Qatar Foundation aims to become centre of procurement excellence

7 May 2012

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6 May 2012 | Paul Snell

The Qatar Foundation (QF) has set itself the ambitious goal to become a centre of excellence for procurement and supply chain in the region.

The not-for-profit organisation, which aims to build capability of Qataris through education, science and community development, wants to build best practice in purchasing and develop the profession.

“Qatar Foundation procurement thinks beyond purchasing, and we want to transform ourselves into a regional centre of excellence in procurement,” said Khalid Al Sulaiteen, executive director of operations at QF. “Not only by being professional but to actively promote the profession and best practice.

“We want to be the regional procurement centre of excellence, providing services that meet world-class standards. It is really an easy statement to be said, but can we achieve this one? I am putting a lot of pressure on the team but I know we can do it.”

QF recently became the first organisation in the country to be CIPS certified, achieving silver accreditation. It also has 25 staff undergoing MCIPS training.

Al Sulaiteen cited the main challenge for his organisation as the diversity of requirements, as the range of goods and services it buys ranges from horses to robotic surgery equipment. There has also been tremendous growth in the past few years. In 2005 procurement supported 15 buildings of around 290,000 square metres. That had risen to 58 buildings of 2.1 million square metres in 2011, and is expected to reach 97 buildings of 6 million square metres by 2015.

Yet the organisation is not planning to increase the number of staff working in procurement to cope with increasing demand. “To cope with the development in Qatar Foundation does not mean we have to increase our headcount,” Al Sulaiteen told delegates at this year's CIPS Middle East Conference held in Doha, Qatar today.

“We can do this by continuous improvement. You can re-evaluate your current policies, procedures and the system you are using. You need really to work hard on training your staff and look for best practice in software technologies and you can cope with this change. More than this, you have to engage you end-users. Because I think the main issue everyone is facing is the requirement from the users.” He added a key tactic was to ensure you only buy what you need, not necessarily what the stakeholder wants.

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