The Benefits of a CIPS Procurement Qualification
Working in procurement can be challenging, with many roles and responsibilities falling under your remit.
Balancing budgets, supplier relationships, sourcing products and other tasks must all be juggled effectively. Enhancing your knowledge of procurement and supply processes can make this balancing act easier, as you build on your experience with concrete knowledge.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is the leading body for procurement qualifications. Their globally-recognised qualifications hold a lot of weight in the industry, both for the individual and for the organisation they work for.
In this article, we'll be taking you through the benefits that a CIPS qualification could bring to your procurement role.
Enhance Ethical Sourcing
Now more than ever, we look to the ethics of an organisation to decide if we want to buy from or work with them. Maintaining ethical practices at every point in the supply chain is no mean feat, but with the right knowledge you can tackle this.
It’s essential for organisations to be aware of the implications of ethical sourcing, especially if they use this as a selling point for their consumers. Organisations that claim to be sourcing ethically, but don’t do their due diligence can be in for a PR disaster.
CIPS recommends that you should visit sites, research commercial business information and instil best practice in your suppliers. They believe that going beyond checking the box on ethical sourcing is essential to reduce this risk.
Beyond tier one suppliers, they encourage their members to use community-based methods to highlight issues with ethics in the supply chain.
Banding together with other organisations in your industry can spread the responsibility and help to share this load. There’s a high likelihood that you deal with the same suppliers and sources, so compare the results of due diligence and set industry-wide standards.
Create Equitable Deals
Negotiation tactics can drastically influence the outcome of a meeting. While many seasoned procurement professionals believe they handle these effectively, new tactics and concepts can take their skills to the next level.
It’s not always about getting the lowest price from a supplier, as creating an equitable deal can be more cost-effective in the long run.
For example, you negotiate a deal for a service at £1,500 per month, where other customers pay £2,000 per month, which costs the supplier £1,200 to provide. Should the cost of provision or demand drastically increase, the supplier will be more likely to honour high levels of service with clients that pay more. This may mean you switch suppliers more often, wasting time and money in the lengthy tender process.
Creating deals that are equitable for both parties creates better supplier relations and reduces risk within the supply chain.
Manage Supplier Relations
Maintaining great supplier relations requires for you to go the extra mile, but there are also numerous benefits to doing so. With an insight to the supply chain, you can make strategic changes in advance, instead of reacting after the fact.
Viewing these relationships as partnerships, and working to preserve them, adds value to your organisation. This is a relatively new concept, but it’s an element that distinguishes buying from strategic procurement.
By communicating with and actively managing suppliers, you can reduce risk within your supply chain.
Build Accredited Teams
With accreditation and qualifications, entire teams can perform at their very best. While a qualified individual can pool their knowledge, an accredited team is more likely to understand and follow best practice.
This is an excellent reflection on you and your organisation, which can give you a strategic advantage over the competition.
Experienced procurement professionals want to work within highly qualified teams, which will draw better applications to your organisation. This can also assist in negotiations, as suppliers will view the designatory letters of the team as a signal that they’re dealing with experienced professionals.
By offering continuing professional development, your organisation can retain top procurement talent. With the right mix of professional support and opportunities, you can build and retain an effective procurement team.
Reduce Wastage and Unnecessary Spend
Wastage and unnecessary spending can prompt procurement costs to spiral out of control. Errors with ordering or misunderstandings can cost your organisation dearly.
With a better understanding of procurement best practice, these costs can be drastically reduced. Qualified procurement professionals are better placed to re-examine processes, with a keen eye for those that may be causing issues.
When dealing with ordering at scale, small mistakes can quickly add up to large amounts of wasted revenue. Therefore, a base of expert knowledge is essential for a procurement professional.
Through a CIPS qualification, you learn how best to assess the value of different tender bids. Calculating the total lifetime cost of a service or product makes for a simpler comparison than
Tackle Procurement Fraud
Did you know that procurement fraud adds 10% onto the cost of procurement projects globally? These additional costs can make or break a project, with serious implications for your organisation.
Corruption, bid rigging, and bribery are all damaging to your organisation. Learning to spot and combat these issues ensures a fairer, more cost-effective procurement process.
There are many signs of procurement fraud, including:
- Members of staff enjoying gifts or financial benefits from suppliers.
- Lack of transparency in the selection process.
- Conflation or inaccuracy within invoicing amounts.
Procurement fraud can take place within your organisation, as members of staff are incentivised to favour a supplier. It can also come from out with the organisation, with suppliers colluding to fix their prices in the tender process
Actively working against procurement fraud is the only way to reduce these costs. When corruption to the procurement process can run rampant, the organisation receives poorer service at a higher cost.
Read the Latest Research
Technological and economic advances can impact your day-to-day role. With a CIPS membership, you can avail yourself of the latest knowledge and research. They carry out in-depth research, with actionable results that you can bring into your own workplace.
Members can also sign up for daily news alerts from Supply Management, the official publication of CIPS. If you want to keep your ear to the ground for all the latest procurement news, then signing up for this publication is a must.
This type of up-to-date information can give you the edge over your competitors and impact your future procurement plans.
By understanding the shifting landscape of procurement, you can work to mitigate any risks. Major economic events change how we procure, and the costs associated, so give yourself all the information you need to continue to work effectively.
Working in procurement can bring challenges, but with the right knowledge directing your decisions you can become much more effective within your role. Undertaking a CIPS qualification can be the difference between fair, equitable deals and risky supply chains.
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