9 August 2012 | Hannah Whittaker
Security focus at Olympics event
An event on the role of purchasing at the 2012 Olympics became focused on security arrangements.
‘Procurement’s bid for gold’, hosted by the Birmingham branch of CIPS, included a talk by Stephen Wills, the former head of security procurement at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
Wills, who was in the post from August 2011 to March this year, was part of the team that inherited the contract with G4S (the security group employed by LOCOG).
He renegotiated the deal to mitigate possible risks and hold the vendor accountable for delivery.
Wills provided an account of the work procurement professionals played behind the scenes and said many of the challenges were around LOCOG’s position as a temporary organisation, immovable deadlines and media scrutiny.
The evening was also attended by John Perrott, senior legal counsel at Kraft Foods in the UK, who was one of the official torch bearers. “I will never experience anything else like it in my life,” he said.
Royal Mail Group benefits from CIPS certification
The CIPS procurement policies and procedures (PPP) certification is helping the procurement team at Royal Mail Group navigate the challenges associated with transitioning from a public to a private sector organisation.
The privatisation of Royal Mail is expected to start in autumn 2013, with group procurement one of the first departments to transition by taking a more commercial approach to business.
CIPS certification has helped this process by providing a comprehensive set of guidelines and tools to equip the purchasing team to operate at a high level in the private sector.
The delivery of the certification was designed by the team themselves, with the aim of providing professional development for staff as well as building on their existing policies and procedures. The idea was to ensure process efficiencies and risk reduction for the benefit of both the company and its customers.
Kath Harmeston, group procurement director at Royal Mail Group, said: “It’s really important in an organisation such as ours, which is bound by strict rules about how we procure goods and services and relies on its supplier partners to provide critical support, that we maintain high standards.”
The next big step for the purchasing team is achieving world-class procurement status.
This will be accomplished through CIPS Gold Certification work that began in April.
To be a good leader, ‘don’t leave your humanity at home’
Too many leaders forget they are human when they go to work, Professor Roger Steare told an audience of CIPS fellows last month.
Speaking at the event on 10 July, hosted by former CIPS president Shirley Cooper FCIPS at Lorien Resourcing in London, Professor Steare said: “If we don’t bring humanity to work, how can we have integrity?”
In his view, traits like the ability to empathise with colleagues, honesty, trust and transparency are vital if you want to have a successful and ethical organisation.
The former banker and author of ethicability: how to decide what’s right and find the courage to do it, has advised many financial services organisations in this respect. He made some controversial observations on the night, such as: “Pay is not about greed, it is ego. Earning more than £50,000 a year will not make you happier.”
Steare’s presentation (‘Ethicability matters’) was part of a programme of events designed by and for CIPS fellows. The fellows group has already held a number of other successful events, including a wine tasting evening hosted by Proxima and a number of prestigious black-tie dinners at the Houses of Parliament and Mansion House. Several of the events have given fellows the opportunity to network with other groups, such as the Guild of Freemen and Institute of Directors.
Each event provides an enjoyable opportunity to meet with other CPOs to exchange ideas and share experiences. Attendance can also contribute towards continuing professional development and provide opportunities to contribute to a panel of experts or mentor other colleagues.
Details of forthcoming events, including a night of fashion with Roubi L’Roubi in October and dinner with incoming CIPS president Paula Gildert in November, can be found at www.cips.org/fellows.
Fellowship recognises the outstanding achievement of members’ contribution to the promotion and development of the profession. Becoming a fellow of CIPS (FCIPS) highlights leadership qualities or skills in the procurement and supply management community and CIPS welcomes applications from MCIPS members in all sectors. For more details on how to apply to become FCIPS, go to www.cips.org/membership/grades/fellowship.
Women in procurement get networking in Dubai
The inaugural ‘women in procurement’ event, held in association with the CIPS Middle East and North Africa (MENA) office, was hosted at the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina last month.
The brainchild of Lorraine Black, senior procurement manager at MBC Media and co-sponsored by CIPS MENA, the working lunch featured prominent female speakers, including Rebecca Fox, general manager at CIPS MENA, and CEO of Procurement Plus Vanessa Zambas, who presented on how to build a successful purchasing career.
