The procurement profession’s transformation over the last 20 years has been “chalk and cheese”, guests at the CIPS SM Awards were told.
“When I started 30 years ago [procurement] wasn’t really a function, it wasn’t a profession,” said Oliver Cock, chair of this year’s awards judging panel. “To see how far it’s come is amazing, and to see the quantity and the quality of the entries this year has been fantastic.”
Speaking to elegantly clad guests at the Grosvenor House in Park Lane, Cock, who is also managing director of Foodbuy, praised all the teams who entered for shining a light on the work the profession does.
“Because if we don’t push our profession forward, if we don’t take responsibility for shouting about how good we are, then no one else will,” he said.
Before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course meal consisting of a taleggio and shallot tart starter, a succulent guinea fowl main and an indulgent chocolate mousse for dessert, guests were also entertained by comedian and I’m A Celebrity contestant Joel Dommett.
The night before, Dommett had hosted a function for Alcoholics Anonymous. “It was called ‘small CIPS’,” he said.
In a routine that saw YPO renamed the Yorkshire Pudding Organisation (it is, of course, the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation), Dommett admitted he did not fully understand what the procurement profession did.
“Today I googled the world procurement,” he said to laughter in the audience. “I mean you can clap,” he added, “but I’ve forgotten what it means, so just bear that in mind every time procurement comes up.
“This guy has no idea what it means, nothing!”
Dommett also admitted he was not the most intelligent person, a fact he discovered in year eight when his class was “randomly” split into two groups. “Everyone in the red group was like, ‘We’re clearly the intelligent group’, and everyone in the blue group was like, ‘I’m hungry’,” he said. “I was so hungry.
“What I like about that is when I said two random groups,” Dommett said, “some of you laughed, and the rest of you are in the blue group.”
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