Enter the CIPS Supply Management Awards to boost confidence and celebrate your strengths, say...

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
26 January 2015

Entering the CIPS Supply Management Awards can boost your confidence, allow you to benchmark yourself against peers, and earn you recognition as an employer of choice.

These factors were highlighted by previous winners at the Best In Procurement event held in London last week as they spoke about the benefits of entering the prestigious event.

“There’s nothing like winning an award to give you a confidence booster,” said Owen Standen, senior vice president, head of EMEA non-tech professional services procurement at Citi, and the 2014 CIPS Young Procurement and Supply Professional of the Year.

Des Balmforth, head of procurement, radar and advanced targeting at last year’s overall winner Selex ES, agreed: “It was a huge confidence boost for my team. We were able to celebrate our strengths.”

Balmforth said his organisation had entered last year’s awards after attending the 2014’s Best in Procurement event, partly to benchmark themselves against their peers. This was also highlighted as a benefit by Mark Hughes, procurement and central operations director at Premier Foods. “The opportunity to be externally benchmarked and judged by your peers is excellent,” he said.

Standen added entering, and winning, an award had boosted his own career and increased the visibility of the procurement function among the highest levels of the business. “It has raised the awareness of Citi as a brand, and earned us recognition as an employer of choice,” he said.

Former and current judges of the Awards also offered some tips on putting an entry together. These included:

1. Give yourself enough time and meet the entry deadline. 10 April 2015 may seem far away, but time quickly disappears. Appoint a leader to co-ordinate your entry.

2. Follow the guidelines. Setting your entry out clearly and in the right way makes life easier for the judges

3. Cut out the jargon. Avoid sector- or project-specific terms and phrases. Keep your entry clear and concise.

4. Link the organisational benefits section back to the aims and objectives section. Make sure there is a clear connection between what you set out to do, and what was actually achieved.

5. Make the most of the supporting information. Don’t forget to include important elements such as senior management testimonials or press cuttings, which can add context to your entry.

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