Down the Procurement Pub with Coupa, BravoSolution, CIPS and Himalayas

We come to you this week from the Parcel Yard pub at Kings Cross Station (not bad at all for a pub in a railway station, food a bit pricey for what it is but decent quality) followed by The Water Rats pub / music venue round the corner, where we saw four young indie bands on Wednesday night.

Some of you may recognise this gentleman – Paul Howard, previously of DWP, CCS, DCMS etc, and a stalwart of UK public procurement (and an innovative thinker about use of procurement technology). He was in the UK only briefly, as he now lives and works in New Zealand and runs procurement for the New Zealand Defence Force – a pretty amazing role. More from our conversation next week.

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Spend Management software firm Coupa announced their Q1 results this week. Their revenues rose 41% to $41 million compared with a year earlier, according to the company’s most recent earnings report. Pretty impressive. As Investor’s Business Daily reported, that amounted to a loss of 9 cents per share in its first fiscal quarter of 2018, beating analyst expectations of 14 cents per share. Beating analysts expectations is probably THE key aim with these announcements, and shares edged up 0.4% on the news.

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The CIPS Fellows programme has a couple of interesting events coming up very soon. Next Wednesday 14th June, there is a Brewery Tour at Fullers in west London – breweries are fascinating from all sorts of angles, Fullers is one the best and most historic around, and no doubt there will be a certain amount of sampling going on (and a buffet to soak it up)!  More details here.

Then on the 19th there is a unique opportunity to participate in a “Concorde flight experience”! This is at the Brooklands motor racing circuit and museum near Weybridge in Surrey, which has a real Concorde plane on site. The afternoon includes a talk from a Concorde pilot, a visit onto the aircraft, refreshments, etc – a must for anyone with an interest in aviation really (or indeed classic cars and motor racing). You can get more details here.

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BravoSolution announced its new Global Customer Care (GCC) program, this week. The programme provides BravoAdvantage users with two service categories: BravoAdvantage Care, which offers “a global network of BravoAdvantage Care analysts ready to answer questions and help users of the platform through any issues they encounter”; and BravoSolution Success Services, which provides “a menu of global, on-demand proactive services designed to ensure teams get the most out of their activities in BravoAdvantage.” We will be talking to the firm further to understand a bit more about what this all really means for customers …

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At the gig on Wednesday, we liked three of the four bands but our favourites were Himalayas from Cardiff. Their influences clearly include the usual indie suspects, but a couple of slower tempo songs were excellent, powerful and tuneful – “Manic Street Preachers”, said Paul. They use rock guitar solos very effectively and more frequently than most indie bands, whilst still keeping the songs short and tight.  Both Royal Blood and Free (going way back in time) also came to mind, and having two strong lead vocalists also helps – definitely a band to watch.

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