James Pond is Back– This Time to Crash the CIPS Dinner

Last Wednesday Chicago had one of its run-of-the-mill snowfalls that send stinging particles of ice into the eyeballs of pedestrians. It made for a dreary morning and silent—until Jason started chuckling.

License to buy, license to kill. James Pond is back!

License to buy, license to bill. James Pond is back!

Last October, the UK-based Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) decreed that those executing procurement activities need a license to do so. That very week, a mysterious figure named James Pond appeared on the procurement scene. On Spend Matters UK, Peter Smith chronicled a random inspection that Mr. Pond conducted of a casino to make sure whoever’s buying the roulette wheels has a purchasing license.

“Yes, I’m afraid you’ve been chosen for a random inspection by PLANC. The Purchasing Licensing and Notification Commission. We check that everyone who is carrying out buying activities in organisations is properly licensed. I’m afraid I need to know who does your buying.”

The Italian smiled. “That would be Luigi.”

Things got a bit tense in the next installment as Luigi was asked how he would “apply the Kralijc matrix to assess the key areas of supply chain risk for the casino” and tried to pass off a fake license. Score one for James Pond, who came back to infiltrate last week’s CIPS dinner alongside Agent X to find out the story behind the organization’s decision to change its name to Institute of Procurement.

“That is two Past Presidents of CIPS – known as Peter and David Smith. There are rumours they are brothers, originally brought up by crypto-Leninist nomads in Mongolia and planted as sleeper agents in the UK during the 1960s, but we’ve never proved that. They could just be procurement managers.  But anyway, you and X are going to the dinner disguised as the Smiths.”

“But won’t they be there?”

“No, we’ve made sure that none of the corporate sponsors and hosts invited them – you know we have our methods. And there is no way two senior procurement people would pay for their own tickets,” laughed M.

No need to spoil the ending. The James Pond series might be the best procurement humor posts on all of the Spend Matters sites—and it’s not good to keep it a secret from our US readers.

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