Down the Procurement Pub with the rain in Dubai, the PAC, economists and Royal Blood

- November 22, 2013 10:30 AM
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After a fortnight of rushing around, with conferences, speeches and the like, this week was much quieter, hence the Hobgoblin at home in the picture. A few postponed meetings made it even less eventful than planned, but I have been working on the preparations for our “Transforming Procurement” Real World Sourcing session next week – with an exciting transformation quiz for delegates as well. (Preparing that has taken me about as long as writing the core material, to be honest…)  Meanwhile, Guy Allen was out in Dubai delivering another Real World Sourcing event session there for Tejari, the BravoSolution jv in the region. I got a very grumpy email from him yesterday – it was raining! In Dubai!

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I’ve watched about half of the Public Accounts Committee hearing with senior people from Capita, Serco, G4S and Atos – that’s related to the NAO reports we featured here. I’ll cover it more fully next week but the best moment in what I’ve seen so far came when the Chair, Margaret Hodge, asked the four execs whether they’d paid for people to “prep” them in advance of the session. (Obviously something she felt shouldn’t be happening).  “Why are you asking”? said Alistair Lyons of Serco. “Do you think we should have”?  Very witty.

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Those of you whose organisations work to the calendar year may well be into the final stages of the budgeting and forecasting phase for 2014 now. I’d love to help but… I’m more confused than ever about the outlook for inflation in particular. You can read one economist warning that pumping money into the economy as governments have been doing will inevitably lead to inflation – or take the record prices paid for works of art by Warhol and Bacon (£89 million!) over the last few weeks. Is that indicative of too much cash sloshing around the system?

But then I read other learned economists suggesting deflation in Europe (a la the Japanese “lost decade”) is the bigger threat. US manufacturing is up and down; I’ve seen predictions of a minor recession for late 2014; and others for a real boom. Economists – dontcha just love ‘em!

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I was looking at the Supply Management blog last night (it’s not really a blog, more a succession of guest articles, raging through the good, the bad and the marketing pitch ugly . And Joe, why aren’t you writing a guest piece for us?) Anyway, I noticed that they do not appear to have had a single “comment” for 16 days. Now you may draw your own conclusions, but I can’t help wonder if it is broken? I made a comment anyway so we’ll see what happens. And Supply Management types reading this, you might want to look at your system…

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Finally, there’s not much new music around as we approach Christmas and acts / labels save the new stuff for the New Year. But here is Royal Blood,one of the hottest new bands in the UK and this demonstrates why – catchy, tough, and danceable… great stuff, a tip for the top in 2014 without a doubt. And we’ll have more of those predictions next month.

 

 

 

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