Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Peter Smith on the EU procurement situation.
More on the EU proposed procurement regulation changes – part 1 -- The whole document runs to 246 pages, and on reading – well, most of it (available here EU procurement regs), it strikes us that this is more important than we might have expected. In fact, this looks like the most significant set of changes for many years. We suspect no single country will have got everything they wanted (probably rightly) – and it's interesting that while the UK Government will be broadly happy, there are a few aspects that may not please them too much. There are also limited changes in favour of a greater emphasis on the "policy through procurement" issues – using public procurement spend to drive social, economic, environmental benefits etc. That may disappoint some.

Hoard your hohos!!!!
Twinkies Maker Hostess Files for Chapter 11 Protection -- The privately held Irving, Texas, company's move marks the second significant court restructuring in the past several years. In a statement, Hostess said the current cost structure "is not competitive, primarily due to legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules." It said it would be able to maintain operations thanks to a $75 million financing commitment from a group of lenders.

A disconnect between awareness and action.
Reinforcing the Supply Chain -- The earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March, which led to parts shortages, particularly for auto makers and electronics manufacturers, made companies more aware of "the fragility of the supply chains," says Robert Sutton, vice president in charge of consumer retail, health-care and transportation customers at Deutsche Post DHL's supply-chain business in Tokyo. But this new awareness hasn't necessarily led to action. That's partly because boosting inventory even slightly to provide a cushion against supply disruptions can cost big companies millions of dollars, taking a noticeable bite out of the bottom line.

Beethoven was a total whiner.
Letter penned by Beethoven uncovered in Germany -- In the six-page document of Beethoven's scrawled corrections, he complains about his illness and a lack of money.

- Sheena Moore

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