Management Consultancies Association Awards – Procurement to the fore

I had an interesting if tiring day on Friday, serving as a judge for the Management Consultancies Association annual awards.  (Buy your tickets now - Thursday 19 April 2012 at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London).

I was judging two categories – “Innovation” and “Operational Performance in the Public Sector”, and my fellow judges and I interviewed five entries in each category. In most cases, we had both the consultant and the client to talk to, which was excellent as it really allowed us to test that the client felt as positively about the assignment as the consulting firm!

It was also good to renew acquaintance with Stefan Stern, a fellow judge, who was an FT journalist and now is strategy director for Edelman – he still writes occasionally for Supply Management, where his articles have been one of the highlights of the magazine for some years now. Here also is a recent (and really good) article of his from the Guardian. It was also very good to meet the final member of our august panel - Simon Atkinson, Assistant Chief Exec of Ipsos Mori, who is also a blogger, with skiing and Les Arcs his area of interest. A very well written and designed site it is too.

We can’t say too much about the entries now of course. I’m hoping that after the Awards Dinner I will be able to feature some of the best and most interesting case studies. And that’s particularly relevant for us, because what was remarkable was just how much time we spent yesterday talking about procurement and supply chain matters.

Even though the two categories weren’t headed as “procurement”, we found that 8 of the 10 case studies we assessed had a major element of procurement / supply chain content, and 4 of those were basically pure procurement / supply chain projects.

It just confirms what I guess most of us in the field believe – that these areas are incredibly important and fundamental to much that virtually every organisation does.  We covered everything from defence to grocery retail, from IT outsourcing to the Olympics yesterday. But the importance of managing your supply base, and working with them to drive improvement and innovation, came thought time after time. Very encouraging.

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