End of Year Message from our Directors

As we approach the festive season, it’s time for reflection on another year of challenge in the procurement and supply chain profession. It is another year, where we can point to the value that the profession has delivered to our organisations and where we can proudly say that our collective resilience and adaptability have been, once again, nothing short of extraordinary.

However, it is often too easy to group global events as factors that affects every industry. As our market models of analysis tell us, markets are all different and the competitive forces within them are different. Organisations each have their own strategies, based on their own points of competitive advantage. Not everyone is grappling with new legislation, new markets, availability of key components, the challenge of onshoring and the turbulence of inflation. Our consultancy work this year in food manufacturing, automotive, engineering, logistics and the public sector have all demonstrated unique strategic pain points in each organisation.

What has been common, however, is the desire to have appropriately skilled talent to deliver new strategies. Whether this be in the fundamental age-old principle of managing suppliers to perform to contract, or in the new-age challenge of integrating AI technology into the supply chain function, each organisation we have engaged with in our consultancy work, has sought to improve its supply chain talent pool.

This is good news for all skilled procurement and supply chain professionals. You are in demand.

At Aspire, we have developed our course offering to adapt to this quest for talent. We have delivered over 25 short courses to organisations looking for specific supply chain training and end the year with over 100 apprentices on our Level 3 and Level 4 Procurement and Supply apprenticeship programs, and over 400 students on our CIPS courses from Level 2 to Level 6.

We have had the chance to engage with many different people from many different organisations, and it is fantastic to see great enthusiasm for our courses, and to celebrate the successes of all our learners.

Our commitment to great training was further underscored by the successful completion of our first Ofsted monitoring visit. This milestone is a testament to the high standards we uphold in delivering quality education with beneficial impacts for our learners. We also passed our first ESFA audit and maintained our CIPS Centre of Excellence accreditation.

It has been a pleasure to work with various companies looking to upskill their supply chain teams. As we look ahead into 2024, our team is busy preparing the curriculum for the new Level 6 Senior Procurement and Supply Manager apprenticeship standard, anticipating even greater accomplishments and opportunities for our students in the coming weeks.

We remain committed to driving our business forward within the framework of Slater Austin, our parent company. Their growth in supply chain consultancy and recruitment reflects our collective dedication to shaping the supply chain talent of the future.

Our last tuition sessions of the year take place this week.  As our students, tutors and the team at Aspire all prepare to take a well-deserved break to recharge their batteries, we also recognise that the procurement and supply chain industry never stops. Many of you will have looming deadlines.

We wish you all the best with your specific challenges and hope that you, too, will have the opportunity to spend this festive season, in the company of friends and loved ones.

We wish you, your families, and your friends a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with health, prosperity and happiness.

Richard Slater and Mark Parker
Directors of Aspire Procurement Training Ltd

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