Procurement on the Other Side of the Pond: Spend Matters UK Round-Up

I realized I hadn't done a UK round-up in quite some time, and if you're not reading the UK site regularly, you should be! Here's what Peter's been up to of late:

Our readers speak on outsourcing – an evil menace, or a force for good? -- A couple of readers came at it from the "all outsourcing is rubbish" angle. Well, it is simply too much of a fact of business life to reject the entire process completely. No organisation can do everything itself – the days of Henry Ford buying his own steel mills are long gone, and whether it is cleaning, audit, IT support, web hosting – we all "outsource" in some way. When you buy a ready meal from Tesco you're outsourcing something that our grandparents would have done themselves. So I don't think we can simply say, "outsourcing is wrong" or "the public sector shouldn't outsource". I do accept though, as Final Furlong pointed out, the success rate is way lower than it needs to be in both public and private sectors.

OB10 and why you should care about e-Invoicing -- We've promised (threatened?) to cover e-Invoicing a little more enthusiastically in 2012, so let's start now, with a word about OB10 and the recent announcement of the formation of the European e-Invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA). The link between the two incidentally is Charles Bryant, who works with OB10 and is also the newly elected Vice-Chair of EESPA – the Chair is Esa Tihilä from Basware.

Trade Interchange – a straightforward solution for supplier information management? -- I have a strong belief that in the not too distant future we will find it amazing that even into the 21st century, many organisations didn't have accurate records of where their money was spent, or details of the organisations who were receiving it. Spend Matters – here and in the US – has a firm view that such lack of visibility into the supply base, and of the flow of money to it, will be one of THE biggest issues of the next few years for senior procurement people and indeed CFOs and CEOs.

ISM acquire ADR North America – US Institute moves further into professional services -- Last week, the US based Institute of Supply Management announced the acquisition of ADR North America. Jason Busch and I caught up with ISM's CEO Paul Novak and Bill Michels (CEO, ADR North America) to find out more. But first, here's an extract from the formal announcement.

Stephen Allott – standing up for the poor, downtrodden SME... (part 1) -- As the UK's Cabinet Office "Crown Commercial Representative" for smaller firms (SMEs ), Stephen Allott has a pretty thankless task really – representing the interests of smaller firms in terms of how they do business with the public sector. Thankless, because even if we saw a huge increase in procurement spend going to SMEs, most small firms will still feel they could or should get more business from the public sector. (Part 2 here)

Real World Sourcing – BravoSolution and Spend Matters launch new education programme -- I'm involved in an exciting initiative this year which we're launching formally today. It's called the "Real World Sourcing Series", and it's a series of expert brieifng events organised and promoted by BravoSolution, erstwhile procurement software and services providers.

- Sheena Moore

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