Down the procurement pub – CIPS, the cost of risk management and the big UK / EU debate

So got my latest copy of Supply Management yesterday. I haven’t read all the articles yet, but there is content in this edition that all CIPS members should read.  (Some of it is on-line as well of course. )

That includes a description of the new Congress, the body chaired by Melinda Johnson that represents members’ interests to the Institute. I was pleased to see that all the elected Congress delegates have got their email addresses on the CIPS website so members can contact them, although it has been left fairly loose in terms of how exactly that contact might happen. We’ll see how that develops.

Then the magazine also features the CIPS headline accounts for the last financial year. Very interesting. That’s all we’ll say for the moment until some further analysis. But do take a look yourself if you are a member.

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Risk is a super hot topic at the moment, and supply chain / supplier risk has risen up the agenda of many procurement leaders. But I had an interesting conversation this week with a fellow procurement veteran (young in spirit though, definitely young in spirit) about that. He pointed out that there is a danger we see ourselves as purely protecting our organisations against supplier risk without taking into account the costs that we might be building into our contracts by doing so.

 A simple example – almost everybody now wants professional indemnity insurance from even the smallest consulting firm. That does have a cost. You may not see it directly transferred to your contracts, but rest assured, this is getting built in somewhere in the suppliers’ prices. And do you really need it?

A fascinating topic – ideal for a Friday discussion over a pint, I feel – and we’ll come back to it in more detail at a later date.

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Is the UK really likely to leave the EU?

I’ve been fairly positive over the years generally about our EU membership, but if does feel that the EU has some fundamental issues if you look more widely at the global economy. Whilst we’re not shackled to the Euro in the UK, my question really is more about attitude. If we want the UK to succeed over the next 50 years, do we need to set our sights much more at doing business with the Americas, the Far East, South Africa, the Emirates, Brazil...?  All a lot more dynamic than Belgium, Spain or France.  But at the very least, I guess speculation about the effect of a UK withdrawal will keep us in interesting blogging topics for the next 5 years or so!

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