Source of success

11 December 2012

David Noble, CIPS CEOIf you’re finding it a challenge to keep on top of all the information rushing at you from every direction, it’s only going to get a whole lot worse. It’s estimated that by 2016, the data equivalent of every film ever made will be streamed across the internet every three minutes. The internet is growing exponentially, creating a blizzard of information that can take time and effort to navigate.

Every 60 seconds, around 700,000 Google searches take place. How many of those take the searcher directly to an information source that is reliable and up to date?

Knowing which sources to trust saves time and removes uncertainty, and CIPS Knowledge has been set up to be the first port of call for procurement and supply information. Developing and disseminating the body of knowledge that underpins and measures the advancement of our profession is central to our remit – in fact it’s our number one charter objective.

It is knowledge that will determine how well we meet the future demands of the businesses and institutions we work in. Our charter talks about procurement knowledge as ‘art and science’, not just the what but the how, the skilful application of that knowledge to the benefit of our organisations and the wider world. If you haven’t used it yet, CIPS Intelligence is a dedicated service at the heart of CIPS Knowledge, which gives practical help on more than 300 procurement and supply concepts at various levels relevant to studying members through to members at the top of their careers. The concepts are critically evaluated and presented in easy-to-implement formats. There’s advice on how to measure success, supported by case studies and videos, and each topic has suggestions for further reading. The quality of the knowledge material is maintained through a governance process that regularly checks its relevance and currency. And if you’re a CIPS member, each download carrying the CIPS CPD icon earns you one hour’s recordable CPD. In the future, I expect to see procurement taking on more responsibility for managing financial risk, say by hedging against commodity and currency fluctuations, for technological innovation to managing global supply chains, and for recruiting and developing high performance teams. The smart money says that the skills that will be in the most demand will be more to do with business analysis, relationship-building and brokering deals. Extending the breadth of your knowledge across a range of 
business skills will help to
 ensure that you are part of that future.

Looking ahead with optimism

It’s hard to believe that 
12 months have passed since 
I wrote my column for last December’s issue. Then, we were looking ahead to a diary full of major events – the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and, of course, our own 80th anniversary. All of these have left their 
own special memories and contributed to a sense of well-being and achievement that, at least for a time, made 
the world a better place. One new year’s resolution that we should make, even if we make no others, should be to carry over some of that positivity and drive to help us meet our goals. For CIPS, 2012 has been a year of heavy investment: in a new website, new branding and a major syllabus review. 2013 will be a year of consolidation, with the launch 
of our new qualifications reinforcing our global standard and our new representative body, the Congress, giving members a voice in planning our future direction. The economic picture here in the UK and elsewhere may not be looking much brighter, but there is plenty to look forward to on 
the CIPS agenda. Season’s greetings to all our members and best wishes for a successful 2013.

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