Down the Procurement Pub with Tradeshift, CIPS Awards, PR Week and Ider

This is one of those weeks where I just can’t believe it is 7 days since our last Down the Procurement Pub. And the social highlight was last night when Tradeshift hosted a celebration of their new office opening with a bit of a party plus a panel debate on Supply Chain Finance, which I hosted. We’ll have more on that next week, but here is the gathered throng readying themselves for the debate with some liquid refreshments …

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The new Tradeshift office is in Irongate House in Aldgate London, and when I turned up at 5.30 last night, who did I see but Adam Jacobs and Rob Levene (plus Adam’s dog) of our sponsors Bloom Procurement Services – they are also moving into the same office building next week. According to Tradeshift’s Pippa Grayshon, there is at least one more tenant in Irongate with a procurement tech related business, so maybe this building will become our very own “silicon valley of procurement” ?

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Good luck to everyone in the running for the CIPS SM Awards next week on the 13th.  After some heart-searching, I decided it was a bit too expensive to fund a ticket out of my own pocket, so won’t be there, and to be honest it is probably more of an evening for the short-listed firms than random observers. We have our favourites of course, one firm in particular, so Nancy and I will be following on Twitter – if you are there, make sure you let us know promptly who is winning!

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An article in PR Week on reforming public procurement post Brexit was better than many of this type – and actually had some quite sensible suggestions. And we had sympathy with this comment:

“In one recent PR tender process, applicant companies were asked to set out, in detail, their steel procurement policies. The documents were clearly designed for an altogether different project, building a bridge perhaps, and they hardly seemed relevant to PR. Even those that do ask questions that are more PR related, often seem to ask the wrong question, or the right questions in the wrong order”.

The steel comment highlights one of the issues around trying to use public procurement to address all sorts of other policy issues, in this case supporting indigenous steel production. It has to be done carefully or ends up looking stupid, as in this case.

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We loved the short set from Ider on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading Festival recently. Very different from the usual indie stuff, with the two female voices combining in what was at times a quite spine tingling manner. Their harmonies were great and their song-writing isn’t bad either. They may be too quirky to hit the big time, but then I thought that when we saw Florence and the Machine in her very early days …!

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