework and exams for a whole year, studying for her CIPS qualification with APA Procurement & Supply Training. Elaine said: “It has been hard some weeks to juggle family, a full-time job and my studies, but the team and HR here at GfA have all been incredibly supportive. I’ve not done exams for 20 years - and so an exam every six weeks at the end of every module has been challenging.”

CIPS training at GfA

As well as support from her colleagues, Elaine recognises the importance of APA who were there to provide guidance and encouragement throughout. 

The job she does at GfA is demanding; managing stock supplies from multiple sources, including overseas suppliers, navigating the intricacies of customs regulations and customs clearance, working with delivery schedules and liaising with the Sales and Customer Services teams as well as GfA Germany. 

A standout feature of Elaine's story is the supportive and nurturing culture at GfA. She describes her colleagues as a tight-knit family that look out for each other, fostering an environment where asking for help is encouraged and appreciated. GfA's workplace blends professionalism and a relaxed atmosphere, creating a conducive space for both collaboration and growth, ensuring team members are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills in their respective fields. 

After a year of studying and tremendous dedication, Elaine successfully completed her course in August and has been awarded the CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations, and as recognition for her achievement, she has recently been promoted to Purchasing Specialist.

Elaine's journey is far from over, and her story serves as an inspiration to those seeking growth and new challenges in their careers. Her experience at GfA underscores the importance of fostering a culture of learning, collaboration, and support within organisations, which ultimately contributes to the success of both the individuals and the company as a whole.  The next stage of progression will be to complete Level 4… this space.  

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