What is the point of having excellent procurement skills if no one knows what you do?
What is the point of having excellent procurement skills if no one knows what you do?

Seven steps to CIPS SM Awards success

Interested in raising the profile of procurement in your organisation? Want to benchmark yourself against leaders in the profession? Then entering the CIPS Supply Management Awards is the logical step.

Entries for this year’s awards open at midday tomorrow (8 February) and to increase your chances of success you would be wise to follow the advice of Emma Scott, CIPS representation manager and awards judge.

Here are her seven top tips:

1. Make sure your category fits the bill. Really think about the brief and ‘Does this fit?’ You get so involved in a project and get so excited but relay your story to others and see if they go, ‘Yes’.

2. Think about the size of your submission. Some projects are enormous. Is this too big to get down in one submission? If you go too high level you won’t have enough detail.

3. Is it too soon? Think timing. Submit it next year when you have some results.

4. First impressions count. Try to avoid jargon. We are guilty of it as a profession. There is a lot of jargon.

5. Think presentation. It’s so nice when you get a submission that looks nice. Use internal comms and marketing. Get some branding on it. Use the set headings. These are: aims and objectives, planning and execution, innovation and creativity, best practice and organisational benefits achieved.

6. Use as much evidence as possible. We like to see testimonials, press cuttings.

7. Stick to the rules. If I say three pages, keep it to that. It’s a maximum of three sides of A4 plus some supporting documents. Six pages in total.

Cath Hill, CIPs group marketing director, said: “There is a need for procurement to start raising its game, being more strategic and selling itself not only to that internal audience but externally too.

“I have been a judge for many years and I have been blown away by what I have seen. You guys are leading the way in delivering fantastic business-oriented innovation that directly impacts the bottom line. You are not that good at letting people know. What is the point of having excellent procurement skills if no one knows what you do?

“In many organisations procurement is seen as cost reduction and not about creating value. Procurement can be seen as a blocker to change. Act as a leader, build on your own internal relationships, build your own brand and increase your influence. The SM Awards are a way of benchmarking yourself against the best of the best.”

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