Best of last week’s comments; consumer procurement offers, lotteries and political hypocrisy

We get great comments on a regular basis, so here's a selection of some of the best from last week.  Please do comment - it makes things so much more interesting!  I want to feature comments more prominently, still thinking exactly how to do that, but will certainly have a regular feature like this as a start.

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We raised some doubts about the long term viability of ‘Groupon’ type consumer offer based websites. After publishing our post, we read that Social Living, a Groupon competitor, is valued at Billion. So maybe Adam’s comment is relevant:

Being a regular user of these sites I think they are here to stay. As an example, my other half regularly snaps up the offers on discounts at West End hair salons. From the suppliers point of view, if they can convert some of these customers into regulars it is definitely worth their while. Conversely and as long as you don’t mind getting your hair cut in a different place every time, as a consumer you can jump from offer to offer getting a great value deal.
Most popular offers like the afternoon tea you mention, will have their validity period extended by a month or two to accommodate demand. And from our experience of asking the “is this worth your while?” to the supplier, while it is not something that is sustainable all the time, offering say 4 deals a year is something that works for them.

Reverberations continued around the Prime Minister calling public procurement staff “enemies of enterprise” for not supporting small, dynamic, innovative companies who are incapable of actually doing is contractually needed. This comment from Andy Davies exposes the political hypocrisy which is all too common.

In London, the last Mayor set up Supply London, an organisation designed to help SMEs in London win public contracts. It worked both ways – advising public authorities how to make tender processes more accessible and open to SMEs, while they in turn were coached on how to compile and submit better tenders. In successive projects, buying temporary agency staff, legal services and estates maintenance for London’s universities, colleges and other cultural establishments, SMEs punched well above their weight as a result of this intervention. Supply London met all of its targets, but the present Mayor has cut its funding and Supply London closes next week. And yet it’s us who are the ‘enemies of enterprise’, apparently.

Readers also commented on whether CIPS was taking a storng enough line in refuting the POM's comments. Roy Ayliffe, who as many will know has past CIPS connections, said this.

As the professional body whose role is to represent the profession, CIPS needs to vigorously engage in this issue. CIPS should use its place on the Cabinet Office’s procurement panel to correct the Prime Minister’s perception and public statements. Also CIPS members should be made aware of CIPS approach and actions on this issue.

And finally, on a lighter note, Rob followed up on our post regarding the prospect of ‘lotteries and ballots’ becoming a regular feature of public sector procurement.

As one of the cornerstones to a major transformation programme, I’ve just presented a business case to my CEO and Group FD which incorporates a ‘break-through’ development in procurement and supply chain. Essentially, it outlines the requirement to discontinue with the e-sourcing module within the company-wide ERP system, and replace it with a tombola. Imagine this. You invite as many suppliers as possible, from the market in which you want to source your requirement, to the procurement launch event. Instead of delivering to them a best practice ‘market engagement’ presentation, you present each of them with a number, and if their number comes up, they can bid. As you might expect, you wouldn’t want to the Head of Procurement to duck any of their leadership responsibilities, so they’ll be on the stage, cranking the handle, and calling the numbers. Imagine the savings on software upgrades!
After a number of events, understandably, the Head of Procurement may suffer from RSI, but they could always outsource this key process to McKinsey.

First Voice

  1. Peter Couch:

    I check http://grouponbot.com more often then I check groupon now.

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