An international conference to discuss the most critical issues facing business development was held on Sunday at the Qatar National Convention Centre. 18 speakers from around the world gathered to explore a range of topics facing the industry, including risk management, sustainability and efficiency.
In collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) hosted and sponsored this year’s ’CIPS Middle East Conference’. Khalid Al-Sulaiteen, Executive Director of Operations in QF’s Procurement Directorate, showcased the department’s efforts to reach a level of best purchasing practice regionally.
“We are setting QF’s own procurement processes as an example for other organisations and their procurement divisions to follow. Local organisations and ministries will learn from us and what we have done so far,” said Khalid. “And while this is in line with QF’s third pillar of community development, we ideally hope to raise the standard of procurement internationally,” he continued.
After closing some gaps in QF’s procurement processes, the Foundation was awarded silver accreditation last year by CIPS for its quality practice in purchasing. QF is the first in Qatar and among a select few in the region to receive such an award.
And the QF Procurement Directorate continues to strive for excellence. Khalid has an ambitious agenda and hopes QF will earn gold accreditation within the next six months. “Gold accreditation from CIPS proves that you are not only a centre of excellence for procurement in the region, but that you are one of the few businesses in the world that is adopting methods of best practice. It is very tough,” he conceded.
QF’s progress is not only measurable in business terms, but in a physical sense too. Since 2005, its campus has expanded from 15 buildings covering 290,000 square metres, to its current 58 structures stretching over an impressive 2.1 million square metres, Khalid revealed during the conference. And to ensure that this growth is sustainable, the Procurement Directorate services and advises more than 55 other QF centres.
As the world scrambles for raw materials, QF has set a standard for excellence when it comes to smart buying and economic efficiency. And, on a wider level, managing the region’s own supply of natural resources will be essential for a sustainable future internationally.
“The whole Middle East is built on supply, so good supply management and procurement is vital for sustainability in this region long term,” said David Noble, CIPS Chief Executive and a keynote speaker at the conference.
“Procurement is more than just economics. It’s building a local economy and influencing the region to grow. CIPS and Qatar Foundation have a similar goal, and that’s to educate and promote sustainability. We are very keen to work with QF because our visions are aligned.”
With industry leaders, business leaders, educators and sector experts in attendance at this year’s CIPS Middle East Conference, companies throughout the region are looking to advance and transform their procurement processes in order to cultivate economic sustainability.
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