Honours for best professionals

9 September 2010

9 September 2010 | Rebecca Ellinor and Angeline Albert

The individual winners in this year’s awards have something in common – their ability to build relationships and credibility with stakeholders.

Ian Bolger, head of supply chain at Thames Water, was named CIPS Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year at last night’s ceremony in Grosvenor House Hotel in London. And Stephen Harratt, category manager for purchased healthcare at NHS re:source, clinched the CIPS Young Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year accolade.

Bolger’s strong leadership and success transforming the supply chain function at Thames Water clinched him the award. In the past 18 months he has led, developed and put in place a new capital procurement strategy, achieving savings of about 20 per cent and a step-change in the efficiency of Thames Water’s £4 billion capital programme. He has greatly increased the business’s control over its supply chain and introduced new collaborative procurement and supply chain planning processes. Procurement and supply chain is now a well-respected part of the business, winning the credibility of key stakeholders.

Bolger told SM he couldn’t have done it without his team: “I am deeply honoured, the judges had a very hard challenge. The key to good procurement is getting the team excited about the vision, the direction and how we get there. I’m only here because of them, they did a fantastic job.”


While for Harratt it was his drive to make a difference to the health service through improved procurement which secured him the award. His first procurement role started in July 2009 as purchased healthcare category manager at East Midlands procurement hub NHS re:source. The hub provides purchasing advice and support to 22 NHS organisations in the region, which spend around £5.4 billion a year. Harratt’s first task was to review the area’s provision of mental health rehabilitation services.

NHS stakeholders had high expectations and he quickly built credibility with them by establishing meetings with commissioners of the services, clinicians and finance leaders across nine separate PCTs.

After winning the prize last night, Harratt told SM: “My bosses didn’t tell me when they put me forward for this award. I was very surprised to even be shortlisted. I didn’t even register that I’d won when they called my name out to come on stage.

“It’s good to get recognition but also it’s good for the public sector. It shows there’s good work being done in the NHS which benefits patients’ care.”

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