Welcome back to the New Procurement Year!

Welcome back!  For many of our readers, this will be the first working day of the New Year, when we get back to our desks with our brains bursting with exciting new ideas, enthusiasm for our bosses, organisations and colleagues, and a desire to change the world in 2014!

No? Really?

Well, here’s our small attempt to cheer you up and ease you back into things. I’ve read quite a few articles over the break saying that, although we don’t realise it, the world is in many ways a better place than it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago. Certainly in many developed countries, we are much more tolerant of others (less racial tension, or discrimination against gay or other ‘minority’ groups).  Life expectancy is higher, and perhaps surprisingly to anyone who watches the news, there is less hunger in the world than ever.

More parts of the world are wealthier than ever before, and there are even promising economic signs in Africa.  Diseases ranging from Aids to Malaria are on the retreat, and perhaps surprisingly again, death rates from both wars and from extreme weather are probably lower than at any time in human history.

In our more personal lives, we have far more choice in almost everything we do. Can you remember what life was like pre Internet? The fact I can watch my nephew live on a web stream, playing in a school football tournament in Taipei is pretty amazing when you think about it.

And whatever your hobby, it is more accessible than ever. When I first really got into music, it was dodgy reception from Radio Luxembourg plus John Peel and.. well, that was it really. That’s how I heard new music.  No Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, hundreds of blogs and websites, streaming new albums, listening to US college radio stations through the web... Again, amazing really.

Even in our field of procurement, think where we are now compared to 20 or 30 years ago.  CIPS with 90,000 members, senior level procurement roles in almost every major organisation, a government Chief Procurement Officer, senior procurement professionals finally moving through into general management roles, amazing technology that can let us understand suppliers, run complex sourcing processes, manage our internal spend relatively painlessly...

There is no place for complacency of course, and indeed we will be asking some pretty hard questions about the future of procurement here during the year to come, I have no doubt. But on this first day of the new working year, let’s look on the bright side and be grateful that we’re where we are today.

And everyone at Spend Matters wishes all our readers a healthy, happy and successful 2014.

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