Down the Procurement Pub with RWP, Compass, Mitie and Kacy Hill

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This week, I have been in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, delivering workshops for Tejari, the BravoSolution jv in the region. The picture shows the delegates taking (non-alcoholic) refreshments during the Dubai session. But you notice the decline in the value of the pound, as a pint of Amstel in the hotel bar is now around £10 at tourist exchange rates! That is probably good news for my liver though. Thanks to Tejari, CIPS who support the events, and to everyone who came in both venues, and proved as usual to be an engaged and intelligent audience who asked some very good and challenging questions.

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Compass, the giant catering firm, has set up new food and drink outsourcing service provider. It will offer clients the ability to take advantage of the Compass buying power and established supply chain in the sector. The Fresh Produce Journal reports that the new venture, named Foodbuy, "was created following Compass’ acquisition of third party procurement specialists Acquire Services in October 2015, and combines the "heritage and expertise" of both companies". It will look to serve hospitality, restaurants and hotels, care homes and education establishments and will bring “significant cost savings” to clients according to the firm, as well as access to Compass suppliers, e-commerce tools, spend analysis and responsible sourcing dashboards.

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Mitie, the major outsourcing firm, announced a profits warning, leading to a significant fall in their share price. This follows the well-known trend whereby a firm gets feted in the press, wins awards, the CEO gets a knight or damehood - or in this case, a seat in the House of Lords for Baroness Ruby Macgregor-Smith,  and then suffers from major problems. Will the baroness survive? This also demonstrates that the UK government "general outsourcing"market as we might define it is a precarious one for suppliers. Serco, G4S, now Mitie ... amazing that Capita has continued to do so well really.

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Two pieces of late breaking news; Sajid Khan, London Mayor, has announced a review into the procurement processes connect to the London Garden Bridge. It well be led by Margaret Hodge, ex chair of the Public Accounts Committee. Read our analysis here to see the sort of things she may want to look into - more next week.

And Malcolm Harrison has taken on the role of CEO of Crown Commercial Service on a permanent basis. He has held the role as an interim since the spring when Sally Collier went to run Ofqual. More on this next week too, and our congratulations to him - we wish him every success and good luck!

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One of our musical aims is to bring you performers who might just be huge one day, so you can show off your musical insight to friends and family (teenage children in particular). Today, we highlight young US singer / model Kacy Hill. And there's enough in today's track to keep a musical semiographer busy for months. Is James Blake the most influential musician that most people have never heard off? Will Jack Garrett become a great songwriter / producer rather than a great artist (he produced this track)? How many classically trained oboists become rock stars? Kanye West - what was it about Kacy that got his attention? Can you be too beautiful to be a rock star? And most of all ... Kacy, please lose the nose ring. For the avoidance of doubt, we think she has talent as well as being beautiful and we like this a lot.

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