Spend Matters UK Friday: What’s Peter Been Up To?

We featured Peter Smith in a post earlier this week, and it's high time that we highlighted some of the other great content over on Spend Matters UK/Europe to end up the week (I found this post especially amusing).

The calm after the Spice Girls...
The Olympic Hangover -- This morning, Great Britain and Northern Ireland is waking up with a massive metaphorical hangover – and in many cases, an all too physical one as well. The last two weeks, even for someone like me who was moderately cynical about the Olympics, has been a very strange, and at times rather wonderful experience. The sheer tension of the final seconds in the shooting when Peter Wilson won with his last two shots; or the drama of the last clear round in the show jumping, or the amazing fitness of our triathletes – looking like two young brothers from a different age, effortlessly jogging around their newspaper delivery routes.

The Olympic Hangover part 2 – the Cure? -- So, how can we avoid getting depressed as we come down from the natural high of the Olympics? How can day to day life in the office seem interesting again, after two weeks spent gazing at muscular necks, gleaming flesh and powerful thighs (and that was just the horses). Well, you might take the opportunity to try something new or different in the work environment. We've been racking our brains and here are a few ideas that might just be positive for the procurement department, and at least make the transition back to normal life a little more bearable. But really, it doesn't matter whether you use these specific ideas – it's just a good opportunity to do something new, different, motivating or inspiring, and feed off some of that Olympic energy.

Shell pulls out of European banks...
Retreating into their Shell... Credit and default risks in Europe worry oil giant -- An article last week in the Times highlighted an aspect of risk management that must be getting more focus in many large multinational firms at the moment. Shell, the huge oil firm, are basically pulling their cash out of certain European banks and countries because of fears about the stability of those banks, countries and the Euro.

UK government procurement "performance overview."
Government Procurement Service Annual Report and Overview published – and Francis Maude wants to keep his job -- Government Procurement Service – or at least the "trading" arm, Buying Solutions as was, released their annual report this week. It's a fairly weighty document, but alongside it they also published a snappy 8-page "Performance Overview", which gives a very readable summary of their activities. It's heavy on bar charts and while there's a lot of data in there, it is clearly presented – a good initiative to make the results more transparent and accessible to the casual reader.

Some advice from Shared Services Link.
Shared Services Link – KPIs for successful Accounts Payables -- It's not exactly hot off the press (my fault) but I've just caught up with an interesting piece from Shared Services Link, who run events in the shared services field. Their website has some good content as well – it's not all procurement or P2P related by any means but is worth checking out. This particular article is titled "Eight key performance indicators that you hadn't thought of in purchase to pay!" And it does what it says on the tin, focusing on the accounts payables area in particular.

"Third-party providers – an option worth considering?"
Using Third-Party Providers in Supplier Pre-Qualification -- The cost of the process, and the time required to run proper pre-qualification is one reason for the growth of third party services in this field. There are obvious economies of scale in a single organisation carrying out some combination of registration, verification, qualification and selection, then making the results of that work available to multiple users. A buyer may then directly access, for instance, a pre-qualified list of potential suppliers for a particular industry who have a defined capability, with appropriate certification if required, a healthy financial situation, no nasty surprises in terms of legal or regulatory issues, and listed by country or region. And that can be done very quickly.

- Sheena Moore

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