Down the Procurement Pub with Basware, Per Angusta, Coupa, the BBA, Brandi Carlile and Sam Smith

We covered last week’s Basware Connect event here, and we have more to come from it shortly.

But here is a scene from the excellent “pizza and prosecco” reception at the end of a very good day, featuring me with Louis Fernandes, Country Manager for Basware in the UK, enjoying our mineral water… I haven't really got the hang of selfies, unfortunately.

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Thanks to everyone who tuned in this week for our webinar with Per Angusta, whose solution helps organisations plan, manage procurement activities and report on savings and benefits. There was a very interesting case study from Glen Lovell of First Group too – a good story of how he has driven procurement credibility and even motivation within the organisation. We’ll let you know shortly when you can get hold of the session if you missed it at the time.

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Coupa were a little late perhaps in announcing the keynote speaker for their Inspire event in London on November 6th – 8th but he was worth the wait. Yes, it is Robert Peston, journalist, author, political editor at ITV now, and “unlikely sex symbol” according to some. I can’t see it personally, but I suspect he will be very good indeed. The key day of the event is the 7th, when Peston speaks - it also opens with Rob Bernshteyn, the CEO who has taken Coupa from nothing to a $3 billion valuation, kicking things off, and lots of customer stories too.

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I have never heard of the British Board of Agrément (BBA), but it issues certificates for construction products and systems and provides inspection services in support of their designers and installers. And their CEO has warned that disasters like the Grenfell Tower fire will be repeated unless procurement practices are changed. Inside Housing website reports that Claire Curtis-Thomas suggested procurement contracts were to blame for “serious problems” with external insulation on buildings.  “If we improve the building regulations that’s got to go hand in hand with procurement practices that ensure that we deliver, on behalf of good companies in this country that want to do well”.

The BBA has become “extremely concerned” about the installation of insulation products in the UK.  “Contracts were won by major contractors on the back of quotes received from our clients [product suppliers and installers] in good faith. No sooner the contract had been won – usually by design and build – that our clients got phone calls”. Threatening calls - the prime contractor wasn’t going to make any money so could the installer “do something” to help (i.e. cut costs). Not good procurement or business practice and clearly a risk to quality and safety.

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The Brandi Carlile gig I saw at the Shepherds Bush Empire two years ago was one of the very best I have seen in recent years, she’s a great singer and songwriter, and if you don’t know her early songs like Turpentine and The Story then do check them out – her many cover versions on YouTube are generally great too. This new track is a bit more MOR than her usual, but it is in a good cause, to raise money for Children in Conflict and Carlile's Looking Out Foundation as part of its ongoing campaign to raise $1 million to help children caught in warzones.  Her voice actually goes well with mega-star Sam Smith’s vocals, and it is rather lovely.

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