SM Awards Shortlist Announced – LOCOG, Balfour Beatty and Surrey star…

The short-list for the CIPS Supply Management Awards , sponsored by BravoSolution, has been announced.

The most noteworthy point this year is probably the four nominations for LOCOG – perhaps inevitable and unsurprising in this Olympics year.  The other multiple nominees are Balfour Beatty, who feature in three, and Surrey County Council – well done particularly to Surrey, my home county. I could also point out that I did some consulting for Balfours around 4 years ago, which obviously got them on the right track for subsequent procurement fame. I suspect however that cause and effect are not exactly linked here...!

The LOCOG nominations include one for Gerry Walsh, the LOCOG procurement director, who is up for Purchaser of the Year – but he’s got competition from two African stars of the profession in Francisca Nyamukapa, (Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe) and Babs Omotowa, (Nigeria LNG).

So that will be an interesting contest. Walsh has been an impressive procurement leader and a great ambassador for the profession for many years. On the other hand, a non-UK based winner would promote the profession hugely I’m sure, in Africa in particular.  I have my hunch here..  and odds will be available on the BettingMatters on-line gambling platform shortly...

The young purchaser of the year is a more UK based affair, with Gulam Choudhury, Manchester Airports Group, Tor Matthews, of Centrica and Chris Morgan, BAA Airports Limited, battling it out.

Back to LOCOG - I hope they don’t sweep the board actually. Firstly because it’s more fun for everyone if the awards get shared around a bit – gives the actual event more of a buzz too on the evening. A greater number of celebrating tables. Secondly, although I think everyone involved with the Olympics supply chain has done a great job, they have had certain advantages. A basically unlimited pot of cash helps.

“The budget for the opening ceremony isn’t enough at £40 million. I need some more, so we can have real cows. And rain”.

“OK, here’s another £41 million. Will £81 million do”?

And let’s face it, every supplier wants to work with the Olympics, which gives you a certain amount of power in terms of your procurement and negotiation positioning. It’s not like being the purchasing manager for some struggling manufacturer, trying to persuade a components supplier not to cut off your credit line and supply because you’re late paying again...

(The Olympic Delivery Authority were big winners last year - we highlighted the amount of money spent by ODA with their project management partner here. Excellent work was delivered, but at a cost).

So, we’ll see what happens come 12 September 2012 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. I’m looking forward to it already....


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