11 October 2012 | Lorna Blackwood
Incoming president observes importance of procurement
Celebrating procurement was the message of the night, when Paula Gildert took the stage at this year’s CIPS Supply Management Awards. The incoming president opened the proceedings with a rallying speech comparing the success of the profession with the success of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Speaking to a relaxed crowd, she emphasised the importance of promoting the achievements and excellence of procurement and supply and was eager to push the profession to a wider and younger audience. She praised CIPS’ initiative to help build a profession of the future.
Gildert also acknowledged the institute’s growing global presence, with an office now in China. She celebrated the dedication of those in developing countries applying and gaining CIPS qualifications, where the cost could be the equivalent of a month’s salary.
She said: “We must recognise the financial burden members of our profession in the developing world take on to acquire CIPS credentials. However, this only goes to show the importance of this training. For us, it is like achieving Olympic gold.”
Gildert said she was looking forward to her time at the forefront of procurement, promoting and improving its presence in the business world.
☛ Read SM’s interview with Paula Gildert in the November issue
Boateng: A strategic approach can assist Africa’s development
Strategic sourcing can help create jobs for local businesses as well as strengthen Africa’s economic development, according to Dr Douglas Boateng, chairman of CIPS’ Africa Strategic Advisory Board.
Dr Boateng was presenting a paper at the first of three CIPS Africa Distinguished Lectures in Accra, Ghana last month. At the event, attended by African policy makers, procurement professionals and government officials, Dr Boateng noted that a well-developed strategic sourcing approach could strengthen economic capacity by increasing demand for local suppliers. This would, in turn, improve the investment environment and ensure an increase in local productivity, quality and competitiveness.
Strategic sourcing, which he defined as a procurement process that continuously improves and re-evaluates the purchasing activities of an organisation, has helped businesses achieve quantifiable savings, often between 4 per cent and 12 per cent on the procurement spend.
His paper recommended African governments introduce price flexibility to local suppliers, which would help smaller businesses grow and create jobs. He suggested the public sector spend more with local companies, which will promote business start-ups, attract new inward investment and improve prosperity and drive regeneration in Africa.
“A new era has dawned for the procurement and supply chain management profession,” he said.
CIPS enters Russia as MTS begins people development
CIPS is holding its first training programme in Russia at global telecommunications company MTS.
It is running a three-year, tailored people-development course to help improve procurement and supply management capability among MTS teams.
A total of 16 participants from the company started the CIPS corporate award programme last month and, on completion, they will gain professional accreditation to the internationally recognised MCIPS status.
Topics covered include effective negotiation, contract management, supplier relationship development and leadership in purchasing.
Interactive workshops and practical work-based assignments will help address any skill gaps and enable staff to get the most from the course.
CIPS CEO David Noble said that since each business is different, the corporate award programme can be adapted to suit the size and strategy of organisations in order to deliver the most suitable high-quality training.
He said: “I’m delighted that MTS has shown great commitment and dedication to learning and improving its procurement and supply management skills. It is demonstrably a high-profile and talented team and we will support it all the way in the achievement of its goals.”
Valerie Shorzin, CPO at MTS Group, said: “This programme is a further building block to the very successful three-year procurement transformation programme that we have been running in MTS since 2010.”
MTS hopes that those on the programme will encourage others to improve their skills, as they are sent to more remote regions in Russia to pass on their knowledge to local and regional procurement teams.
NHS SBS gains certification for a ‘strong foundation’
NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has become the first NHS procurement organisation to achieve CIPS certification.
NHS SBS is a joint venture between the National Health Service and Steria – a company that delivers IT-enabled business services to help organisations operate more efficiently.
NHS SBS provides finance and accounting, HR, primary care administration and commercial procurement services to nearly 50 per cent of NHS trusts. These trusts are under increasing pressure to deliver financial savings while minimising the impact on frontline services. Procurement has been identified as an area that could make a significant contribution to overcome this challenge.
The organisation believed the certification gave it a strong foundation from which to develop strategy, policy and operating procedures and use it as a catalyst for continuous improvement to its procurement function.
Working with CIPS has already led to a 10 to 15 per cent improvement in process efficiencies, as well as advancing cross-functional teamwork.
