Celebrating the impact and influence of procurement

13 July 2018

The Procurement Power List aims to inspire others to strive for more, and puts the profession firmly in the wider business spotlight, says CIPS group director Cath Hill

In June we launched the first ever Procurement Power List in partnership with Supply Management. It is a list of the 30 most influential CPOs working in Europe today, plus 10 Ones to Watch who are on the way up. 

This project is important for our profession in so many ways. It’s a celebration of the very best that procurement is achieving, as well as inspiring others to pick up the gauntlet and take procurement on to the next level. But the list also helps put great procurement firmly in the spotlight within the wider business community. The response we have received on social media is already testament to this, with a tweet from the head of the UK Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood to his 24,000 followers congratulating the public sector candidates who made the list.

The profession has evolved and it’s with confidence I can say CEOs, business leaders and senior government officials are certainly more aware of the true value that procurement brings to the table, over and above the savings. 

All that is down to professional procurement and the relationships the leaders in our profession have built with their colleagues and suppliers to unlock the most innovative and value-adding solutions in organisations, protecting them from risk, helping to win new business and creating a more sustainable world. 

The leaders on the Procurement Power List have paved the way for the next generation of procurement professionals to aspire to these roles, to choose procurement as a career path, and to evangelise about the value procurement can add to and beyond our organisations.

Our criteria for the power list was first and foremost CPO level and above, rather than interims or consultants. We were looking for those with influence both within their organisation but also in the wider procurement profession and community. The judging panel of leading executive search agencies and industry experts discussed questions such as: what is their personal brand and perception in the market? Do other people look up to them?

All those on the list have a prominent role in their company hierarchy and are actively involved in board and ExCo decisions. Many of them also have responsibility for other areas of the business outside of procurement. By increasing their spheres of influence, they are proof of the impact great procurement can have.

Most importantly, this is not a list of the ‘top’ people we at CIPS know and thought we would give a pat on the back. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We excluded our Global Board of Trustees, Congress and CIPS committees. It’s a shame as these are also some of our most influential procurement professionals, but we wanted the list to be free from any perceived bias.

Engaging the executive search agencies and highly networked individuals means that the list is not just ‘our opinion’. The panel’s knowledge of the market is second to none, and this opened the list up to people of whom CIPS had little or no previous knowledge and engagement with.

We hope that you watch the members of the Procurement Power List with interest throughout the year as we engage more with them at our events and through Supply Management. They are a diverse, inspirational bunch, and we have a lot to learn from them.

Finally, I wanted to tell you about the next steps for this unique and exciting project. We not only hope to roll this out to other regions, but we will also be announcing a new list each year. We are expecting a degree of change from year to year as people move jobs, or do something amazing that pricks the ears of the wider procurement community – and the judging panel of course! 

I hope you are inspired by those on the list and that many of you aspire to making the list yourselves as you progress in your careers. This is an opportunity to celebrate all that is great about procurement, and I hope it makes you feel proud of your chosen profession.

The Procurement Power List website

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