Down the Procurement Pub with Ian Taylor, LUPC, April Fools and Coves

In this picture taken in the Counting House, Cornhill this week, you can see an ex Partner in a top consulting firm, a CIPS Past President and (the left knee of) an ex-Fortune Global 100 CPO. And a lady in green (who has a great future in procurement rather than a past, like the rest of us)!  Discussion topics included whether technology will spell the end for procurement, the new CIPS Ethics e-learning package, and why it took them quite so long to change the barrel of Seafarer’s Bitter.

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Talking of CIPS Past Presidents, news this week that Ian Taylor is ‘retiring’ after  a long, successful and high profile career in the profession, including a year as CIPS President in 2005. I say ‘retiring’ with the speech marks because I suspect he will pop up doing something, he is far too young and smart to settle for the pipe and slippers,  but it probably won't be a full time CPO type role according to him.  Ian was CPO at Halifax and Bank of Scotland, then the Department of Education, and for the last 3 years or so has run the North-East Purchasing Organisation, the local authority collaborative venture.

First impressions of Ian could be misleading – he could seem very much the archetypal corporate executive, but there was, and is, a more maverick aspect to his personality, as anyone who heard him extolling the virtues of the Wakefield rhubarb triangle will know! That was in the cause of promoting procurement corporate social responsibility  – one of the areas where he was well ahead of the pack.  All our best wishes to Ian anyway.

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Hope you enjoyed our April 1st post on Procuroulette. My US colleagues went to town with a number of clever articles - do have a look at Spend Matters for that date, and my favorite I think was the idea that as well as our '50 to Know' and '50 to Watch' selections of provider firms, we will now be doing a "50 to Avoid" selection. It's a great idea, except for the subsequent libel actions..!

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We’ll have more next week on this week’s ProcureCon Indirect conference, which I could only attend for half a day unfortunately, and Wednesday’s Bravo Real World Sourcing session on Evaluating Bids and Tenders – another very good event. A mention also for the London Universities Purchasing Consortium’s second customer conference, also this week. I ran a workshop there and we had some very good discussion about what ‘delivering value’ really means  for procurement in sectors like Universities, museums and Kew Gardens!  And remember, if you would like to hear my dulcet tones a week today, register for this webinar, where along with the nice people from GEP, I will be talking about capability building in procurement, with a particular emphasis on skills transfer – a much mentioned but arguably little implemented process!

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And finally, our musical treat for this week is Coves, a new boy / girl duo from the musical inferno that is Leamington Spa. Their new album, Soft Friday, out this week, got a rave review in the NME, and their sound brings to mind classic 60s girl groups, a bit of shoegaze, the ‘new psychedelia’ of bands like Temples, and some darker goth-indie  Velvet Underground / Kills vibe. Very nice...

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