I recently attended the CIPS annual (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) conference in London. In case you have not encountered CIPS on some of my previous blogs – it is the world’s largest professional body for procurement and supply, and I also study their qualifications.
WHY I DECIDED TO ATTEND?
I believe strongly that there is a great benefit to attending conferences to develop a wider understanding and have the chance to network and share good practice. As I study CIPS qualifications and that it is the leading body in the field of procurement, I was eager to have the opportunity to attend to broaden my understanding of procurement and supply beyond what we do in Gwynedd Council and have the opportunity to meet other procurement experts to see what procurement practices other companies and bodies operate.
SOME OF THE TOPICS DISCUSSED?
There was a presentation on the general procurement field, the economy, the impact that Brexit is likely to have and how businesses and organisations can prepare to deal with it. During the shorter sessions, there was discussion about the importance of soft skills by procurement experts, how to lead change, and the advantages and disadvantages of dealing with large companies or small and medium sized businesses (Titans vs SMEs).
THE BEST PART OF THE CONFERENCE?
There were so many beneficial sessions and topics discussed throughout the day, it’s difficult to pick one! However, one great aspect was to see such a difference that a procurement service can make and the different ways in which that can be done. Frequently, the response to procurement is a negative one as many perceive it as a barrier due to the fact that a process must be followed and consideration must be given to buying a new product or service. But procurement is a completely central service for any organisation and the considerations in the procurement process can make a real difference – make monetary savings or get better value for money, or ensuring that there is a good standard kept through the supply chains (such as ethical employment or the environment).
It was also incredible to hear from the field’s leading experts and network and share information with peers from the procurement field, and be able to bring that information back to Gwynedd Council!