Down the Procurement Bank (?) with Monitor’s taxis, Gentoo penguins, Supply Management and Heat

We held our BravoSolution Real World Sourcing session on Wednesday at the Don restaurant, London. More on that to come next week. I intended to take a picture of a group of hard-working delegates getting stuck into the debate (and lunch) but I forgot.

So here is a picture of the Bank of England, which is very close to the venue ...


The Chair of Monitor, the Health regulator, spent £1,000 in two months on taxi journeys of around one mile, between their office in Waterloo and the Houses of Parliament. Addison Lee, the contracted taxi firm, were charging at least £24.75 per trip. “Baroness Hanham said she was “horrified” when she found out how much her taxi rides were costing the taxpayer and had now stopped using the firm”. Spot the procurement issues here? I guess Addison Lee have a minimum charge, which probably builds in a bit of waiting time, but a black cab would cost around £6 for the same journey. And your “internal user” really should know how much any service they are using costs, I would suggest, in the interests of demand management. That is where procurement in Monitor looks like it did fall down.


We don’t write much about logistics here, but if you have an hour to relax this weekend you could do worse than take in the BBC programme “Great Animal Moves” shown last week (if you can get the replay in your location). It followed three logistics and transportation challenges of the animal variety. Pinky the bad-tempered hippo was moved from England to a new life in Toulouse, France; eight million bees were shipped from Italy to England to boost falling stocks here; and best of all, 12 gorgeous Gentoo penguins were transported from Auckland, New Zealand to the Birmingham Sea Life centre in the English midlands. The transportation container designed for the penguins was a work of real skill, and some of the humans involved were interesting characters too. But basically, any programme with penguins and a hippo trying to smash her way out of a wooden crate is good with me!


The current issue of Supply Management has some interesting content which we intend to come back to next week. But one question – what has happened to the book reviews? Two important books are covered in this issue, at least one of which we will review shortly, but they are not really reviewed – we just get a summary of the contents with no comment on whether they are worthwhile, well written, interesting, useful... Have Supply Management stopped the practice of practitioners doing the reviewing?


OK, so very little in music sounds totally new, but the beauty of it is you can combine old ideas and make something that is still new and exciting. Here is a band from Montreal, Heat, sounding very much like Lou Reed with a bit of the Strokes and maybe Jesus and Mary Chain thrown in, but in a wholly good way. I like it.


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