John Neilson, chief executive of NHS SBS, said: “CIPS certification is positive evidence that the commercial procurement service we provide to the NHS remains key for all our clients, whether we are supporting the collective efforts and focus of trusts, assisting individual organisations in turnaround programmes, or working with trust managers on modelling their spend profiles.”
- A pilot scheme in Lincolnshire between CIPS and Young Enterprise needs volunteers to help promote the procurement profession to young people. CIPS is seeking local members to run sessions in schools and colleges. It has produced a resource pack, so all that is needed is some time and expertise. Contact Claire Brewis for details.
- CIPS Africa has been formally recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority as the professional body for procurement and supply in the country. The decision includes the formal registration of the MCIPS designation on the South African National Qualification Framework (NQF), at NQF Level 8. Andre Coetzee, managing director of CIPS Africa said: “This is a major milestone in the history of CIPS Africa. I believe that we will see an unprecedented growth in membership following this announcement.”
- If you missed CIPS’ September conference on Redefining Legal Procurement, watch the presentations on the CIPS website. The film also includes interviews with speakers and members who attended. The event heard from leading voices in the sector on the implications of opening up the legal market to more competition and innovation. Until this year, legal service providers could only be owned and run by lawyers. The event explored how the legal world is changing, concluding with a lively question and answer session.
West Wales branch inspired by Everest climber Woodall
There were tears and laughter in equal measure at the West Wales branch meeting, during a talk on leadership and motivational skills.
Guest speaker, Ian Woodall, one of a select few to have climbed both the south and north sides of Mount Everest, captivated the audience with his moving tales of determination and motivation.
‘The Tao of Everest’, recounted stories of selfless acts of kindness, danger and tragedy. While attempting the north side of the mountain, he stopped just below the summit to try to help a dying American climber. She asked him not to leave her, but he had to carry on to secure the safety of his own team. Nine years later, Woodall returned to bury the woman he had been forced to leave behind. After wrapping her in the American flag he slid her gently down the north face to join her beloved husband who was lying somewhere below.
The audience learned of his bravery and peace of mind to make tough decisions for his team. During his first ascent from the south, Woodall’s team were trapped at 8,000 metres in the worst storm in Everest’s history, which claimed the lives of five fellow climbers from another team.
After the trauma and tragedy of the storm, Woodall and his team chose to battle on, finally reaching the summit as the only ones left on the mountain.
Helen Rees, branch chairwoman, said it had been one of the most successful events she had organised, with a Q&A session lasting more than an hour.
New standards certification boosts GCHQ morale
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is the first organisation to be certified under CIPS’ new standards, which were launched in June.
GCHQ is one of three UK intelligence agencies and forms a crucial part of the UK’s national intelligence and security machinery. CIPS formally presented the recertification at the end of August. GCHQ first achieved certification in 2005, with follow-ups in 2008 and 2010. CIPS worked with the organisation to improve the procurement process, policies and procedures.
A CIPS spokesperson said: “Having 11 skilful and gifted players in the team will take you so far but without a system to support them, excellence will be difficult to achieve.”
GCHQ believes another benefit of recertification is the positive effect it has on its staff and their morale.
First Europe Network Group meets in Zurich
A CIPS Europe Network Group has been established and had its inaugural event in Zurich, Switzerland on 5 September.
CIPS invited senior professionals from large corporate companies throughout Switzerland and the surrounding countries to help raise its profile in the region.
The group also provides an opportunity for procurement professionals to network in a more relaxed environment. The event attracted 52 attendees, a mixture of both CIPS members and non-members.
Thomas Schnadt, group chief procurement officer and head of cost management at UBS AG in Zurich was the guest speaker, with additional presentations from Carol Husband and Philip Broughton, both from CIPS.
An interim committee was elected, with a full board to be voted in later in the year. There are plans for another meeting in November, with invites again spreading to companies in Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
Husband, CIPS UK and Europe membership manager, who is arranging these meetings, said: “The Europe Network is in its initial stages. We hope to arrange some more events for the Swiss group in the near future.”
If you are a CIPS member in Europe and would like to learn more about this group, contact Carol Husband.