Down the Procurement Pub (hotel?) – with Tejari, CIPS, Coupa and Arcade Fire

Don’t think that was the real Masterchef Australia they were filming at our hotel in Dubai on Wednesday evening .. not quite sure what it was!  Anyway, I'm back in the UK after a few days in the Emirates, presenting the latest in the Real World Sourcing workshops with Tejari, the BravoSolution joint venture in the region. CIPS were also involved and represented at the event, which they also helped to promote (very successfully).

Wednesday's session covered Contract Management and Supplier Relationship Management, and the event was seriously over-booked, so unusually we were desperately hoping for a good number of no-shows! In the end it worked out perfectly - around 50 people, just about room for everyone.

This was my second visit and event, and this one had more locals and fewer ex-pats in the audience. Tejari is having a real impact in Dubai and there seems to be a real appetite for procurement knowledge, expertise , tools and support. As we said before, pursuing the joint venture option with a local firm, who were part of a major industrial group, seems to have been a brilliant strategic move for BravoSolution. If you can (literally) stand the heat, there are great opportunities in the Emirates for individuals and businesses.

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I thought I might see Chris Gallagher at the Dubai event, but I've just caught up with the news that he's now moved to Australia to become the new CIPSA Managing Director there, taking over from Craig Lardner who was filling that role as an interim. Lardner is now just a few weeks away from taking over as CIPS President of course, whilst Gallagher has the knotty issues we discussed here to sort out. He's taken on all sorts of challenges for CIPS over the years, and we wish him every success and good luck in this one.

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I'm been to and spoken at so many events in the last few weeks my head is somewhat swimming but I'm starting to try and pull some thoughts together, maybe even for a book... And the whole concept of aligning procurement with shareholder value is central to some of my current thinking. Anyway, I'm not claiming this as a new idea but it is something I'm going to explore further - and indeed, it's going to be my topic at the Coupa event next Thursday (you can still register here).

One presentation I saw recently - honestly can't remember who it was - talked about shareholder value as one of procurement's objectives, which was good, but then had "risk management" as a separate goal. Yet when you think about it, "risk" must be part of that shareholder value argument. If a badly managed supply chain risk damages the brand, for instance (child labour, horsemeat, etc), then that plays directly into the share price and therefore shareholder value. It's the same thing... and that actually demonstrates how powerful the shareholder value concept is.

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Today's music features the return of Arcade Fire, one of my favourite bands of the last decade and now one of the biggest bands in the world. Their fourth album is due  and they're gradually exposing new tracks. Here is Reflektor, which indicates perhaps a more dance-influenced direction, whilst still remaining identifiably an Arcade Fire track. It's very promising anyway in terms of the new album.

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