Dutch Sourcing Awards – very different from CIPS, Procurement Leaders etc. But very successful

We reported briefly on last Thursday’s Dutch Sourcing Awards here, but let’s return to that excellent event today.

Jason speakingThe Awards shared some similarities with the various UK events I've attended over the years , but there were some differences too. Rather than being a stand-alone ceremony, it followed a half-day conference event, at which Jason Busch from Spend Matters US and I spoke. That perhaps gave it a more business-like feel than, for instance, the CIPS SM awards which is purely celebratory.

VenueThe location was rather excellent - Het Groene Paviljoen, or the Green Pavilion is an environmentally friendly conference and events centre in the middle of a what looks like parkland but is actually a tree- growing nursery. The owner of the land, centre and businesses is – how shall we put it – a ‘character’,  who served drinks, ran the audio-visual, welcomed guests... He also possesses the largest collection of Volvo cars in the world, all 89 of them. He certainly brought an eccentric but charming feel  to the whole thing!

Milling aroundThat location did mean that many of the 180 or so attendees were driving themselves home, so the alcohol consumption was probably not quite at UK dinner levels!  (That level of attendance means it is almost the equivalent of the CIPS award in the UK in terms of size relative to population, by the way). The format was more informal too – a buffet dinner, with lots of mingling and networking, with two award presentation sessions during the evening. Fewer different awards than the UK events too, only six, so no chance of getting bored. You know -  “Now for our 27th award of the evening, the best new procurement initiative featuring Lincolnshire-based SMEs in the agricultural sector”.

That certainly got over one of the problems with the usual format – however lovely your immediate neighbours are at the dinner table, sitting for three hours next to the same people does mean one tends to run out of things to talk about.

puddingsNo such problems here. And the food was very good too, especially the amazing desserts and cheese table (see picture). There was no after dinner speaker or entertainment – that didn’t seem an issue, I guess because of the format, with everyone just mixing and chatting.

In terms of similarities, there was the same sense of pride in the achievement of the award winners, and the well-disguised disappointment of the short-listed people who didn't quite make it – but they got a nice framed certificate too.

The Awards were organised by Gert van der Heijden, who runs Sourcing Experience, a procurement consulting firm, as well as being the Editor of Spend Matters Netherlands, our sister site in that country. There were a small number of sponsors – Coupa, Iasta, Beeline and InQuest  - but that was pretty low profile, and it isn’t run as a big money-making venture.  Gert does a brilliant job with the event, all highly professional but without the use of an event management firm. Not something I would want to take on!

So, we won’t say it was better or worse than CIPS SM, Procurement Leaders, Government Opportunities etc. It was simply different, and therefore a very enjoyable change, particularly given the venue and the informal dining arrangements.  But a very successful evening, and our congratulations again to the winners.

Overall winner:                                 Boskalis

Sustainability:                                   Boskalis (marine industry)

Operational Excellence:                Delta Lloyd (insurance)

Step Change:                                      Enexis (utilities, energy infrastructure)

Procurement Executive:               Coert Michielsen (Refresco)

Public Procurement Executive:  Marcel Stuijts (Local Government)



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