13 September 2012 | CIPS News
Gold rush for Scottish Water
Scottish Water has become the world’s first water utility to achieve gold certification status from CIPS. The accolade recognises excellence in procurement and supply chain policies and practices and the company is one of only 14 global organisations to have attained the standard.
The gold certification process covers three distinct areas: the link between the activity within the procurement function and the strategic intent of the organisation; evidence of continuous improvement; and proof of good practice in five areas – people, process, infrastructure, tools and metrics. It also tests the perceptions of the relationship with selected internal customers and key suppliers.
Scottish Water was praised for its professional development and procurement and supply function leadership. Head of procurement Joe Rowan said: “We’re continuing to provide record investment in enhancing Scotland’s water and waste water infrastructure. Our procurement and supply chain processes are central to this.”
CIPS CEO David Noble described it as a “highly-progressive water company”, adding: “Scottish Water showed a particularly strong commercial approach to risk management and a proactive approach to gathering, capturing, storing and communicating important business knowledge.”
CIPS head of certification Ian Schollar said it was clear there was a robust HR-led process that enabled regular performance reviews. “We look for a formalised organisationally-sponsored programme for professional development, all of which was in evidence.”
South Africa introduces ‘learnerships’ to help tackle unemployment
CIPS Africa is ready to roll out supply chain management ‘learnerships’ across South Africa.
Learnerships work like internships in a particular profession, where a theoretical qualification (in this case based on CIPS level three) is combined with a work placement. They have been set up by the government to help tackle the unemployment crisis among the country’s young people. Candidates are unpaid, but receive a government subsidy.
CIPS Africa is running its scheme in partnership with the South African Association of Freight Forwarders and the Transport Education and Training Authority.
Carin Stoltz-Urban, head of professional development and education at CIPS Africa, who developed the programme, believes it is a good way to promote the profession. “Procurement is not a well-known career path here and it has been identified as a scarce skill in South Africa. This is a great opportunity to develop young talent.”
Once the basic qualification has been completed, the candidate can move on to a specialisation. These will include procurement, operations, management control, strategic planning and two public sector options. Stoltz-Urban said the on-the-job experience will help them select a specialisation.
She said: “We are now waiting for companies to say they would like to take part. Hopefully, we will see the start of learnerships in the next month and are looking for a much larger intake in January 2013.”
CIPS improves diversity with Equally Professional network
CIPS’ membership of the equality and the Human Rights Commission’s Equally Professional network is helping to improve the equality and diversity of the institute.
CIPS was one of the founding members of the network when it was formed in 2006.
The 20 member groups, which also include The General Council of the Bar and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, agreed to share a commitment to a number of common principles. These include being aware of the implications and benefits of diversity in their workplace and among their membership.
CIPS’ efforts to improve the diversity and equality of its membership include: a supplier diversity training course held twice yearly; a diversity and accessibility review of all new syllabus content; and reasonable adjustments for disabled students in exams. In terms of increasing their public good, CIPS’ new nominations committee has a specific remit to take diversity into account when appointing to the board of trustees.
The institute has also been involved in producing benchmarking reports on diversity with some of the other members of the Equally Professional network.
The network enables organisations to work in coalitions to share their experiences and benchmark themselves against similar organisations.
It is estimated that nine out of 10 jobs in the next decade will be in professional or managerial sectors, making it increasingly important for such organisations to attract and retain entrants from all sections of society.
Program to help recruiters and job hunters
CIPS Africa is set to launch an online recruitment tool to help simplify the search for procurement staff.
The tool consists of an online questionnaire that evaluates candidates’ technical skills, qualifications and experience and compares them with the needs of the employer. Filters will allow recruiters to narrow the search to identify the correct skills and characteristics that are essential for their particular role.
The service is the brainchild of André Basson, a retired procurement professional, who approached CIPS to partner on the venture. Basson said: “CIPS was the natural choice because it brings the neutrality and credibility a major recruiting firm could never provide.”
CIPS Africa plans to encourage members to sign up to a database developed by Basson. Once registered, they will complete the questionnaire to create a profile, which both recruiters and employers can then access to find suitable candidates for vacancies. CIPS Africa is in the process of signing up recruiters.
