Globalisation of supply chains created efficiencies but greater demand

15 August 2022

This year marks 90 years of CIPS. It's a time to reflect and celebrate the journey from the early days of the Purchasing Officers’ Association, to the Institute of Purchasing and Supply, gaining a Royal Charter in 1992 through to the global organisation that is CIPS today.

Over the years, our membership and global community have continued to grow, and today we have over 60,000 members in more than 150 countries across the world, driving up procurement standards.

I’m proud of all the work we are doing with professionals in commercial organisations, as well as governments, and especially in support of international funding institutions including the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations, to build a sustainable procurement capacity in developing countries.

CIPS provides advice and support on the development of governance structures for public procurement, assistance with drafting and development of procurement laws, regulations and policies, as well as qualifications and skills training which are aligned to the requirements of a global profession.

Through much of this donor-funded work we are improving procurement skills and standards to make public funds go further, driving better value for money, but also developing more transparency and accountability; improving ethical behaviours and stamping out fraud and corruption, to ensure that as much as possible of the scarce funds of these governments and organisations is spent to support those who need it the most.

This work for public good is core to our existence and Royal Charter, and we remain committed to improving procurement standards, but it is also about improving the lives of people in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Our profession and its remit have grown substantially over the years. The globalisation of supply chains has created opportunities, innovations and efficiencies and placed greater demand on the need for professional skills. Recent events have shown how fragile supply chains can be, putting resilience on every CEO’s agenda.

Today, sustainability is probably the most seismic change and challenge for our profession as organisations increasingly come under the spotlight from governments, campaigners, customers and citizens to act responsibly to ensure their businesses and their supply chains are sustainable.

There continues to be one constant throughout – an understanding of the valuable contribution that procurement brings, and the importance of education, learning and training to achieve the degree of professionalism necessary to deliver maximum value. Organisations continue to invest in the development of professionally trained procurement teams, and individuals commit to keeping their skills and knowledge up to date. CIPS membership reflects this: it has grown over the decades and is currently at its highest level.

None of this would be possible without the unwavering support we have received over the years from our staff, volunteers and wider procurement community. Your drive and passion to progress and promote this wonderful profession makes a huge contribution to the success of CIPS. Thank you all.

What an exciting time this is to be part of our rich community. I look forward to marking this milestone year and continuing to support the advance of the profession which will, I am sure, continue to evolve and grow over the next 90 years.

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