Bringing military experience to a career in procurement


Tim Ives is Head of Indirect Procurement with ISS and came to this career path alongside his journey as an Army Reservist, where he was a Geographic Technician. He describes his journey in the Forces and the benefits his military experience brings to ISS and the Facilities Management sector

ISS UK values the benefits bought to the organisation by people with diverse interests and experiences. Veterans, reservists, forces leavers and their spouses are no exception. Head of Indirect Procurement, Tim enjoyed 28 years as an Army Reservist. As a Reservist he had a regular civilian career, but he would give up his spare time and some annual leave to enjoy the challenges and benefits of a military career – and bring his experience to his civilian profession.

Improving Standards through procurement

In 2012 Tim joined ISS as a Procurement Specialist working in a team providing Operational Procurement Support. When Tim joined ISS he’d amassed over 20 years’ experience as an Army Reservist, having originally joining the Territorial Army.

When ISS underwent a major centralisation strategy, he quickly progressed to management of the Governance team as Procurement Lead. Tim commented of procurement:

“We can make a difference – a signficant role in improving efficiency for ISS rather than bottom line. There are always challenges which bring out the best in most people. Covid-19 bought out the best in all of us; I led the ISS UK procurement support for the handling of Covid19 and by January 2021, set up the newly formed Indirect Procurement category team and now lead them as Head of Indirect Procurement”.

Honing personal and professional capabilities as a Reservist

As a Reservist, Tim was a Geographic Technician. He provided geographic support to all three armed forces, from Geographic product supply logistics and training on geo products (such as maps and satellite imagery), through to creating bespoke geographic information for operations, briefings and to use in digital equipment. Tim describes his role:

“It was a varied role, very much in demand and I worked with some technically brilliant minds. The most incredible aspect of my 28 years in the Army Reserve was spending three years as the Sergeant Major of the Reserve Squadron that formed part of 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic). I feel honoured, and humbled to have had that opportunity.”

This experience enables ISS and its stakeholders to benefit from the personal and professional capabilities honed by service in the military. The ability to deal with varied challenges calmly and effectively is just one such trait.


In procurement, some days it is challenging to bring an established business on a journey of change, but that is the task. We seek to support and present opportunities to internal and external customers; to improve and develop, and to ensure we support the client and our business to the best of our ability

Tim Ives

                                                      Diversity – and a sense of humour – makes us stronger

At ISS, we believe that a diverse workforce makes us a stronger organisation and partner. Our commitment to our people and our team ethic is an essential part of our culture.


The elements of my time in uniform which I have probably benefitted from in my work life are the hard-wired team spirit that I have where the team come first; a dogged determination to get the job done and finally leadership with understanding and compassion which hopefully comes with a bit of humour sometimes too!

I would like to think that ISS benefits from these things but I think any employee would get that little something extra from someone who has been, or maybe still is, in the services

Tim Ives