“Working on large infrastructure projects is really rewarding, as you know you have been a part of the team providing new community outcomes, to improve the lifestyle of each and every person in an LGA.”

Get to know Cindy Garrahy, Consultant for NSW

How did you end up here? What is your professional background? 

I engaged ArcBlue as a pilot council in the LEAP program. My experience covered 10 years in procurement, 20 years in finance and my favourite role being Program Leader Procurement, Contracts & Leases. This role gave me the opportunity to be the best leader I could be for my team and to assist in delivering wonderful outcomes for the community I live within. After almost 30 years in local government, I left to pursue new adventures and expand my experience. I have always been passionate about local government and was excited to continue my work with the industry through working with ArcBlue, a company I’d admired for many years.


How do you spend most of your days?

I spend a lot of time conversing with council staff about training, frameworks, templates, probity, tendering and infrastructure. I feel right at home discussing the common challenges each council struggles with daily.


What are you working on at the moment?

In recent months my time has been spent developing a Procurement and Contract Management Framework for Local Government, a piece that we identified as missing in the industry.


What trends do you see in your work?

I see councils recruiting new procurement managers and they start a process of reviewing the framework, they develop a policy, strategy, improved intranet site, new systems and templates. They put a roadmap in place and get to work, however, from our position we can see the cycle repeating itself over and over, that’s why we wanted to assist by providing a standard framework, so staff can identify easily what’s in place and they can move to more strategic work items.


What do you enjoy about working in consulting? 

We get to meet so many people in the industries we love while providing our expertise and insights. Working on large infrastructure projects is really rewarding, as you know you have been a part of the team providing new community outcomes, to improve the lifestyle of each and every person in an LGA.


What do you love best about procurement?

The power it has to provide a considered and well-planned process throughout the project lifecycle. When I see value for money and the desired outcomes being provided, I feel we’ve achieved success. I feel procurement is still uncovering the power it holds for an organisation. It has so many areas you can specialise in and that’s why knowing when to consider outsourcing procurement to consultants to get results is really important.


What is the one thing you wish everyone would understand about procurement?

If the correct procurement ecosystem exists in an organisation, providing easy and intuitive systems, a red-carpet approach as such, you will get higher user acceptance. I see a lot of organisations making their processes so tied up in red tape, that the non-procurement user struggles to know how to procure. It is such a balance between robust and simplicity, still allowing for probity.


What are you currently trying to upskill in?

I am moving more into the infrastructure space to upskill in the large project space. My background is working with engineers, procuring roads, bridges, buildings, trade services, plant hire, bulk materials and council asset upgrades. Therefore, upskilling around these areas will allow me to assist organisations with their procurement strategy, the right choice of contract, defined scopes, and collecting the right information from a diverse market.


How long have you been at ArcBlue? What made you join us?  

I have been with ArcBlue for almost a year and a half, time flies. I joined ArcBlue, as I had been asked a few times over the years to join the team, and I thought it’s healthy to get outside of your comfort and push yourself into new opportunities, so here I am. I feel very lucky to work with a large team of highly skilled consultants with global experience, as there’s no better way to uplift yourself than surround yourself with highly skilled operators.


What project has been the most fun / the meatiest to work on at ArcBlue?

I think developing the Procurement and Contract Management Framework, as when you are part of the development of a new product, you feel a sense of pride. I genuinely put my heart and soul into this project as I feel it would’ve helped me when I was in a procurement management role.


What’s the reason you love to work at ArcBlue?  

I love the flexible feel we have; we work from home (or anywhere we can get internet). One day I can be working on collating training slides and the next I might be developing a tender for an Artesian Spring or Football Stadium.


What’s something not many people know about you?

My interests over the last 5 years have included, riding a road bike, towing my caravan on weekends away, travelling the world and playing with my grandson (this last one I admit everyone probably knows, I’m one of those proud Nans).


What can we normally find you doing on the weekend?  

Playing netball, going to the gym and hanging out with my grown children and grandson.


Do you have any pets? 

I have two Labradors, a black and a white. They like to join me on Zoom/Teams. Occasionally they snore or make other weird noises while I’m online; another thing that I love about working from home.


Want to know more? Reach out to Cindy

Keep Reading!