30 October 2003 | Liam O'Brien
A keen advocate of procurement outsourcing takes over as president of CIPS this week.
David Rich-Jones, chief executive of Xchanging Procurement Services, believes purchasers should embrace the idea that outsourcing some categories of spend is sensible.
Traditionally, purchasers have shied away from outsourcing parts of their own function. But some purchasing directors now see it as part of "the armoury of modern purchasing rather than as a universal threat", noted Rich-Jones.
"They are saying 'I have to deliver value and I'm going to do it in a number of ways. I'll have a high-quality team at the centre. I'll do it by training and devolving authority to business units for certain types of spend. And I'm going to back another horse too, which is outsourcing'."
Xchanging won a 10-year contract with BAE Systems in 2001 for human resources procurement services, and has announced further deals valued at more than £250 million with building products firms Novar and Heywood Williams.
Rich-Jones, who replaces Peter Smith, director of Shreeveport Management Consultancy, as president, will help draw up CIPS's next three-year strategy.
He will pay particular attention to modernising the education syllabus, clarifying the international strategy, and extending membership within the profession.
Rich-Jones also believes purchasers need to get much better at recruitment.