Spend Matters UK Weekly Round-Up

Apologies to loyal readers of this column for my skip last week, things are extremely hectic around here as we prepare for International Trade Breaking Point. Let's jump in to all things procurement across the pond:

Jason is actually heading to England next week, where he and Peter will host The Great Sourcing Debate. If you're in London and would like a pint and some procurement entertainment, drop us a line before hand (we have a limited number of spots) and join us at the Bank of England Pub on Fleet Street from 5.30-8pm!

What type of procurement person are you? -- "...a comment made by a CPO I interviewed last week (for a really interesting technology provider review we'll be featuring shortly). This guy is using technology in a serious way to manage his function and the whole supply chain into a successful international manufacturing business. We got to talking about people, and he said, "I must have procurement people who are principally data-driven."

Abolish pre-qualifying?!?! -- "I heard this week (and of course it may just be a rumour, but it was entertaining enough to bear repeating), that one suggestion under consideration to make UK government contracts "more attractive to smaller firms" is to get rid of the PQQ stage of the process. So we wouldn't have a pre-qualification process, we would just move straight into a direct tendering process, presumably open to any organisation that was inclined to submit a bid. My advice; DON'T DO IT! It would be madness."

Introducing Coupa (got to be a pun there, just can't think of it...) -- "They operate in the purchase to pay, transactional management space, covering both procurement and expense management (travel etc.) "Cloud based spend management" is the proposition. They've been going since 2006, the founders being veterans from software firms including Oracle. At the moment their customer base is largely US firms, which takes them into Europe via the subsidiaries of those clients, but they are looking to develop more presence this side of the Atlantic. Tesco Bank is an early UK based client; Salesforce.com an example of a US based client with major EMEA operations as well."

Finally, Peter seems to have launched a UK version of Afternoon Coffee (I'm flattered!): Procurement news; technology, helicopters, and how sustainable are your cucumbers?

- Sheena Moore

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