More on the CIPS SM Awards

So well done to all the winners from the CIPS Supply Management Awards on Wednesday night. It feels like we’re all getting a bit blasé about how good an evening it is, every year. Food was good, the Front Covers were excellent, and yes, they did rap during their Run DMC / Aerosmith “Walk This Way” cover, and no, it wasn’t embarrassing at all. I also had the honour of (very briefly) introducing them at the beginning of their set – thanks to David Smith for the opportunity to pretend I was a music promoter /famous DJ (my dream job)!

Numbers were somewhat down on the peak – 90 tables,  so around 1000 people, whereas we have been up at 1200. Fewer consulting firms and similar entertaining, I would say.  Not bad though given the economic situation.

Paula Gildert made her first big speech as the soon to be CIPS President.  She was very fluent and confident, if a little earnest perhaps, and kept the audience under control (not always easy).  She talked about the work CIPS does in Africa, which prompted a great line from my friend Jim.

Paula - “And seeing people who walk for three days to take their CIPS exams..”.

Jim (whispers) -  “That’ll be the Central Line down again....”

Miles Jupp was also very funny in his stand up – he had taken the trouble to work out a few procurement type jokes, which was good. He started with “I don’t know much about your industry but ... what a year it’s been”!  That is typical of his deadpan and dry style which went down very well.

The two big winners of the night were Surrey County Council and NATO. Surrey pulled off the double for “Best Public Sector project” and “Best People Development Initiative”.  They were understandably delighted – well done to Andrew Forzani and the team, and I’ll be talking to them fairly shortly to get an update on their latest progress.

The NATO initiative won “Best Contribution to the Reputation of the Procurement Profession” and the overall award. Supply Management says; “The winning project involved establishing a deal with an external contractor that covered three key counter-IED pillars: strategic and tactical policy development, training and mobile advisory teams”.

We talked here about a different military project that also concerned combating IEDs and won an award from the  Management Consultancies Association earlier this year. I’m not saying for a moment that these don’t deserve to win, but there’s no doubt they have an advantage when it comes to the judging, when you can talk about the benefits in terms of preventing deaths, loss of limbs and so on. It sort of puts the usual “we saved £1 million and our stakeholders liked us” into perspective.

Gerry Walsh won the Purchaser of the Year Award on the back of the Olympics euphoria, but he’s been an impressive CPO for many years - in Financial Services, with American Express, and food manufacturing with RHM before this role. Well done to Gerry, and to Chris Morgan of BAA, the young Purchaser of the Year, who now has to carry around the albatross of being identified as “a future CIPS President” at the event!

Roll on 2013...

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  1. The Guitar Man:

    Some very insightful comments (as usual) and the very amusing aside from your friend Jim must put him on the short list for host next year! I agree entirely with your comments about Miles Jupp. Having seen so many ‘up and coming’/’down and going’ comedians tread the boards of the SM Awards, Mr Jupp ranks (to me) amongst the best. Did his homework (most don’t) and with a very amusing delivery style. I spoke to him during the evening and found him also to be a charming, gratious chap who seemed genuinely pleased to be there (although I can be a bit gullible!).

    Genuinely pleased to see Gerry honoured in this way and felt he should have had this glittereing accolade some time ago rather than on the wave of 2012 (although he would have been voted as the winner well before the euphoria associated with the GB medal cache!).

    The commentry that Chris Morgan is a ‘future CIPS President in the making’ set me thinking if any Past Presidents have ever been ‘Young Purchaser of the Year’. With the notable exception of Jeannie Beaven, Jane Gibbs, Shirley Cooper or our incoming President (I hope I haven’t accidentaly missed anyone of that list as I’m sure that I’ll regret it if I have), I find it hard to visialise any of them ever being less than middle aged. Might it be that too many found procurement in later life and therefore the outgoing President’s theme to bring in more youth and make our profession to be one of (early career) choice is even more relevant.

    It would be so good if the likes of Chris (and his YPOTY predecessors) are offered some relevant executive or development role within CIPS to aid their progress and to further modernise CIPS. I know that David Noble is a supporter of developing new talent and the improved governance at CIPS could facilitate such a move.

    1. Peter Smith:

      I think “Young Purchaser of the Year” only started in about 2005 – that’s the earliest I can trace. (I chaired the judges in 2006 when Laura Langstaff – now at Surrey Council, double award winners this week, won). So probably too soon to expect a CIPS President from amongst their numbers. But it would be interesting to see how the previous winners are doing, are they still in procurement, are they involved with CIPS etc? I feel a blog or two coming on…

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