Down the Procurement Pub with Sir Bob Geldof, Xchanging, the HCSA and Sir Cliff Richard!

My picture is from the British Business Awards dinner this week at the Grosvenor House, where a seemingly endless range of prizes were awarded to various businesses. Sir Bob Geldof did a pre-dinner speech and told 1200 business people that business was being unethical, immoral and was all basically terrible. A strange message I thought at such an event.. he's an excellent speaker though! (It wasn't as lively an event as the CIPS SM or Procurement Leaders Awards, I can confirm, although I was on a fun table with some very decent wine...)

Xchanging gave a positive update to the City this week, saying  trading has been "slightly better" than company expectations. In their latest interim management statement, covering the period from July 1 to date, they said they have continued to win business in each of its industry sectors and service lines, as well as recording higher margins for the group overall. And procurement was highlighted – the procurement division “has won a number of new  contracts during the period, including with Diageo and Severn Trent, and an extension to its existing contract with L'Oreal”.

I spoke at the Health Care Supplies Association conference yesterday in Manchester - another successful event with around 200 delegates, mainly procurement practitioners with some suppliers. We'll have more next week from the event, but it was also notable as I met Moira Ford for the first time in many, many years. Moira worked for me briefly when I was CPO at NatWest, but left shortly after I joined for a better job - to be CPO of Royal Sun Alliance insurance.

But for the last few years, she's been doing different short term roles around the health network, and she has just joined Cabinet Office, reporting to Bill Crothers, to be the Crown Commercial Services lead with the Department of Health. I didn't know that sort of role existed – so it will be very interesting to see how it develops, and we wish her the very best of luck.

My 21 hours in Manchester were also notable for meeting Sir Cliff Richard. Well, not exactly meeting, but having dinner in a very good Thai restaurant (with two execs from Pentax, the firm who asked me to speak at the conference), with Sir Cliff dining at the next table. He looked good, and ate a huge meal – no silly diets for him by the look of it.  He was in Manchester for a live BBC TV appearance on Thursday morning from the Salford studios, to promote his 100th album. That’s incredible actually – 100 albums! So, whatever you might think of him, let’s celebrate his achievement with a little known song and performance, that shows a lot of us might under-estimate his real talent.

Voices (2)

  1. Daniel Ball, Wax Digital:

    Hi Peter – sorry we didn’t get to catch up at the National Business Awards, where we were a finalist in the Business Enabler category. See you next time you are in Manchester!

  2. Simon Walsh:

    Great to see you at HCSA and your slot was excellent.

    Best wishes and thanks

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