Down the Procurement Pub with IQN & Beeline, Lincoln, Social Care, and Low

Here is another pic from the BravoSolution Real World Procurement dinner, at the top of the Gherkin in London. The views really are spectacular, although to be fair you can't really tell that from this picture...

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The big news this week in the solution provider market was the announcement that IQ Navigator (IQN), and Beeline are to merge. These are two of the three biggest players in the market (along with Fieldglass, now part of SAP) for software that helps firms and agencies manage their contingent labour process and workforce. GTCR, the Chicago-based private equity firm and owner of IQN announced early on Tuesday that it had acquired Beeline from Adecco, its parent company – although Adecco is retaining a minority stake in the new business. If you want to read more, head over to Spend Matters for this excellent analysis by our colleagues in the US.

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I was in 20161214_174522_resized_2Lincoln this week and the cathedral just looked spectacular. It is just an amazing building – and very handy for the Strugglers’ Inn, which wins the coveted Spend Matters Best Pub in the World Award for 2016, in recognition of their superb selection of beers, very cheap pork pies and subtly understated Christmas tinsel-fest. 20161214_210714_lls_resized

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On a more serious note ...There has been much in the UK news this week around the problems in the social care system. Care homes going out of business, the new living wage driving up the costs for councils, lack of funding from government … the problems seem intractable. None of us want to face up to the prospect of getting old and sick, but with life expectancy still growing, and less in the way of family infrastructure around to support the elderly, it is going to be a huge problem for the developed world. So, one question for us is -  can procurement help? Or have we been part of the problem, driving costs down but at the expense of service and quality? I know, it’s a bit of a depressing topic for the Friday just before Christmas, but it feels like something we need to get into in more depth in 2017.

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On Monday we will start the countdown of our top 30 albums of the year. If you missed it, last week we gave you a long list of over 60 albums we have enjoyed – and now realise we missed at least one, Radiohead’s Moon Shaped Pool. But tune in for the list next week. Meanwhile, here is Low, with a new song - Some Hearts (at Christmas Time). The band’s 1999 album “Christmas” is simply the best single-artist Christmas album ever, by the way…

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