The event attracted over 40 participants representing Poland’s private and public sector. The public sector was mainly represented by medical institutions and municipal companies from four regions, that if from Małopolskie, Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie and Podkarpackie. At the conference was also the personel of the Public Procurement department of the Voivodship Office headed by its director, Iwona Stąsiek.
The guests were warmly welcomed by Urszula Kwaśniewska, BPCC Branch Director Kraków & Katowice. After the official opening, Will Beattie gave a well-received presentation about the globalization and professionalization of procurement, supply chain management and the issues facing companies. It was said that procurement should be a strategic function within companies, and those that do that well have a major competitive advantage over those that continue not to give it too much thought. Beattie encouraged to take steps to professionalise of procurement by participating in appropriate trainings and undertaking the activities aiming to strengthen one’s role within a company.
Chief Procurement Officers sitting on the boards of large corporations are less concerned with cost-savings than having an over-arching strategic vision of the supply chain, Beattie said. He mentioned the high costs to corporate reputation of getting it wrong – issues such as modern slavery, child labour and corruption in the supply chain can also have legal consequences for board directors. Beattie outlined the role of CIPS globally as an institution promoting best practices, continued professional development and high standards. CIPS has a global community of 110,000 members, currently 40,000 Chinese students are working towards CIPS qualifications in Mandarin.
The next speaker was Martin Oxley, the UKTI’s Strategic Advisor. She spoke about the UK experience in public procurement, focusing on the work of the Crown Commercial Agency, the body responsible for spending £40 billion of taxpayers’ money on behalf of central government. Since 1991, a single sourcing agency has ensured that public procurement is handled professionally, Oxley said, focusing on obtaining best value for money, looking at whole life costs rather than simply purchasing goods or services for the lower price. He mentioned the transparency and predictability of the procurement process as being key for both public and private sector, and the British Government’s target of ensuring that SMEs win 25% of the overall spend.
Mariusz Turek, partner at PROFITIA and manager for CIPS in Poland, talked about trainings and certification necessary in the Polish procurement. Turek said that at present, trainings available for procurement specialists in the public sector focus on only two aspects of the job – Polish public procurement law and negotiation. He contrasted the presented approach by showing the broad range of knowledge needed in procurement, and explaining how CIPS meets these requirements with specific courses tailored to the specific needs of the participants. It may take four to five years to reach the standards required to obtain full MCIPS (Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) accreditation, regular online updates and exams ensuring that the procurement professionals will continue to develop, Turek said.
The following spoke: Andrzej Pęcak from the Court of Appeal in Kraków who appeared as an expert of the newly formed central purchasing organisation for the judiciary. Pęcak described a case study on “Purchasing centralization and building of the purchasing shared services centre for Polish courts” and encouraged other institutions to establish the purchasing groups. Setting-up of those groups allows companies to save, negotiate favourable rates and the costs of consumption of materials on an annual basis are much lower. Pęcak noted that the total life cycle cost of the material or product should be the most crucial. In the case of Polish courts, the savings were at the level of 30 million per year.
The conference was concluded by the panel moderated by Martin Oxley. The panelists were all the speakers and a special guest – Agata Brzeska-Lebiecka, the general counsel from the Supreme Chamber of Control. Turning to the Polish experience on the journey from the lowest price to best value for money, Łukasz Rozdeiczer, general counsel at PROFITIA and country manager for CIPS in Poland, gave practical case studies of best procurement practices within the Polish private and public sectors.
After the panel discussion, the participants took a chance to exchange their business cards and points of view at the lunch.