CPD should not be the victim of procurement cuts

16 November 2012
In these austere times, businesses are looking for ways in which to consolidate and manage spend as effectively as possible. Many businesses have made an attempt at cost reduction and identified procurement savings for the benefit of the stakeholder, perhaps without considering the benefit for the company overall. For many industries, continuing professional development (CPD) is a core business objective but not a financial priority. Businesses are being too shortsighted and only dealing with short-term issues to make short-term gains. This can make it difficult to keep a track of training initiatives and programmes that may span a longer timeframe. It can also mean any spend in this area is cut completely. As procurement professionals strive to deliver the best value for money, businesses are working hard to stay at the forefront of their sector, overcoming skills gaps and a lack of talent available to remain self-reliant and ahead of their competition. Employees are under extreme pressure to perform beyond their job role, needing an understanding of wider business issues in order to plug the ever-growing knowledge gap. CPD is one of the best ways to ensure businesses are not subject to vulnerability caused by a lack of expertise or noticeable skills gaps, which can have wider implications for business success. Rather than being subject to procurement cuts, CPD can save businesses money elsewhere, not least because it reduces recruitment needs as the business becomes more flexible. It will also have a positive effect on the growth and profitability of a business, as well as its reputation for being at the forefront of its sector. This is where businesses need to ascertain what equates to the best value, for everyone. More often than not, procurement cuts are a formality that don’t always deliver a measurable return for the business in its entirety. Yes, it will show measurable difference on a company’s outgoings but what is the wider benefit for the business? CPD should not be ignored and this has become particularly noticeable in recent years. Establishing an efficient workforce is crucial to ensure businesses stay up-to-date, especially in a constantly evolving marketplace when keeping abreast of the latest developments is more important than ever. It should not be solely about cutting spend, but finding more cost-effective solutions that will continue to benefit the business and its employees, as well as its stakeholders. ☛ Paul Savill, director of marketing at Bookaxis
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