So the shortlist for the Procurement Leaders Awards 2011 has been announced and a couple of things have struck me straight away. Needless to say, the quality of the entries, the prestige of the companies involved and the sheer (record) volume of entrants keen to display their achievements are all worth a second look.
First of all there is a real international feel to this year’s awards ceremony with companies from all over the world competing including Turkcell from Turkey, Groupe La Poste from France, Tata Steel from India and Nokia from Finland.
What else struck me is the prospect of some heavyweight clashes taking place during the final stages of the judging process.
Take food manufacturers - some of the largest and best-known in the world are up against one another in a number of different areas. We have Kraft Foods vs Premier Foods in both ’best cross function project’ and ’innovation’ categories, Unilever vs Heinz in ’transformation’ and Unilever vs Kraft in ’procurement excellence’.
In addition to his, we have a plenty of little competitions and rivalries which will doubtless provide a spark to the evening - witness the ‘battle of the banks’ in the people development category with Unicredit and Barclays both in the running.
However, this isn’t to take away from the other outstanding functions who are also in the hunt.
Last year, we saw several of the European giants dominating - take Siemens and AP Moller Maersk winning three trophies between them - this year has a decidely more global flavour. American Airlines have been shortlisted in five categories, Anglo American in three, and we also have new entrants such as the atomic weapons establishment who are competing in the ’partnership’ award.
All that remains now is for the board of top CPO judges (not forgetting judging panel chair David Rae) to decide which of these excellent examples are going to win.
I can’t pretend I have any idea who that will be, but that should make the wait until the glitzy evening on the 23rd May at The Brewery in London that much more intriguing.
With such strong competition across the board this should prove to be a great event. And looking through some of last year’s winners and what they went on to achieve, it seems there’s more than just a gong at stake.
No surprise then that I’m told that tables are going fast...
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