November 2016

Dealing with change and uncertainty

Brexit, the American presidential election… recent events show just how hard it is to predict the future. But as a professional body we have to try in order to identify opportunities for procurement and supply, and its next generation of professionals.

CIPS Supply Century, available now to download, is a glimpse into the future and in particular the themes and actions for CIPS. Read on to find out more about:

  • The emerging role and influence of technology and the disruption that it has caused to traditional procurement and supply chain operations
  • The changing and blurring boundaries of the profession that will mean more professionals with non-traditional procurement backgrounds undertaking the role
  • The focus on resilience to risk as a means for organisations to gain competitive advantage.
  • The drive for innovation and the critical role procurement and supply can play.

The shock of Trump

What does the reversal of globalisation mean? Could there be more protectionist policies? What will be the impact on free trade? Will Trump follow up on his policy suggestions… or was it all pre-election hot air?

Read more in Supply Management

CIPS President 2016 Richard Masser FCIPS leaves us with an insight into his presidential year.

Our new President vows to raise the profile of procurement Former Chief Executive of international mining mammoth Rio Tinto, our new President is Sam Walsh and it's his plan to be the top ambassador for CIPS over the next 12 months:

"I'm hoping to use my profile to leverage increased interest in the profession and institute and make company CEOs aware of the value a top-notch purchasing organisation can bring. There are all sorts of areas in addition to lower purchasing costs (anti-slavery, cyber security and so on) where a trained purchasing professional can add a lot of value."

Read the Supply Management interview with Sam Walsh

Be vulgar and shout about your achievements

At the CIPS Annual Conference, Cath Hill, CIPS Group Marketing and Membership Director, urged delegates to take pride in their successes and not be afraid to share them. "What’s the point of having brilliant procurement skills if you don’t communicate them?" she commented. "Raise your voice so people know what you can do. My mission is to try to explain to other marketers that you like doing the stuff we [other marketers] don’t and you’re really, really good at it."

Read more about Cath Hill's presentation

Nurturing procurement talent in the millennial era

In this new on-demand webinar from BravoSolution, former CPO, Guy Allen, looks at how procurement can nurture millennial talent to help address the shortage of talent in the procurement profession.

On demand Webinar

We at Disability Rights UK would like to invite you to join us on "I Can Make It", a campaign that aims to create new job opportunities for young disabled people.

"I Can Make It" is a campaign led by the national charity Disability Rights UK. Its aim is to create new job opportunities for young disabled people using the Social Value Act as its main driver. Facilitated by the charity, the campaign engages young disabled people - known as Volunteer Champions - to meet with key council decision makers such as procurement professionals and supply chain managers, to raise awareness of the huge benefits of employing young disabled people. Many local authorities are keen to adopt the Social Value Act in the commissioning of public services, yet lack the vital guidance needed at the pre-procurement phase. Consulting an organisation such as Disability Rights UK is a simple yet obvious way of working together to realise some of the shared aims of the Social Value Act.

The charity has made an excellent start into this three year project and is building strong relationships in Local Authorities across England. One such council has already taken on a young disabled person as a modern apprentice within their own procurement team to help facilitate real change and add value.

The "I Can Make It" team would love to speak to council procurement professionals to identify and deliver opportunities for young disabled people, particularly in and around its target cities: Birmingham; Brighton; Leeds; Leicester; Liverpool; Manchester; Newcastle; Nottingham; Sheffield and Southampton (NB other cities where you feel we can really make a difference will also be considered). We would also welcome interest from businesses and charities that might be able to support the campaign. View some short films showing young disabled people explaining what work means to them.

Find out more general information about "I Can Make It".

If you think your organisation might be able to get involved and you would like to find out more, please e-mail Anna Denham at

Controlling costs with commodity insight

As part of the CIPS and Mintec Knowledge partnership, the latest Mintec resources for procurement and supply professionals seeking to deal with risk and uncertainty include:

The effect of 'Brexit' and food commodity prices

"Around 40% of all food consumed in the UK is imported, and will therefore be directly impacted by the weakness of Sterling. According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), only 15% of the fresh fruit sold in the UK and 55% of the vegetables are grown here."

Read more

New factsheets designed to provide a topline overview of specific commodity markets for those new to, or unfamiliar with, each market:

The results of our CIPS Supply Chain Resilience survey

Is your supply chain network ready to cope with disruption?

Risk management and business continuity functions are key to defending against the business impact of supply chain disruption, yet our survey showed that only the following percentages of respondents always have in place:

  • Supply-chain risk mitigation 40.6%
  • Supply-chain continuity plan 41.4%
  • One-off supplier risk mitigation 48.2%
  • One-off supplier continuity plan 45.7%


Read the full CIPS Supply Chain Resilience Survey article

Global supply chain risk grows as commitment to globalisation falters

Global supply chain risk grew for the fourth consecutive quarter as the CIPS Risk Index, powered by Dun & Bradstreet, rose to 81.6 in Q3 2016 from 80.8 in Q2. The figure is the highest since 2013 and has been driven by increases in supply chain risk in Western and Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Supply chain managers are facing a new wave of impediments to the flow of goods across borders."
John Glen, CIPS Economist and Director of the Centre for Customised Executive Development at The Cranfield School of Management.

