15 March 2007 | Antony Barton
Buyers must take risks and embrace globalisation to stay competitive, CIPS president Gerry Walsh told the audience at the institute's sixty-eighth annual dinner in London last night.
Walsh said he recognised globalisation was not a new concept but, by choosing it as his presidential theme, he was trying to encourage the profession to think more about operating on a global scale.
He said when he began his career in procurement with Ford in 1978 the approach to buying was nearly always with a national bias - UK buyers choosing UK suppliers. "We simply cannot continue to behave like that in today's global economy," he explained. "In many ways the world is a much smaller and more accessible place and without the right approach to your procurement strategy you are posing a risk to your organisation's profitability and success."
Walsh said China was the perfect example of a nation that has developed so rapidly it can no longer be ignored. A business relationship with an organisation in China would have seemed impossible not too long ago.
He added: "We have to accept that by working globally there is more risk involved - but risk can be mitigated. To remain competitive and prosperous organisations have to take risks."