It was attended by 20 senior professionals from a variety of companies, including retail bank Emirates NBD, Citibank, Al Futtaim Motors and Caterpillar.
Zambas said: “If colleagues of all levels can be encouraged to mix freely and discuss procurement topics in an open environment they can learn from each other, take on new ideas and the best from each other’s experiences and cultures.”
CIPS MENA, working with the newly founded Women in Procurement Committee in the UAE, is using such events to support women in the profession and to attract more females to it by providing jointly hosted seminars every year, networking and development opportunities. A seminar on effective negotiation skills will be held on 4 October and is open to all women in the region. Go to bit.ly/womeninprocurement to join the LinkedIn networking group.
Study centre staff enjoy full programme at information days
CIPS held two information days across the UK this summer, which were aimed at the employees of the 70 CIPS-approved UK study centres.
Twice a year, the institute runs these events to get this group together to share experiences, opinions and hear about the latest developments in CIPS qualifications. A range of speakers from CIPS were included a packed programme at the days in Leeds and Peterborough.
New qualifications – including the titles of the units and their aims – were previewed ahead of the launch, which took place in July. The days also included information about the proposed assessment structure and methodology and an update on new resources.
There was also the chance to give feedback on new audit and grading processes and an update on regulatory issues affecting training providers. Finally, staff were given the chance to ask questions relating to CIPS’ examinations, including how to become an exam centre, how to manage CIPS exams and check entries.
In addition to the UK centres, there are around 100 CIPS study centres across the world. The next UK events will be held in November, with plans to roll out these information days across other regions.
CIPS pays respects to ex-president Sydney Swallow
Former CIPS president Sydney Swallow has passed away after a short illness at the age of 92.
Swallow joined the Institute of Public Supplies (IPS) in 1950 and became a fellow in 1962, before serving as president of IPS between 1962-63.
Swallow spent his professional life in purchasing positions at the National Coal Board, Central Electricity Generating Board and British Telecom.
In 1974, when he was director of supplies at Central London Council, he was awarded the prestigious Swinbank Medal from IPS.
As a Swinbank winner, Swallow delivered a lecture at the 1974 annual conference in Harrogate entitled ‘Managing with inflation and counter inflation’.
Following some significant interest in the topic, the entire text of his lecture was then printed in the conference journal.
After retiring in 1987, Swallow remained a lifetime member of CIPS, exemplifying his deep attachment to the profession throughout
On the same side
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between CIPS and the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM), the largest association for sales professionals in the UK.
The partnership is designed to provide networking opportunities and other benefits to the members of each institute. The MoU, which was signed in June by CIPS CEO David Noble and Stephen Wright, commercial director at the ISMM, means members of both institutes can apply for discounted membership of the other body, as well as the opportunity to attend two jointly hosted free seminars every year.
Noble said: “Sales and procurement are often perceived to be at loggerheads, so this is a great opportunity for our members to understand the pressures and challenges from ‘the other side’. The partnership between CIPS and the ISMM represents the growing partnership between buyer and seller.”
The first joint event, ‘successful selling’, will be held in Coventry on 12 October. Go to bit.ly/successful-selling for details.
● Melinda Johnson has become the first chairperson of the new CIPS Congress.
The congress will play a representative and advisory role, with elected members promoting the interests of their constituents and helping to steer the strategy of the institute. Johnson will be responsible for the effective operation of congress, as well as ensuring members’ views are represented on the Board of Trustees.
● CIPS is supporting the Business Continuity Institute’s 4th annual Supply Chain Resilience Survey and encourages members to share their experiences and expertise in this critical subject area. Questions focus on different aspects of supply chain disruption. The survey takes 10 minutes to complete and all members who do so will receive a free copy of the final report. Go to bit.ly/resiliencesurvey
● Four members of the Gulf Air procurement team have completed the advanced CIPS diploma level 5, with a particular emphasis on international purchasing and supply. Mahmood Ahmadi, director of purchasing and logistics, said the qualification has been instrumental in improving the team’s negotiation skills and selection of goods and services, as well as strategies that better support the overall business. Gulf Air hopes all 31 of its purchasing team will work towards the CIPS qualification.