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|7 Jun 2012|
80 years of CIPS: 2007-2012
CIPS has gone from strength to strength in the past five years, says Nick Martindale, putting procurement firmly on the global map.
The past five years have seen CIPS cement its place as the leading global organisation for procurement and supply management and further its reputation and presence around the globe.
The appointment of David Noble as chief executive in 2009 has been key to the organisation’s ongoing development, drawing on his background in senior, board-level positions in IMI, Novar and Honeywell. In taking on the post, he became the first procurement professional in the top job in more than 20 years.
With the UK and most of the rest of the world in recession, Noble pledged to help put procurement at the heart of organisations. “There’s never been a better time to be in this profession,” he said. “Chief executives are looking to procurement to ensure they maintain and grow their businesses. In this economic environment, growth is not going to come from marketing and sales, but from how well you manage your resources.”
His was not the only notable appointment, however. Dr Bola Afolabi, project director for the Nigerian National Oil company, was named international president for 2008-09, becoming the first non-European in the role. Former chief executive Ken James, meanwhile, who led the organisation from 2001 to 2008, was awarded an OBE for public service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2008, while the appointment of David Smith, commercial director at the Department for Work and Pensions, as 2011-12 president also demonstrated the ability of both the organisation and procurement to influence at the very highest levels.
Much of the organisation’s most notable progress has been made overseas. April 2010 saw the creation of CIPS Southern Africa, following a successful relationship with the Institute of Procurement and Supply South Africa. This led to the launch of an office in Pretoria, representing South Africa and other countries in the region, including Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, as well as the pan-African conference and awards. In April, CIPS Africa was launched, incorporating all 16,000 members across sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2010 World Cup put South Africa itself very much in the spotlight and CIPS Africa is working to raise standards and increase skills at the heart of government and businesses. The body has since launched Free State CIPS – a new membership group providing networking opportunities for the South African province’s procurement community – and recently signed memorandums of understanding with the University of Pretoria and the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein aim to raise the industry’s profile among students.
CIPS has also been able to extend its influence in other emerging regions. In 2011, having worked with large multinational companies and public sector bodies in Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, it opened a new office based in Dubai to oversee the Middle East and North Africa region, where it also helps support the established member branches in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman, as well as Dubai.
The body has also worked closely with the Lebanese government to devise a public procurement reform programme as part of the wider financial management reforms taking place in the country, while 538 professionals in the kingdom of Bhutan received training in professional procurement after the completion of a two-year institutional capacity-building project.
Other areas have also benefited from CIPS training, including staff of the Afghanistan Reconstruction and Development Services, a World Bank-funding project designed to help the Afghanistan government with the procurement of goods and services needed for the development work taking place in the country. And in 2012, 19 senior Bangladeshi government officials completed an accreditation programme, including CIPS levels 4 and 5, at the Institute of Governance Studies.
Meanwhile, CIPS Australasia saw membership surge in 2011, rising by 22 per cent to a total of 4458.
The past five years have also seen a number of key international projects and partnerships. Most significant was the 2011 tie-up with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), a central resource for procurement within the UN, where CIPS was able to develop the procurement and supply chain management capabilities of local procurement professionals in national governments through a range of consulting, training, qualification and certification services.
Speaking at the time, Jan Mattsson, executive director of UNOPS, said: “Developing national capacity through training and certification, as well as by the introduction of internationally recognised standards, is a sustainable way to promote development and ensure national governments own the process.”
There have been other notable partnerships, too. In 2010, a reciprocal agreement with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in the US enabled CIPS members in the UK holding the MCIPS qualification to receive the CPSM credential from ISM, as well as the other way round. The arrangement created a platform for the future development of an international standard in purchasing and supply management, which will only serve to raise standards further around the globe. The same year saw a similar arrangement with the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC).
“We continue to see an increasing demand from global organisations for procurement professionals highly qualified to a common standard across their operations,” said Noble. “This agreement serves to further enhance the profession’s standing and credibility as a truly international discipline.”
More recently, in 2012 CIPS has been working with the US organisation the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing to bring together expertise and professionalism that will serve as a bastion of best practice for public sector organisations globally.
The partnership has resulted in tools, processes and guidance for public procurement organisations and may include organisational assessments and people development training programmes. Central to this will be the development of a maturity framework, which will help raise standards in people development, and benchmark organisational development, processes and policy setting.
There has also been considerable progress domestically. In 2011, CIPS joined forces with Cranfield School of Management to create he past five years have seen CIPS cement its place as the leading global organisation for procurement and supply management and further its reputation and presence around the globe.
The project launched with the Executive Procurement Network, which brings together executives, directors and senior managers in private, public and third-sector firms involved in procurement and supply chain management.
The launch in 2012 of CIPS Intelligence as an information service for members has further equipped professionals with the ability to access leading-edge knowledge online, offering information on not only procurement and supply management, but other business disciplines too, such as finance. “CIPS Intelligence has been developed in line with the professionalising of our day-to-day jobs and will be of significant help to members in their careers,” said Noble. “It will enable them to build up their capabilities to ever-higher levels, reaching not just senior posts, but also CEO level.”
Other services have been launched to help professionals. In 2011, the CIPS sustainability review tool was released, to help organisations measure and monitor their supply chain sustainability and provide suppliers with a means of demonstrating their credentials to customers. The tool supports the BS8903 procurement sustainability guidance standard and was developed after a survey by CIPS revealed that 50 per cent of businesses now have a sustainability policy and feel under pressure from customers and stakeholders to develop one. The launch of the Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Summit in 2011 – and subsequently in 2012 – also helped to position CIPS as a leading organisation in this field.
The development of the CIPS recruitment service at the start of this year is also making life easier for those looking to recruit new talent or move jobs in the sector, as well as helping to attract new blood into the industry. Launched in collaboration with Hays Procurement, Langley Search & Selection, Barclay Meade and Supply Management magazine, the service provides candidates and organisations in the private, public and third sectors with specialist procurement and supply management careers support, and fits in with the presidential theme developed by Smith.
The start of 2012 saw a major refresh of both the organisation’s website and logo, drawing on feedback from stakeholders and members, as part of a desire to reflect a more modern, dynamic and vibrant identity. As well as reorganisation of the content, the new site also includes a ‘CIPS community’ space, where members can get together and share ideas, and the use of local content tailored to wherever in the world the user logs on.
Further evidence of the growing prominence of both procurement and supply management and CIPS can be seen in the numbers of members and those sitting examinations. The period between October 2010 and November 2011 saw a record 68,974 individual assessment entries, while membership now stands at an all-time high of 66,000 – a 20 per cent increase since 2009.
Finally, when the Olympics kick off this summer, just as CIPS celebrates its 80th birthday, it’s worth remembering the role it has played in helping London put on the greatest show on earth.
The body has developed a close relationship with LOCOG – the organising committee of the London 2012 games – working on the enhancement of its certification standard, and has helped to ensure transparency throughout the process, something procurement director Gerry Walsh referred to back in 2011. “The eyes of the world are upon us,” he said. “We need to show that we are conducting a fair procurement process.”
Source: Supply Management