Over 200 delegates gathered at the CIPS Northern Emirates Branch annual event
Over 200 delegates gathered at the CIPS Northern Emirates Branch annual event

Transformation tips from Northern Emirates

6 December 2019

The procurement function at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority became only the 12th organisation in the world to receive CIPS platinum accreditation. 

The team set out to end reactive processes, become proactive, and work with end users to better forecast requirements, Eisa Al Shamsi, sourcing manager, explained to delegates at second annual procurement summit of the CIPS Northern Emirates Branch, attended by over 200 people from around the region. 

Having set out a two-year roadmap focusing on team, process, systems and business partnering, they introduced category specialists and used analysis to inform wider cost optimisation initiatives. 

Today the team uses a procurement dashboard of spend analytics and purchase-order processes, and an in-house contract management system. There’s a handbook to show steps required in purchasing, and users are better informed about procurement processes. Standard agreements with preferred suppliers are more widely used, and there’s a focus on support efficient cycle times. 

Al Shamsi offers five lessons:

1. People: develop, empower and involve them - it’s key to halting resistance to change.  

2. Speed: end the perception that procurement slows. Is getting a laptop through procurement easy or does Amazon work better?

3. Data: accurate, historic and live data will help you make better decisions and strategy, while proper reporting will streamline procurement.

4. Be proactive not reactive: don’t wait; work on the demand plan, introduce new concepts such as business partnering/category management.

5. The why of work. Always, crucially, know your purpose.

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