Diverse rewards

10 July 2014 | Visna Lampasi

Visna LampasiAchieving diversity in the 
supply chain requires clear, unwavering commitment across the community from governments, industry to organisations and individuals.

On a global stage over the past two years, we’ve made great progress towards this pursuit. Is there more to be done? Absolutely. As procurement and supply chain professionals, we must play a critical role in this next phase of fully incorporating supplier diversity into an organisation by being advocates and demonstrating both the commercial and social outcomes achieved. Critical is ‘building a case for change’ – and nothing is more powerful than success stories. We need to support each other by sharing knowledge and learning, celebrating our success to push the boundaries and set benchmarks.

Within corporate Australia I believe attitudes towards supplier diversity have shifted, with it now largely recognised as good business practice – critical to the success of a sustainable business. This change is thanks to mounting evidence of the mutually beneficial business outcomes being achieved.

Our strategy involves actively engaging under-represented areas of the supply chain including indigenous businesses, women-owned businesses, those owned by migrants from non-English speaking countries and businesses owned by the retired workforce. Expenditure with certified indigenous suppliers has significantly increased – in the first quarter of this year, we doubled the entire annual spend of 2013. This success has created a ripple effect in the supply chain.

CPO of the year

After being awarded CPO of the Year by procurement advisors The Faculty, I can’t express enough how worthwhile participating in an awards process is. I was among some 29 nominees at the Asia Pacific CPO Forum’s annual gala dinner held in Sydney in May.

The CPO of the Year award process involved each nominee being assessed against The Faculty’s X Factor Procurement Leadership Framework, based on a demonstration of strength and balance across four key areas: functional excellence; leadership attributes; commercial leadership; and people leadership. The award’s panel chairman Karen Morley said: “Procurement has been the unsung hero within organisations but management is increasingly recognising the impact it can have on positive cultural change across the business.”

I couldn’t agree more. My team has been implementing our strategy over two years, and the award process provided a great opportunity to ‘take stock’, reflect on our achievements and celebrate our work. It has also put a strong spotlight on the procurement function within our company and among the construction industry.

☛ Visna Lampasi is group manager, procurement and supply chain at Leighton Contractors

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