Download the new CIPS Risk Index

Securing procurement in the cloud of tomorrow

As part of the CIPS Knowledge partnership with GEP, we now have available new knowledge and a case study on dealing with data security issues as organisations increasingly turn to the cloud as a cost-effective and practical solution to managing enterprise IT infrastructure and data security.

Read more

The rise and fall of the Purchasing Managers' Indices

2016 has been a landmark year in economics, as political uncertainty continually impacted on economic growth as reported by the procurement profession in the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Indices in three sectors – manufacturing, construction and services.

Every month, the PMIs offer businesses regular, timely data to guide decision-making with highly accurate facts and statistics on industry conditions in these three sectors and are used by the Bank of England and FTSE 100 companies in the UK.

The year started at a relatively stable level with the manufacturing sector experiencing accelerated growth as domestic demand became the main driver of new orders. Conversely, the construction sector showed subdued activity when job creation slowed to a two-and-a-half-year low. The services sector - the highest contributor to overall UK GDP - showed a solid rise in activity, with employment growth at a three-month high and strong levels of incoming work.

As the EU Referendum approached the economic picture became darker. In the months leading up to the vote, the slowdown began in March when the construction sector was hit hard and when new housing activity became the slowest in three years. The services sector was also subdued.

The conditions were so challenging that Markit with CIPS issued a special ‘flash’ composite PMI (which included all three sectors) in July to gauge where the UK economy was heading. Posting a slight contraction at 49.1 (50 is the no-change mark) had economists worried.

The usual PMI data in July showed that manufacturing activity was slowing down, with the overall Index posting at 48.2. The decline in production was the steepest since October 2012, with contractions across all the sub-sectors – consumer, intermediate and investment goods.

A few months of turmoil followed, with uncertainty continuing to impact on business sentiment and new orders until October’s data, which saw a return to a more positive outlook. Manufacturing saw a rise in export orders as the weakened pound made goods from the UK more attractive and the overall Index leapt to 54.3. Construction activity was also heightened, buoyed up by more residential building, and increased at the fastest pace since March this year. The most dominant sector, services, accelerated its growth with activity and new orders at their strongest since January. Though the services activity Index in October was more positive, the overall Index was still trailing behind the 20-year long-term average and optimism remained lukewarm.

As we approach spring next year when Article 50 is likely to be triggered, the PMIs will continue to be a strong indicator of the health of the UK economy. Keep a watch on developments on the CIPS website.

CIPS is always looking for new panel members to complete the short monthly survey and contribute to the profession’s knowledge. If you are interested in being a panel member, please contact us at

Don't stand still, learn something new!

The CIPS 2017 training courses are now all available online and we are taking bookings. There are so many benefits to continuing your professional development with CIPS:

  • Each of our courses includes 2–3 hours of relevant e-learning as additional support
  • CIPS courses encompass every aspect of a career in procurement, from new starters to the profession to senior professionals
  • Every course is aligned to the CIPS Global Standard and CIPS Knowledge
  • 80% of delegates that have attended our training course during 2016 have rated them as excellent.


Explore and book all our training courses, including new courses topics for 2017

The November exams are over, but there's still lots you can do

For some, it may be your last exam. Others will already be thinking about their next exams. Whichever stage of your career you are at, remember that CIPS is here to support you.

If you're continuing to study remember to use all of our resources. You can also take a look at how your skills and knowledge may have improved by using the online self-assessment tool in your MyCIPS But there are also some other great ways for everyone to stay current and keep on learning:

  • Supply Management is your regular source of targeted CIPS information and wider reading around the issues that affect our profession - essential for staying up to date
  • The CIPS Knowledge area gives you access to a huge range of resources, from white papers to webinars, through our exclusive partnerships with industry leaders
  • Follow the conversation and share your experiences and expertise via CIPS social media

Reinvigorating the CIPS Australasia approved study centre network

With the recent approval of APICON and another centre soon to be approved, the CIPS Australasia Approved Study Centre network is growing.

Most students in this region (which includes New Zealand) follow the self-study path to qualifications, which at times can be challenging and a little isolating. The reinvigorated study centre network will be able to provide each student with 50 hours of guided learning support per unit (Diploma qualifications) - a combination of CIPS books, e-Learning, webinars with your tutor and exam preparation support.

Each study centre in the network has different offerings and costs, so please contact them directly to discuss the support you're looking for. It's perfect for keeping you on track and able to complete your qualifications within a set timeframe, without the commitment of attending classes. And you can also connect with other students throughout the region who are on the same journey as you.

Find a study centre

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