Closing Out “Best Of” With Peter Smith’s Picks from the Spend Matters UK/Europe Archive

To close out August’s “Best Of” posts, here’s another round-up from Spend Matters UK/Europe. These posts are Peter Smith’s own picks.

Now, did you know about the escolar?

Can we have too much information? (Sourcing, suppliers or skiing!) There’s a general view that Supplier Information is a good thing.  Supplier Information Management is a booming sector within the solutions market, and it’s easier than ever to find out more about suppliers and potential suppliers. That’s both from their own websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and so on; form blogs, industry websites; and from specialist software and service providers. Isn’t it great? Well… yes, but there’s a negative side to this.

In Praise of Fairness – If our procurement processes don’t give potential suppliers a fair crack of the whip when we’re running bidding or sourcing processes, we will store up bad feeling. Or they may simply not bother next time if they don’t believe we are being fair. If a supplier “wins” an electronic auction, but then we just decide to carry on with the incumbent, perhaps having driven their price down a little, is that fair?

“Cod and chips please. No, I said COD”! Buying fish – do you know what you’re getting? – An analysis of fish samples in US outlets showed that a third weren’t actually the fish they claimed to be. Fish labeled as snapper turned out to be rockfish, and white tuna was actually escolar, which has a well known laxative effect. The worry really is that once you lose trust in your suppliers and supply chains, it calls all sorts of things into question.

Should we trust psychological recruitment tests? – If you have applied for jobs, there’s a very high probability that you will have gone through personality tests of some sort.  They range from the quick and (probably) fairly dirty, to the ones where you have to answer sometimes several hundred questions.  Would you rather be a Bishop or a professional tennis player?  Do you feel unsure of yourself in social situations often / sometimes / never?  How many times a week do you shoplift small electrical items? You know the sort of thing.

Warren Buffett buys Heinz, procurement innovators – Warren Buffett’s announcement that he rather liked tomato ketchup and baked beans and was therefore going to buy the company (Heinz) sent shockwaves – positive shockwaves in general – through the business world last week. It reinforced a view that huge global brands, or rather the companies that make them, may have become undervalued in terms of their stock market prices. 

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