04 October 2007 | Antony Barton
E.ON UK has won the top prize in the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2007.
The integrated power and gas firm was presented with the overall award for purchasing by Ian Hislop, Have I Got News For You
team captain and Private Eye
editor, at the gala dinner last month.
The company, which also collected the award for Best People Development Initiative, was commended by judges, who said: "CIPS is all about people, and this project is an excellent example of this. It's about putting quality in and getting quality back. It demonstrates an overarching procurement transformation - a well-linked entry with first-class breadth."
The winning initiative started three years ago, when Colin Davis, E.ON's new director of supply chain, recognised a need to overhaul its procurement. An external consultancy agreed it lacked clear leadership, had little focus on adding value and no long-term strategy.
A new procurement leadership team, of existing E.ON talent and new recruits, established the Procurement Functional Academy in 2005 to equip people with the e-training, coaching and support for a quality buying function.
Since then, 5 per cent of the members have been promoted. In a recruitment drive in 2006, most internal candidates cited the opportunities in the team as one of their main reasons for applying.
The academy achieved savings and value generation of £35 million in 2006 against a target of £24 million, and surpassed its 75 per cent target for influence on procurement spend to reach 83 per cent.
Davis was delighted with the win: "It's absolutely amazing, given the standard of the other contenders. We aspire to be like some of the companies here. The fact that we've been privileged to win is such a thrill, and it's so motivational to my team."
E.ON was one of 10 organisations to pick up a prize in front of almost 1,200 guests at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The winners in the two individual categories were Vincent Godfrey from HM Prison Service, who collected the award for CIPS Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year, and Steve Tanner from Sellafield, who was named the CIPS Young Purchasing and Supply Management Professional of the Year. Ariba was the event's headline sponsor. Atos Consulting, Hays Purchasing & Supply, OGC, HRG, Haden Building Management and RS also sponsored the event.
Profiles of all the winners will appear in the 18 October issue of SM.