The program is aimed to improve recruiters’ understanding of the values and technical skills within the procurement profession. André Coetzee, managing director of CIPS Africa, also hopes members will use it as a development tool.
He said: “Not only will it simplify the process of identifying the most suitable candidate for a position, it will also highlight members’ own strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to improve their skills and career development.”
CIPS Africa will start promoting the program to members in South Africa in the next few weeks and, depending on the reaction, will then push it out to the rest of the region. Further information on how to register on the database will be available on the CIPS website later this month.
- CIPS members working in the public sector have four more guidance papers to download from www.cips.org to help with their working day. These focus on lease-purchase decisions; specifications; spend analysis and sustainable procurement. There are now 14 guides in total, with more expected to be released later this year.
- The Government Procurement Service (GPS) has retained its CIPS accreditation. The recertification came at the end of a busy year spent implementing a major business transformation of category, customer and supplier management.David Murray, director of resources at GPS, said: “The CIPS certification helps us to benchmark standards and drive continuous improvement, supporting our commitment to deliver best value for our customers and the taxpayer.”
- Rebecca Fox, general manager of CIPS Middle East and North Africa, spoke at the Emirates National Oil Company’s ‘Strategic Suppliers Recognition Awards 2012’ ceremony. Fox’s presentation, which covered key elements of supplier relationship management such as measuring supplier performance and the Kraljic matrix, was well received by the audience of large Emirati-based companies.
- CIPS africa has announced the new committee members for Kwa-Zulu Natal branch. Nawaaz Abdul Kalick is chair and Tumo Mphetshane has been elected deputy chair.
CIPS ‘amazingly successful’ work in China to continue
CIPS has extended its agreement with the Chinese National Education Examinations Authority (NEEA) and China Communications and Transportation Association (CCTA) for a further five years.
The deal, which was signed last month at CIPS’ UK office, covers the development, delivery and promotion of procurement and supply management education in the region. At the signing, the three bodies also marked their successful arrangement of the past five years. One of the key benefits of the collaboration is that CIPS exams and study materials are now provided in Mandarin. There are currently more than 33,000 people studying for CIPS qualifications in China. Speaking at the event, NEEA president Gang Jiang outlined the emphasis the Chinese government is putting on professional training, as well as the importance of supply chain professionals in a developing economy.
CIPS CEO David Noble said: “If the past five years is anything to go by, where 110,000 students registered through 10 exam series, it will continue to be an amazingly successful partnership.”
He added that while the potential CIPS audience in China is huge, there are also major risks, but the time was right to build on the work already done. “We are starting small, sharing an office in Shanghai with the UN and have appointed a country manager to help build a CIPS procurement community. It will take time to earn recognition and gain traction, but over time our thousands of students may turn out to be the tip of the iceberg.”
Printing tour for CIPS Malaysia
CIPS Malaysia held its first vendor visit and tour this summer at Thumbprints Utd Sdn Bhd printing company near Kuala Lumpur.
C K Lee, chairman of CIPS Malaysia, chose it for the group’s first third-party tour because the majority of buyers arrange the purchase or outsourcing of printed materials.
The tour covered pre-press design, printing production, post-press operations, packaging, logistics and recycling initiatives. After this, the group visited the procurement department to give them the opportunity to learn about purchasing and supply chain practices in another industry.
CIPS Malaysia is organising more vendor tours in different industries. Details will appear at CIPS Malaysia in due course.
FERTIL puts procedures in the spotlight
Ruwais Fertilizer Industries’ (FERTIL) commitment to excellence in policy and procedure documentation has been recognised with a CIPS certification.
Founded in 1980 as a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Total, it produces and supplies environmentally friendly granular urea and ammonia fertilizers. The Emirati-based company employs 1,000 staff, produces three million metric tons of granular urea every year and has global exports.
The company opted to go down the CIPS certification route as a means to identify and implement procurement best practice. It has been able to overcome several challenges since gaining the certification, including sustainable sourcing from emerging countries, assessing the financial stability of vendors and implementing a sustainable procurement programme in the Middle East. It hopes its new practices, following certification, will help it enhance seller-buyer ethics while promoting transparency and fairness.
Procurement manager Mariam Al Hameli led the project and was awarded the certificate by Chris Gallagher, director of strategic development at CIPS.