25 May 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
A BP in-house procurement training programme has won an award in a global competition run by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in the US.
The energy company's "capability accelerator programme" was launched in July 2004 and has helped develop 140 senior members of its global refining and marketing (downstream) and corporate and functions (indirect) procurement team.
Chris De Luca, a procurement vice-president at BP, told SM the programme was established following recognition that "value from procurement comes through procurement people".
She said the return was "astronomical" with the firm seeing a $10-$20 return for every $1 invested, and with procurement increasing the savings it produced by more than 100 per cent.
"Most savings have come from better analysis of demand, negotiation skills and clarity of objectives," she said.
Those assessing how well the training worked also noted better communication skills and engagement. De Luca added that after undergoing the training, procurement was able to get into parts of BP's global $300 billion turnover business it was not previously involved in.
The programme, which continues to operate in BP - albeit on a smaller scale - and which has been replicated in other BP departments and externally in other firms, picked up the prize for the personnel development category at this year's ISM awards.
The training programme comprises eight modules that cover most skills gaps including strategic sourcing, supplier management and internal performance management. Each member of staff was given a tailored programme of training over six months, including on-the-job coaching.
"This was an individual coaching-based approach," said De Luca. "It allowed us to tailor learning to the specific needs of an individual in a specific role and to projects that deliver value."