Down the Procurement Pub with CIPS, Apple, SAP, ISM and Ben Khan

The CIPS Fellows last night had a very serious discussion about the future of the Chartered Member status, how procurement can position itself for the next 50 years and … who am I kidding, it was a wine tasting evening! In the fascinating surroundings of the Tower Bridge Engine Room, under Tower Bridge,   we had a competitive semi-blind tasting of eight wines. The ‘competitive’ element slightly disintegrated but it was a very good evening, kindly sponsored by Smart Cube and organised by Shirley Cooper and her excellent Fellows’ Committee who have really re-invigorated the whole Fellows thing. I really should get a Smartphone with a camera flash but ten points if you can spot the two CIPS Past Presidents in this atmospheric pic!

And ten points for guessing which public sector CPO, when faced with his first glass for tasting, said “I dunno, is it Boddingtons”?

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If you are interested in music, technology and business, or at least two of the three, you will find this article by Mark Rogowsky on Forbes a fascinating read. In it, he argues that Apple's acquisition of the Beats headphones business may be a lot smarter than a lot of analysts seem to think, despite the hefty price tag. He also gets into a comparison with Google, Facebook and their acquisition strategies and track record. Finally, he promises another piece looking at what else Apple should buy. That’s a great question for debate over the weekend – which businesses would you buy if you had Apple's cash?

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We mentioned last week some senior moves at SAP. If you want a much more detailed and insightful look at the changes, and what it might mean for SAP / Ariba’s cloud strategy, their users and customers, do check out Jason Busch’s piece here. Meanwhile, the rest of the VMS (contingent labour software) market is still absorbing SAP's purchase of Fieldglass – unofficial but reliable sources now say that SAP paid around 12 times revenues. That's a lot of dosh. And more to come on this market shortly.

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We wrote about the Next Level Purchasing salary survey here, and it is obviously the season for these things in the US, and the mighty ISM has issued its own survey as well. It's got a larger sample size than NLP and a more US centric focus. My colleague Pierre Mitchell at Spend Matters US writes (very positively) about it here, and you can get a copy here. One headline finding – overall salaries in procurement were down! That’s a bit of a shock – but as Pierre says:

“Cost containment of labor expenses is likely the major factor, and economist Mark Zandi from Moody Analytics did show that US labor expense growth has basically shrunk to zero, which is great for a macroeconomic driver of US revenue growth, but the flip side of course is the effect on wages”.

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Ben Khan is a Londoner, hotly tipped by trendy music types, but don’t let that put you off. This is from his new EP, and is great, bringing to mind people from Prince to Bon Iver without sounding quite like anything else. Music you can enjoy intellectually but could certainly dance to, not that I’m recommending a mass outbreak of procurement-dancing here.

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