CIPS accounts published

CIPS* have published their accounts for 2008-9 (up to end October 2009) on their website.   (OK, I admit, I have been nagging them for a while given we're now into 2010/11).  How many members actually read the document?  Well, we all should really; it is our organisation, and actually, there is some interesting material within.

From a business point of view, it was a tough year, with the recession in full swing.  Income was down 5.8% to around £15 million, with the organisation pretty much breaking even.  David Noble took over as Chief Executive in May after the rather sudden departure of Simon Sperryn; Noble is the first procurement professional to hold this role.  He appears to have stabilised the finances (and I believe things improved through 2009/10 as well), with some redundancies and general cost-cutting, and the seemingly inexorable growth in members continues, driven by students from developing countries, particularly China where there were 10,000 members by year end.

And a new subsidiary, CIPS Southern Africa, was established; probably this will go down as the most important development of the year when the 'history of CIPS' is written. The other historical milestone was the number of of international members overtaking UK numbers.

The CIPS 'brand name' is being strongly exploited now, particularly in the field of training and education, and on a more and more global basis.  Some challenges remain or even grow of course; for instance:

  • How does the UK heartland membership feel about the growing focus on Africa, China and other parts of the world?
  • Is there inherently some conflict between commercial objectives and some of the 'charitable' aims of the Institute?
  • How does CIPS respond to Procurement Leaders, the Strategy Council and other competitors growing influence in the very attractive corporate market?
  • Will reducing public sector spend - and staff cuts - have a knock on effect on CIPS membership in that sector?

All challenges for the CIPS executive, Board and Council. And of course, another whole year has gone by since the period these results relate to.  But congratulations to CIPS for getting through a difficult period in pretty good shape.

* The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply

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