Down the Procurement Aquarium with Beeline, the NHS, 4C Associates, CloudBuy and Night Flowers

Beeline are a force in the international VMS market; software to support contingent labour workforce management. They held a customer conference last week, which we unfortunately could not make, topped off by a very enjoyable reception at the London Aquarium – which we did! We’re suckers for fish. And sharks. And rays, turtles, crabs, pretty much every swimmy thing. Here’s a picture of a shark anyway from that evening.


We wrote on Monday about how the emerging strategy of a more centrally planned health economy in the UK seemed to go against the legal framework of Foundation Trusts and competition. We said things might get interesting if and when someone challenged the decisions being made without apparent competition – and that very day, we read in the Manchester Evening News that doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital near Manchester are going to judicial review to challenge the decisions to in effect downgrade their hospital. This is only the beginning, we confidently predict ...


Congratulations to Gert van der Heijden, who runs Spend Matters Netherlands, as he takes up a new position (alongside his continuing Spend Matters role). He will be leading 4C Associates , the UK headquartered consulting firm, in their Benelux efforts.

Gert will continue to support and run the Spend Matters NL website, and we don't think there will be too many conflicts of interest, particularly for the software firms who tend to be our sponsors and partners. We're sure Gert with his superb network of senior procurement people in Benelux will do great job for 4C (who also remain a Lead Sponsor for us in the UK).


Should customers of CloudBuy be worried? Shareholders certainly should. The firm, quoted on the London secondary AIM stock market, has their shares suspended temporarily two weeks ago after some falling out with their broker, who resigned. They have two more weeks to find a new broker, otherwise the shares will be removed from AIM. Now that does not mean the company is in trouble, but it would not be a vote of confidence exactly. The firm lost some £3.2 million in the previous 6 months, which is pretty impressive on revenues of just £900K. Whilst there are lots of interesting initiatives in the pipeline, some of them need to start delivering real revenue before the current cash reserves run out around Christmas (at the current burn rate). If you are a customer, keep an eye on this.


I'm an absolute 100% sucker not just for fish but also for tuneful but gutsy guitar based pop songs, particularly if topped off by a female singer, and preferably with some harmony vocals going on too. So all the boxes ticked by Hull's very own Night Flowers with Sleep. Lovely stuff. (Actually, the "B side", Sitting Pretty might be even better).


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