The procurement team at Etihad Airways has introduced numerous innovations
The procurement team at Etihad Airways has introduced numerous innovations

Etihad flies high at CIPS Middle East SM Awards 2017

10 May 2017

Etihad Airways was a triple winner at last night’s CIPS Middle East Supply Management Awards, picking up Best Contribution to the Reputation of the Profession, Best International Project and the prestigious overall winner accolade.

Many of the best and brightest of the region’s procurement world rubbed shoulders at a glittering ceremony at The Rosewood in Abu Dhabi.

In its winning bid, Etihad, one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of commercial aviation, brought together a range of innovative procurement initiatives. These included workshops for SMEs, best practice workshops and a highly successful graduate programme.

Training in negotiation and skills for its team brought in savings worth $102m, while firms winning contracts were asked to make a charity donation of cash, goods or services.

Donations have included juices, snacks, pyjamas, blankets and cookery demonstrations by chefs who prepare onboard meals.

The airline itself has donated high-quality linen that may have received a minor stain or damage to the Red Crescent, which is distributed to those in need in war-torn countries such as Syria. 

Throughout 2016 the purchasing department shared best procurement practice with organisations in the UAE including the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Emirates Nuclear Energy, ADNOC and Al Futtaim Dubai.

And the airline also reported that 73 SME vendors had been awarded AED32.5m worth of Etihad contracts.

Judges described the airline's initiatives as an “an excellent way of aligning procurement and supply to the rest of the business”.

The airline picked up the Best International Project award after it turned cargo handling operations, the second-biggest spend category, into a revenue stream.

Procurement negotiated a money-sharing mechanism and Etihad now generates $3.5m from cargo handling, where previously it was only a cost to the business.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) was a double winner, taking the Best Use of Technology award for its procurement transformation journey and Best Supplier Relationship Management for its partnership with Tejari Solutions.

Best Contribution to Corporate Responsibility was won by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

KAUST’s winning entry demonstrated how it reduced paper and energy usage, began to optimise shipments, increased local sourcing, installed energy efficient lighting and ensured assets are reused, sold or donated.

Dubai’s TECOM group picked up Best People Development Initiative for the transformation of its procurement department from an administrative function to a strategic business unit with excellent customer service.

Most Improved Procurement Operation – Step Change was won by Emirati shopping mall company Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Shopping Malls for a total spending overhaul.

Most Improved Procurement Operation was Dubai’s Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), whose breakneck growth since Orbit and Showtime merged led to an internal review of purchasing policy and practice.

Best Cross-Functional Teamwork Project was won by Dubai’s EMAAR, for a partnership with Dubai-based holding company Meraas to create a smart hotel for modern travellers.

Best Process Improvement Initiative went to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi for its project to change invoice processing from reactive to proactive.

The CIPS Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year was named as Saeed Khalfan Al Zaabi, of ADAC.

The CIPS Young Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year was Anisa Abdulrahman Al Bloushi, of Emirates National Oil Company.

See here for a list of all the winners.

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