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Global CEO blog

Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of procurement and supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.

We change the blog monthly, and I would welcome your comments personally on ceoblog@cips.org

David Noble FCIPS


What goes up must come down
The volatility of the global economic markets is still keeping us on our toes.  Just as we are lulled into a false sense of near-security, there are always a few surprises in store.
The worst global recession for a generation appears to be receding into history but it’s a patchy recovery. Though Germany is soaring ahead, France is still stagnating and Chinese manufacturing growth has dropped for three months now. This is the background landscape in which supply chains are operating. Add political, environmental and social factors and it’s a capricious and unpredictable mix.
But data shows that risks to supply chains are actually falling.  This is certainly the result of our findings in Q2 of the CIPS Risk Index (CRI) published this week. For the first time in 18 months, the level of global risk has actually decreased. It is a truth universally acknowledged in our profession and now increasingly amongst governments and businesses that the vulnerability of supply chains is increasing and the number and intensity of the problems are multiplying
So, to see that risk has actually decreased is an attention-grabbing development that deserves further investigation. The index has measured risk decreasing for three consecutive quarters since the financial crisis began in 2007. It tracks all the impacts of economic, political and social factors and showed a fall to 78.1 in Q2 this year, compared to the high of 82.4 in Q3 of 2013. The stability in sub-Saharan Africa appears to have been instrumental in the reduction of risk, along with Kuwait’s achievements in infrastructure projects bringing a level of security in the Middle East which still remains one of the most troubled regions in the world.
So though the immediate future for supply chains may be promising, there are possible storms ahead. No one is yet certain how the Ebola crisis will pan out. Could there be a pandemic on the horizon along the lines of the flu crisis a few years ago and will the war of sanctions between East and West with Russia at its core, tip the balance back into instability. As global recovery is taking hold, there may soon be stagnation and further threats to supply chain health, if these fears become a reality.Catch up with my column in Supply Management magazine

Big Ideas Summit - May 2015

I recently presented at the Big Ideas Summit – the first digitally-led conference for procurement and supply chain professionals organised by the targeted social media network, Procurious.

The event was attended by a number of thought leaders, commentators and business professionals and the discussions centred around three main areas – risk, people and technology, and how ‘big ideas’ not business as usual, were fundamental to supporting agility in an unstable world, and driving competitive advantage in business.

The ‘big’idea’ from CIPS on the day was the issue around licensing the profession and how this underpins and supports all these goals. It’s a message I keep coming back to because of its great importance. We all know the events that have lead us here, and how the profession can no longer rely on past glories and must continue to develop into other area of expertise and knowledge.

For example, we must be economically aware. Not just in our own market and regions, but on a global scale. In the UK we have faced the slowest -ever economic recovery and the Eurozone may be facing a triple-dip. We must respond to the needs of an ever-diverse customer base which encompasses cultural, political and religious beliefs and mores, significantly different from our own, regardless of where we are located in the world.

Last, but not least, is our reliance on good ethical practice, which will make or break us as a profession in the coming years and if we are to maintain respect in global business and gain consumer confidence. We can either be led by others and succumb to more of the regulation and legislative constraints that are likely to come our way, or we can lead from the front through the maintenance of a licence to show we are the best of the best.

Given this message was delivered during an event on social media and how procurement and supply management is affected by these channels, we must use these dynamic new ways of communicating out not just our good work and ‘brand’ procurement and the value of our profession, but also harvest opinions, views and the mood of the world we’re in so we can continue to to act with agility and responsibility.

Find out more about what happened at the Big Ideas Summit and the Procurious network.

Hays and ESPO partnership

Next month sees the general launch of the CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insight Report 2015 which benchmarks salaries and bonuses for different roles and responsibilities in the profession and gives ideas around career pathways.

The findings revealed that in the last 12 months, the procurement profession enjoyed pay increases at 2.5% which were higher than the national average of 1.7% (Office of National Statistics, October 2014). MCIPS professionals, as members of CIPS can expect to earn up to 23% more at operational level and up to 25% at Advanced Professional level in the private sector.

After the invitation-only event in April, it will be available to download shortly. Request a copy of the report.

For professionals in the public sector, a reminder that our knowledge partner ESPO offers a range of guidance and practical approaches to procurement and supply management with the particular needs and challenges of the public sector in mind.