Adding value

11 January 2012
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyOne of the most important drivers for a professional body like CIPS is remaining relevant to its members by providing them with useful benefits. We asked what you needed most and you told us that investing in your professional development came top of the list. So in the first quarter of 2012, CIPS is launching three new services to increase the value of your membership by providing three distinct areas of support. The first of these is a new member benefit that represents a big step forward in the way we make professional knowledge available. CIPS Intelligence is a comprehensive online knowledge and information resource covering P&SM as well as wider business disciplines – a one-stop shop for all you need to know, available in January. There are three types of information you will be able to access. There’s public information – general content for anyone wanting to find out about the profession. Then there is the member-only information, with many key procurement concepts papers free for all CIPS members to read and download. Finally, there is a raft of information from other management disciplines, which members will be able to download at a nominal charge, provided through our collaboration with KnowledgeBrief. The next is a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) tool, which you can use to set up your own online account. There will be three types of CPD activity you can register: knowledge, skills and personal development, and if you attend a CIPS branch or training event the hours will automatically be credited to your account. The idea is to make recording your CPD as easy as possible, with real time status reports every time you log in. At the end of each year your CPD activity will be reflected through the category of your membership card. The third new service, available in January, is a fresh approach to career opportunities. CIPS Recruitment is a partnership with four recruitment experts, Barclay Meade, Hays Procurement, Langley Search and Selection and Supply Management. The new service offers specialist career support for all CIPS members, except for those in Australia and Southern Africa, where we have or are developing dedicated local services. I have only been able to give you a flavour of these new services, so for the 
full picture, visit our revised and redesigned website, launching at the end of January. Support for UK suppliers Economic predictions for the year ahead make for gloomy reading, but it is all the more important in tough times that we keep investing in UK manufacturing. This is essential not only for re-booting the UK economy, but also for reducing supply chain risk. So much of our manufacturing is now offshored to the Far East that we risk losing expertise and the capacity to respond to the eventual upturn in demand. 
We are also vulnerable to 
breaks in long distance or 
single source supply chains through natural disaster, as 
we saw in the aftermath of the 
Japanese earthquake. So, the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Advanced Manufacturing 
Supply Chain Initiative to improve the global competitiveness of UK manufacturing is welcome news. A fund of £125 million is being set aside to help UK businesses achieve world class supply chains and encourage new suppliers to enter the UK market. Applications are now being invited and successful bidders can expect to receive a 
flexible range of support, 
from capital equipment to R&D and skills training. Details of 
how to apply can be found at 
www.innovateuk.org
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