Down the Procurement Pub with Basware, the MPA, Tradeshift and the Sherlocks

Basware wine tastingThis week we went along to the opening of Basware’s new London office. Nothing like an office opening for an exciting evening, eh? Well, actually, it was very good, as the firm laid on a wine tasting with Tim Atkin, who was excellent. I know, most unusual for me to drink but it would have been rude not to ... Our team should have won the tasting competition really, we were definitely the biggest alcoholics most expert tasters in the room! But here is the winning team; I'm sure Mr Atkin didn't show any favoritism towards them for any nefarious reason, did he?!

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It was a big week for Basware as they also announced significant steps in the integration of Procserve, the UK based eMarketplace and supplier network firm acquired a few months back. And it is the end of the Procserve name as a “brand” external purposes – all external facing Procserve content will transition to Basware branding. But other areas such as customer support, login, security etc are not affected – and as far as we know there have been no rationalistion of staff. We will have more on this next week.

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The number of UK government projects where success is in doubt has fallen from 41 in 2013 to nine, according to the Cabinet Office Major Project Authority’s (MPA) annual report based on data from September 2014 (so it is already almost a year out of date. Although matters have improved significantly in total since the last report, out of the 188 projects under its remit, nine are currently rated “amber/red” – that is, schemes where “successful delivery is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas”. One of the dodgy projects is the Department of Health’s central Procurement Programme – more on that shortly too with some interesting news from that Department. Projects rated amber/red also include HS2, the high speed rail programme. Given the announcements about rail problems this week, does anyone really think HS2 is going to run to time and budget? I will eat my Spend Matters hat if that is the case.

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Tradeshift announced an interesting tie-up with C2FO, “the world’s first working capital market”, (almost along the lines of crowdsourcing idea), to give suppliers access to trillions in working capital. Given that cash flow is one of the biggest financial challenges suppliers face, this is a significant move by both Tradeshift and C2FO to create a healthier supply chain. The supply chain market is at a fascinating point now, and we’ll look at this venture again soon.

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Only two months to Reading and Leeds Festivals, and we’re checking out the bands we don’t know on the bill. Here is another young band, from Sheffield, who sound pretty good –the Sherlocks. Another one to look forward to on August 28th – 30th.

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