Recovery dawns

8 October 2013
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyIt is certainly good to read reports that the longest recession in global economic history may finally be coming to an end. Data, including the Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) referred to by prime minister David Cameron and from the UK government itself, appears to support a sustained recovery rather than another false dawn. There have been a few of those because, no matter how talented and knowledgeable economists may be, they are still offering an educated guess at how the complex weave of economies around the world is behaving. Official economic data and economist interpretations aside, indications for a UK recovery come from a range of reliable sources. More shoppers out and about at weekends, buzzing cafés and fewer spare places in car parks are all good ground-level indicators of an improvement. Others include companies making expensive equipment purchases, house-price rises and a drop in unemployment figures, all of which we’ve seen in the past couple of months. Another key indicator is a rise in recruitment activity, borne out by the latest research from one of our recruitment partners, Hays, and its Procurement and Supply Chain Market Overview and Salary Guide 2013-2014. The biggest improvements appear to be in manufacturing and the public sector. Though manufacturing comprises only 12 per cent of the UK’s GDP, it is an important sector in a country that was built on manufacturing ability. The public sector has seen austerity measures beyond anything it has experienced in a few decades, so any improvements there are a sign we are facing a new dawn. The recruitment developments in the public sector also support the aims detailed in the recent Procurement Development Programme by the NHS. The nurturing of procurement talent underlined in the report is worthy of note and supports our push for trained procurement professionals in all areas of the public sector as well as the NHS. That’s a consistent message from us and not exactly new. The creation of the Centre of Procurement Development, the procurement champion with private-sector expertise and the Academy of Procurement Excellence, with the aim of increasing procurement capability and leadership within the NHS, is a positive step towards professionalised procurement where it matters most. So as the required pool of trained and skilled procurement professionals grows, CIPS must ensure that we continue to support new and emerging talent and make our contribution to the revival of our economic fortunes. Tap into the opportunity networks The rules around global business have changed. Decades ago, businesses were built locally first before any international success, but, with the advent of social media, that’s been turned on its head. I have to admit to being a recent convert to social media and how these channels support the work we do, as well as keeping our global community connected, building our collective and individual ‘social capital’. That phrase has been around for a long time. First coined in 1890 in the US, referring to social cohesion and supporting the local community, the only difference is now this cohesion is digital – and virtual, global and local. These networks have a phenomenally wide reach, with real-time communication in a 24/7 world. Whether we like these changes or not, they’re here to stay and offer a rich vein of abundance and opportunity that we should all be tapping into. We hope you stay connected with us: LinkedIn - The Official CIPS Opinion Panel, @CIPSCEO, @CIPSnews, @CIPSevents and on Facebook.
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