Down the Procurement Pub with Trade Extensions, Dr Gordy and The Family Rain

I had a cup of tea (yes, only tea) with Garry Mansell, MD of very clever sourcing software firm Trade Extensions the other day.  Their business is growing very strongly, exceeding last year's 20% rate, and more clients are getting into the “beyond sourcing” sort of activities we touched on in our post here. Using advanced sourcing optimization (“market informed sourcing”) tools to consider business tasks that span planning, manufacturing, supply chain, and procurement is going to be something we increasingly see in leading organisations, I suspect.  There’s also an interesting trend in the way clients are looking for “consulting” type support around the technology, but more on that another day...

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The UK Government has launched the Information Economy Strategy aimed to support innovation and growth in the UK economy. It covers a whole range of areas, including open data, and innovations like “establishing the world’s first facility for testing state of the art 5G mobile technology, working with industry and the University of Surrey”.  Firms will be able to see their tax affairs on line more easily, and they’re “launching a new programme to help 1.6 million SMEs scale up their business online over the next five years. This industry-led initiative will target SMEs that either are not online, or want to improve their current online facilities so they can do things like process electronic payments, sell goods overseas and developing cloud computing”.

Of most interest to us perhaps is an encouragement (only that, no mandate) for e-invoicing for public procurement and more generally.  Bring it on, we say, as we post another paper invoice to the Cabinet Office’s shared services centre...

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Dr Gordy (Dr Gordon Murray) has been writing some great pieces recently on his blog – mainly around public sector. So if you haven’t caught up with him recently, there’s good stuff on the simplistic Tax Payer’s Alliance claims on the incompetence of government procurement, the SME issue and more. Check him out here and we’re hoping to have another guest piece from him soon .

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Been to a couple of gigs recently at our excellent small local venue, the West End Centre, Aldershot. Johnny Borrell, ex frontman of Razorlight, brought his new “roots /  ska  / blues” band  Zazou – played almost acoustic versions of old Razorlight songs plus covers of Dylan, Lee Scratch Perry etc. Saxophone, guitar, piano and percussion (mainly bongos!) They took a while to connect but eventually very good. But last time we saw him, he was headlining Reading Festival – 80,000 people. Last week – 80.  Music is a tough business.

And we also saw The Family Rain. That's their picture, not Garry Mansell's by the way. Three brothers, very tight musically, think of a British Kings of Leon with touches of Kasabian and Band of Skulls maybe? Really good live, they write strong songs, look good – they could be huge. They’re on the bill for the Stones gig on Hyde Park too so I guess I’m not the only one rating them highly! Well worth checking out.

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