Down the Procurement Pub with Tejari, Science Warehouse, Jules Goddard and 3 Musical Mega-Stars

David Smith April 15A quiet week, with the holidays, but here is David Smith in my favourite wine bar / brassiere, the wonderful Bedford and Strand, just off the Strand. A really interesting selection of wine by the glass, very decent food, good atmosphere but rarely absolutely packed, free wifi, nice staff.. and a pleasant drink with a good friend, plotting – but not procurement. David is working on an album and I’m honoured to say I have contributed lyrics for 3 or 4 of the songs on it! That’s a writing first for me anyway, Bernie Taupin eat your heart out. We’ll tell you more about the album shortly, and there might even be a Spend Matters competition too.

ME NEll Gwyyne April 15And this was me an hour later, developing a new song (yes, really) with David at the candle-lit Nell Gwynne Tavern also just off the Strand – the tiniest pub I’ve ever visited in London, brilliant little place.

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I’m off to the Emirates on Monday for our Real World Sourcing events with Tejari – “New Approaches to Negotiationin Dubai on Tuesday, “Evaluating Bids and Tenders” in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. And of course Monday, when I arrive, is forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far in Dubai at 105F (41C). Lovely! I very much enjoy the sessions in the UAE, but not because of the heat. I’m a northerner at heart, give me snow over sun anyway day. (Mental training – when you’re hot, close your eyes and pretend you’re on a freezing chairlift in a snowstorm ... it does work!) Anyway, hope to see some of our readers there. In the UAE, not on a freezing chairlift, I mean.

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I popped in to see Science Warehouse in Leeds the other week and they are investing strongly in 2015, with new recruits and a more focused marketing push. They’re up to 60 people now in their rather cool Leeds office, progressing steadily and good to see a home grown UK software firm that is profitable and doing well.

They won their first Australian customer last year, the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) at the University of Sydney, in partnership with the leading spend analytics provider Purchasing Index ANZ, and “In response to very positive feedback from other potential Australian customers, we are now launching a new subsidiary (SWL Australia) with offices in Melbourne”. We wish them good luck with that venture.

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The Fatal Bias is a must-read article from Jules Goddard of London Business School, who is the facilitator at the Procurious Big Ideas Summit later this month. We’ll come back to his argument here again, and comment at greater length, but for the moment, let me just recommend that you read it, particularly if you are in an organisation or a procurement function where cost reduction is the primary goal.

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I was considering featuring Kendrik Lamar and King Kunta as our video of the week but it is maybe a bit much … huge talent thought the man undoubtedly is. So, this isn’t new, but something interesting happened for me with this song. When I first heard it, I thought it was really simplistic, dull and boring. Picked it up occasionally via the radio without really listening. Then the other day, it came on when I was driving, and it suddenly hit me – this is a really, really great song! I guess that is what you get when you put two all-time genius songwriters (Kanye West and Paul McCartney) and an iconic performer (Rihanna) together. I have to play it twice in a row now, once just isn’t enough.

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