Know-how

10 May 2011
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyThe new CIPS/Cranfield network combines a powerful peer group with the latest knowledge resources. One of the biggest challenges CPOs have is finding time to keep up to date with the latest developments in the profession. Sometimes, too, it’s important to step away from the day job for a while to give yourself some thinking time. It’s even more difficult to do this productively in isolation, which is why professional networks are so valuable. Our new Executive Procurement Network, launched in association with the Cranfield Centre for Strategic Procurement and Supply Management, has been developed to give procurement directors and leaders of the profession the best of both worlds – access to world-leading knowledge resources and membership of a powerful peer group. There are other procurement networks aimed at CPOs out there, so why the need for this one? I believe it is important for CIPS as the world’s largest professional procurement body to provide this kind of support. We have had a CPO network in place for a number of years – the CIPS Leaders Network – and this has delivered important benefits to its members. What’s changed is that we have linked up with Cranfield to provide a vastly improved knowledge offering, from priority access to cutting-edge academic research and the opportunity to take part in research syndicates to exclusive presentations from Cranfield faculty members and visiting academics. The programme will also introduce senior P&SM professionals to wider management disciplines, including general management, marketing and finance. The great thing about the CIPS/Cranfield network is that membership is by organisation rather than individual, ensuring the benefits are available to all senior purchasers, not just one lead person, which brings a better return on a firm’s people development investment. Also, the CIPS/Cranfield network is exclusively for practitioners and their employer organisations and is not open to consultants, so members can be confident they will not be targeted as a sales opportunity. And because it’s essential to foster a safe environment where CPOs can talk openly and in confidence about procurement, we will be careful not to accept applications from competitors of any of the network’s existing members without their permission. It’s exciting stuff and I’m really looking forward to the inaugural event at the Cranfield School of Management in June. If you’d like to join me to find out more, please contact Katie Smart on 01780 756777.
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