We’re All (Not) Going On Our Summer Holidays

The school holidays are now under way across the UK, and parents in their millions are celebrating with unfettered joy the prospect of six weeks with their darling kids. Those long sunny days, full of simple pleasures, those long walks in the beautiful countryside, counting fly-tipping sites; playing I-Spy in a twenty-mile tailback on the M6 in Staffordshire; queuing happily for three hours for Colossus at Thorpe Park; the security process at Gatwick or Miami airport …

For many families where both parents work, the nightmare is finding affordable childcare. My daughter ran a residential Chemistry “summer school” last week for a bunch of 13 year olds; that’s a whole huge market now across various activities and themes that just didn’t exist when I was 13. (She survived, just about). But it doesn't come cheap for the parents.

Once our daughter reached the age of not wanting to come with us, we gave up on summer holidays. The odd city break perhaps, but skiing is our thing now. And most of the working population will still be at their desks through much of the next six weeks anyway, so we will of course be continuing pretty much as usual here.  However, there is generally less in the way of current events for us to comment on  – government announcements, new software releases and so on – so we will be running a couple of different features through the summer.

We’re going to go right back to the beginning of Spend Matters UK/Europe in 2010, almost seven years ago, and bring you some articles from that year as a “blast from the past”. In fact, we will start tomorrow with a two-parter all about the MOD (Ministry of Defence). With the commentary last week around whether the new F-35 fighter plane is fit for purpose, it was interesting to re-read what we wrote back in 2010. Let’s just say “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”.

I used to rather enjoy being in the office in August – fewer meetings, conferences and so on, so a chance to catch up on things. So we’ll take a look at some books that every procurement professional should read or maybe even re-read, we'll re-visit our best research and briefing papers of 2017, and we’ll highlight some of the best recent articles on the Spend Matters US website that you might have missed too.

So, have a good holiday, and if you are away remember you can still read Spend Matters via the hotel wi-fi … Or if you prefer, just forget that and return with your batteries re-charged, ready to take on the world again and drive procurement excellence throughout the universe!

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