Down the Procurement Pub with BravoSolution, John Lewis, the MCA and Inheaven

We had a great night out on Monday, seeing Inheaven and support bands at the iconic Boileroom in Guildford. The band's debut was in our top 30 albums of 2017, and they’re very good live too.

David Smith, ex-DWP CPO and CIPS Past President extraordinaire came too, and as he knows the drummer’s Mum (see picture) we also got to have a bit of a chat with him (the drummer that is) which was fun. Shout out as well to the Stoke Pub along the road from the venue, which has its own real pizza oven and on Monday nights offers two excellent 12-inch pizzas for £10!  Plus some good beer too. If we lived a bit closer, we’d be there every Monday, I’m sure.

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A reminder that next Tuesday I’m delivering the latest in the BravoSolution Real World Procurement webinar series. “What Do you Need to Know About Your Suppliers” will cover … er… just that, really!  For instance, does the “strategicness” of the supplier determine how much detailed information you need about them? Are your top “SRM partners” the firms that have the greatest information burden?  If you said “yes” we might humbly suggest that you may have your segmentation approach wrong.  We’ll explain why next Tuesday at 4pm (UK time) and you can book here.

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Roger Davies, Group Head of (non-retail) Procurement at Marks and Spencer, has left to take up a new role at John Lewis. He will be Group Procurement Director there – we assume it is the “goods not for resale” brief again. John Lewis owns Waitrose as well as the eponymous department stores and has a great reputation as an employee-owned business. We’ve always enjoyed meeting Roger and hearing him speak very eloquently at conferences – you can’t always judge people’s “real” day-to-day job performance on that, but he has always seemed very sensible, with some excellent ideas around training and development for instance. We wish him well – a good move for him and John Lewis, we suspect!

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I did my judging day for the Management Consultancies Awards this week too, as one of the panel looking at Performance Improvement in the Public Sector and Performance Improvement in the Private Sector with my two co-judges. It was interesting to see how many of the nine submissions we looked at and heard during the day were principally or at least significantly procurement and supply chain related. (We also had quite a few with a North-Eastern aspect, which was nice for a Sunderland born boy like me!) The short-listen entries ranged from global programmes in giant firms to very “hands-on”, operational issues that nonetheless demonstrated where good consulting work can literally save lives, so it was fascinating day. The dinner and awards ceremony is on the 26th April at the Park Plaza in London if you fancy buying a ticket!

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You may have seen this in our album review last weekend, but in case you didn’t, we have to bring it to our readers’ attention. The new Hookworms album Microshift is simply brilliant. Compared to their somewhat dark, driving, largely instrumental previous work, the sound here is much more open, tuneful, with excellent vocals and thoughtful lyrics - think early Arcade Fire, Foals, LCD Soundsytem.  This is going to be VERY high in my (and many other critics) “best of 2018” lists, I think we can say that with confidence already.

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