This is your chance to seize the day

David Noble, Group CEO, Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
posted by David Noble
19 January 2017

In these uncertain times, utilising suppliers and supply networks differently in the coming years will be an essential key to success, says CIPS CEO David Noble.

The strategic importance of supply side trade will be disrupted but not destroyed by whatever trading challenges we face in 2017.

We enter the new year with a lot of unknowns following the unprecedented change in 2016. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union and Donald Trump winning the US Presidential election sent shock waves throughout the world casting doubt on how easy global trade will be in the future. What I am sure of is that supply networks are so embedded and critical to business success that they will find a way to make it work, despite trade barriers and tariffs. 

I recently saw this compared to the Formula One industry and how they deal with bumps in the road when new regulations are put in place to slow cars down. Innovation in the car’s technology finds a way around the regulations to make the cars faster, new regulations are brought in to slow them down and so the cycle continues. 

CIPS is passionate about ensuring organisations leverage the competitive advantage that is harnessed in the supply management. Utilising suppliers and supply networks differently in the coming years will be an essential key to success. Supply side trade as CIPS defines it, will find a way to work around any potential barriers put up because an organisation’s supply chain is its competitive advantage. It’s not Apple competing with Samsung, it is Apple’s supply chain competing with Samsung’s supply chain.

Smart organisations will use this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and show that their supply chains are agile enough to adapt to whatever changes come their way. It might even be that you have two or three supply chains that work for different regions of your business. Much of this is driven by customer expectations which means the speed, flexibility and capability of supply chains is critical for success.

These are both exciting and unnerving times for procurement and supply professionals but this is your moment so seize the day. Make sure your leadership teams are utilising their procurement teams to their full potential. Hone your elevator pitch (see more on page 17) to ensure your CEO is maximising the value that can be unleashed through the supply chain.

Also in this issue we look at procurement’s role in safeguarding your organisation against cyber security (see more on page 22). Many think this is the responsibility of IT or information security but with a staggering 80% of attacks coming through the supply chain this is very much your business. This needs to be added to the elevator pitch!

I would also urge you all to benchmark your procurement performance with our ROSMA Performance Check, a complimentary and confidential financial performance measure developed by A Kearney in conjunction with CIPS and the Institute for Supply Management. This tool was developed to help build the brand of procurement and strengthen CPO-CFO partnerships.

Our latest report published in December, What Good Looks Like, provides a solution for procurement’s branding problem, specifically with regards to influencing stakeholders and attracting and retaining top talent.

Findings from this report show that the procurement profession has a top-tier group of standout performers, a middle-tier that is delivering value but performing well below the top tier, and a large group of bottom-quartile performers that add limited value to their organisations. Make sure you’re not in that bottom-quartile and take action today.


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