The Procurement Chronicles: Lessons from a grey California

Ah, procurement, the art of navigating the treacherous waters of supplier appraisals, tenders, and negotiations. It’s a world where careful preparation and thorough research can mean the difference between success and a cold, grey outcome.

The Sunny San Diego Debacle:

Let me take you back to two weeks ago when I visited sunny San Diego, armed with nothing but a belief that all Californian cities basked in eternal sunshine. Armed with sundresses, flip-flops, and a naive smile, I arrived at my destination, ready to soak up the sun and enjoy the warm weather. Little did I know, Mother Nature had other plans. The skies were grey, the air was chilly, and I felt like an alien from another planet amidst a sea of locals dressed in jackets and scarves. It was a humbling experience that not only left me a little cold but taught me an invaluable lesson: assumptions can lead to discomfort and embarrassment. And that’s precisely what procurement professionals should avoid in their line of work.

Preparing for Supplier Appraisals:

We often face supplier appraisals with limited information and expectations based on assumptions. It’s like packing a suitcase full of sundresses without bothering to check the weather forecast. But just as I should have researched San Diego’s climate, procurement teams should invest time and effort in conducting thorough research before appraising potential suppliers.

Imagine going into a supplier appraisal meeting without understanding the supplier’s capabilities, track record, or market reputation. It would be like strolling into a chilly San Diego morning without a jacket. By doing their due diligence, procurement teams can avoid surprises, make informed decisions, and negotiate from a position of strength.

Tenders and Negotiations: The Weather Forecast for Success:

Picture this: you’re in the midst of negotiating a deal with a potential supplier, and suddenly, unexpected terms and conditions start raining down on you. It’s as disorienting as being caught in a torrential downpour without an umbrella. But fear not! Preparation is your trusty umbrella in the procurement storm.

By thoroughly researching suppliers, their market positions, and prevailing industry trends, procurement professionals can create a solid foundation for negotiations. They’ll know when to stand firm when to make concessions, and how to steer clear of unforeseen pitfalls. Remember, a well-prepared procurement professional is like a weather forecaster, predicting the climate of negotiations and ensuring a sunny outcome for their organisation.

CIPS Exams: Don’t Get Caught in an Unprepared Storm:

Now, let’s talk about CIPS exams. Just as I assumed that sunny San Diego meant warm weather, some procurement professionals might believe that they can breeze through exams without adequate preparation. But alas, this is a recipe for disappointment and a cold, grey outcome.

CIPS exams demand diligent study, thorough understanding, and a solid grasp of procurement principles. Much like packing appropriate clothing for unpredictable weather, diligent preparation is the key to success. So, dust off those textbooks, gather your study materials and embark on your CIPS exam journey with a structured revision plan

As I reflect on my ill-fated San Diego adventure, I can’t help but draw parallels to the procurement world. Just as assumptions about the weather can leave you cold and out of place, assumptions in procurement can lead to unfavourable outcomes. Through careful research, diligent preparation, and a sprinkle of humour, procurement professionals can navigate the ever-changing landscape of supplier appraisals, tenders, negotiations, and even CIPS exams.

Remember, preparation is your secret weapon, your umbrella in a procurement storm. So leave no stone unturned in your research, embrace the power of knowledge, and stride confidently into your procurement endeavours. After all, with the right preparation, you’ll bask in the sunshine of success, leaving those grey clouds of uncertainty far behind!

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July