Purchasers should embrace their opportunities

14 March 2013

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14 March 2013 | Anna Reynolds

The horse meat scandal is an opportunity for procurement and supply chain professionals to become the “best friend” of the CEO, according to CIPS president Paula Gildert.

Speaking at the CIPS Annual Dinner last night in London, Gildert said: “We should step up to this opportunity, it’s not just a failure of supply chains, it’s a failure of our function.

“It’s not supply chain and procurement in front of the camera – it’s a CEO or a government minister. We will see supply chain managers becoming the best friend of the CEO. Good opportunities or bad, we need to embrace them. We need to attract talent that is business savvy and play a different game going forward – the ramification for leaders is profound.”

Gildert, who is global head of development strategic sourcing for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, also announced the launch of the CIPS Foundation, which will offer scholarships, bursaries and awards to support struggling individuals wanting to enter and advance in the profession.

The CIPS president encouraged attendees and members of the profession to support the Foundation. “Our institute unites us, we can invest in it, it needs us,” she said.

MasterCard was announced as the first corporate sponsor of the Foundation.

Around 500 senior procurement professionals attended the networking event, held in association with MasterCard and supported by Lockton and Cast UK, which also featured an after-dinner speech by BBC presenter and journalist Jeremy Vine and a casino evening with poker, blackjack and roulette tables.

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