Heathrow Airport’s procurement department has won the top 2016 CIPS Supply Management award, presented at the annual awards ceremony on 14 September, at the Grosvenor House in London.
The team had already won two category awards: Most improved procurement operation - step change award; and Best people development initiative, before being crowned winner of the winners.
“This entry really did demonstrate what good looks like,” said the judges. “It was a transformation project that was clearly aligned with the business strategy. It enabled the business to reposition itself as a market leader and ultimately led to procurement getting a seat at the board.
Lack of motivation, another serious criticism of the department pre-transformation, was tackled from the top, when Ian Ballentine was brought in to head the department, and given the carrot of a seat on the board if he could turn it around in a year.
Timing was important. Heathrow, already the UK’s biggest airport, with around 200,000 passengers crossing its threshold and 1,300 flights travelling its runways every day, was rebuilding Terminal 2, as well as working on plans for a third runway.
It was a busy time for the procurement team, but within a year it had completed a major turnaround, employee engagement ratings had soared, and perceptions within the organisation had dramatically improved. Judges commended the clear aims and objectives of the transformation, and the emphasis on the need for a cultural change within the department.
What was once a tactical, process-driven department split across three departments now operates as a unified whole. And, having added little value to the bottom line, during and after the transformation period, procurement tripled its ROI score. And Ballentine was given a seat on the executive committee as promised.
The judges said: “The overall winner impressed the judges with their strategic alignment of their projects back to the organisation’s goals. They took a holistic end-to-end approach to deliver in a fantastic set of results.”
Link to full details of the group winners and individual winners.
The CIPS Supply Management 2016 category award winners are:
Best contribution to corporate responsibility
Best contribution to the reputation of procurement
Best cross-functional teamwork project
Winner: Jaguar Land Rover
Best People Development Initiative
Winner: Heathrow Airport
Best process improvement initiative
Winner: Sodexo UK & Ireland
Best procurement consultancy project of the year
Best public procurement project
Winner: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Best supplier relationship management
Winner: Mitie TFM & Omni RMS
Best third sector / not-for-profit procurement project
International procurement project of the year
Winner: UK Shared Business Services (UK SBS)
Most improved procurement operation – start up
Winner: Pinsent Masons
Most improved procurement operation - step change
Winner: Heathrow Airport
Most innovative use of technology
Winner: Kier Group
CIPS procurement and supply chain management professional of the year
Winner: Chris Bell MCIPS, Head of City Procurement, City of London Corporation
CIPS young procurement and supply chain management professional of the year
Winner: Lucy Morrison, Category Leader, Innovia Films
The annual CIPS Supply Management Awards were celebrated on 14 September at the Grosvenor House in London, supported by headline sponsor RS, and platinum sponsor Hays.