Future perfect

7 August 2012
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyThe CIPS 80:20 Vision paper has highlighted several ways the profession can move confidently forward. We can all learn from our mistakes, but there’s only so much looking back you can do to help shape what you have to accomplish now. In this ever-changing world, we also need to look at what may come. As the leading professional procurement institute in the world, CIPS has a responsibility to be forward thinking in relation to the latest developments in procurement and supply management, to support members, partners and the professional community as a whole. But what does that actually mean? When we developed our paper 80:20 Vision – procurement and supply towards CIPS’ centenary, we looked to our talented colleagues and the best in our profession to offer those insights. The major themes that resulted were both surprising and predictable. The first was about the development of the profession itself. Instead of focusing on cost-savings, profits were the goal, with organisations likely to shift from large, enterprise-level firms ‘doing’ procurement to networks of professionals, ever-changing as business needs develop. The second was the ‘new’ supply management. More outsourcing will result in the increased quality and quantity of third-party providers who will be increasingly linked to financial supply chains, optimising cash flow and capital. Businesses will need to move into a new age of decision-making where their ability to gather, store, access and analyse data will have to get significantly smarter. This third finding means more transparency, openness and awareness of areas such as supply chain risk. With this new phase of transparency, organisations will have to collaborate more with their suppliers. The need to renew, remodel and to transform supply chains, means bringing ideas from the outside, from a variety of networks, not just those within the profession. And, most challenging of all, the ability to manage and mitigate risk more effectively. As global supply chains get bigger, supply relationships will be more problematic. So, what does that mean for us? We need to change. We must become more expert, respected, influential, strategic, savvy, collaborative and persuasive to meet these new demands. John F Kennedy said: “Those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to us. If you haven’t had a chance yet to download CIPS 80:20 Vision, it’s available at bit.ly/CIPS8020. Let me know what you think at ceoblog@cips.org. Call to the Congress There’s been an excellent response to the call for nominations for election to the new CIPS Congress. The feedback from members is that they are enthusiastic about our new representative and advisory body, and especially supportive of the inclusion of seats for student representatives. All eight constituencies have attracted more candidates than there are vacancies, triggering a ballot in each case. Voting will get under way at the end of this month. Electoral Reform Services, which is running the ballot on CIPS’ behalf, will be sending out an email link to a secure voting site, in addition to sending postal votes to a minority of members who do not have internet access. There are 19 seats to fill and successful candidates will be invited to the inaugural Congress meeting on 29 November. Melinda Johnson FCIPS, director of group procurement and estates, Department of Transport, has been appointed as the first chair of Congress and is working with the Easton team to design the format and content of the first meeting. Voting closes 24 September, to allow time for the return of postal votes worldwide. Look out for the ballot mailing and make your vote count. ☛ If you have any comments or wish to raise a topic, please get in touch at ceoblog@cips.org
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