Forward thinking

6 December 2011
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyTraditionally, this is a 
time when we take stock, review what we have achieved and work out what we need to do better next year. The past 12 months have seen a lot of activity. Our core activities have gone well: membership numbers and exam entries have broken new records and more companies are taking our training programmes. We have continued our international expansion, opening a branch office in Dubai and forming an alliance with the United Nations, which will help us to take the procurement message into more developing economies. At home, we have been working closely with the UK government to help it address the budget deficit through smart procurement and reform, and have worked extensively on the sustainability agenda. The Markit/CIPS Puchasing Managers’ Indices and the Kagiso South Africa PMI have shown themselves to be a reliable barometer of what is happening in the UK economy and have attracted a lot of press attention. This has given me the opportunity to talk about procurement on TV and radio and raise the profile of CIPS as the go-to source for all things procurement. And what of 2012? Well, for one thing it’s going to be a year of big events, the Olympics, the Queen’s diamond jubilee – and not forgetting CIPS’ own 80th anniversary. I want to see us using this milestone to look ahead as much as reflect on how far we have come. CIPS has been very successful and we can be proud of what we have achieved, but there are big challenges ahead. We have to make sure that we remain relevant to our members, their employers and to business, and continue to attract new people into the profession. This is the driver for our president David Smith’s theme for 2012, promoting procurement as a career to young people and practitioners from other disciplines thinking about a career change. In the new year, you will see a new-look CIPS. We are freshening up our logo and giving our website a makeover, but here the changes will be about more than how it looks. From when you land on the new homepage, you will find it easier to find what you want and you will be able to do more online. We’re overhauling our knowledge materials, too, and will soon be launching CIPS Intelligence, a new resource for members at every stage of their career. And look out for an announcement about a new recruitment service before too long and a new continuing professional development online tool. Best wishes for a 
happy and prosperous 2012. Leases that hit a low How confident are you that you’re getting a good deal on the lease agreement for your photocopiers, computer hardware and telephones? Some industry experts reckon that as many as half of all lease agreements of this type result in organisations being overcharged or supplied with equipment not fit for purpose. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued a damning report accusing some elements of the leasing industry of malpractice. The OFT points to examples of contract periods longer than the useful life of the equipment, huge hikes in the cost of servicing year on year and significant financial penalties if the customer terminates the contract early. You might think it’s only SMEs that fall foul of such agreements, but large organisations do 
too. All the more important, then, to keep leasing in the hands of professionals, to negotiate a fair deal and manage the service delivery 
to the expected standard. ☛ If you have any comments or wish to raise a topic, please get in touch at
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Ministry of Defence: Defence Infrastructure Organisation
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