Spend Matters UK/Europe’s Trusty Editor Peter Smith Hits the US

Last week, Spend Matters world HQ played host to our UK/Europe editor Peter Smith. It was Peter's first trip to Chicago. For some reading Peter's posts on the Windy City, it would be easy to dismiss his interests as those of a naughty old man. But Peter had his lovely wife, Jane, with him to keep his carnal instincts in check. During his visit, we had the chance to frequent a couple of my local pubs, where both of us were reminded about the shame it is that US ales are so much higher in alcohol relative to their British equivalents. Such a turbo-charging effort for beers reduces the amount of time one can spend at a pub and maintain a reasonably clear head. Peter even shared the anecdote about how one IPA -- the unofficial favored style of much of the global Spend Matters team -- he knows has a lower ABV than it's regular ale/bitter equivalent. Regardless of the shock to the system that Peter discovered, he had the chance to try Bells Two Hearted Ale, among some of our other Spend Matters favorites.

On a more important note, Peter and I did actually get some work done. We caught up with a number of Chicago-based spend management providers including Fieldglass, BravoSolution and Spend Radar. In particular, our discussion with Fieldglass touched on some really interesting services procurement use-case examples and innovations; it also included a chat around the potential for forecasting (e.g., rates, quality, broader economy) using contingent labor data. Fascinating stuff. We learned a good deal in many of these largely informal discussions and look forward to reporting back. On the Bravo front, we have several things to report in terms of solution innovation examples and strategy. And at Spend Radar, we believe that we hopefully inspired the team to share, on a more frequent basis, the many dozens of dataset combinations they've been crunching in taking spend analysis beyond highly standard GL classification and analysis implementations.

Peter and I also had a few minutes to catch up and plot out our next steps in building our UK/Europe empire (starting with a celebration and "thank you" party of our first year) sometime in November, complete with live music, located in a venue somewhere on the outskirts of London. Stay tuned for more details on that. In short, Peter and I thus far have had a wonderful time collaborating together and planning out the next phase of our work. Despite the "Hustler Honeys" paraphernalia he appears to have attempted to stuff in his roller bag (see the above link for more details), we generally maintain similar interests as well. So refreshing in a world where relationships are often built on individual needs rather than mutual interest, intellect and exploration.

Jason Busch

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