12 March 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Procurement professionals were told last night, in the CIPS president's annual dinner address, to break down useless boundaries and strive to find more profitable relationships.
Dr Bola Afolabi said the theme of his presidential year was leadership without boundaries and encouraged guests at the Dorchester Hotel in London to harness potential and reward excellence.
"Let all of us break down useless boundaries and strive even harder to find new, more profitable relationships in our particular field," he said.
"Rather than relying on a few high-volume suppliers, let's explore the benefits of working with smaller suppliers, who might demonstrate greater focus, responsiveness and innovation, and offer better access to raw materials - as well as cost savings."
He said the tough economic conditions were an opportunity for procurement professionals to demonstrate their value by making savings and finding quality.
Professor David Farmer - author of the 1968 foundation textbook Purchasing Principles and Management, and the first person in the UK to get a doctorate in a purchasing-related field - was presented with a CIPS lifetime achievement award.