Down the Procurement Pub (cafe?) – with SAP, Irish procurement, Capita, Barnet and the Bulletproof Bomb

Of course, having been in the United Arab Emirates this week, I don't have too much 'pub' experience to share. Here is a picture of the Dubai Real World Sourcing session, with delegates not having a drink after my presentation ... Although you can get a drink in hotels in Dubai without any trouble, the lack of ubiquitous availability of the stuff does make you realise just how much our culture in the UK - both our business and personal lives - depends on alcohol to lubricate our human interactions. A good thing? Not so good? I wonder sometimes.


The new CPO for the Irish Government is making his presence felt. He's been criticising staff for not really understanding what they're doing, with negative results including disadvantaging SME bidders. According to the Irish Examiner,

The government procurement process was a shambles, with untrained staff copying and pasting tender documents with no real understanding of what they were doing, according to Paul Quinn, the new chief procurement officer.

That's what he told a Cork Chamber business breakfast. He's going to recruit lots of staff from the private sector, he says. He did go on to say "we have very good people in procurement who are professionally trained", so he seems to be having a go mainly at the 'part-time' non-professional buyers. He'll have to be careful though not to lose support from existing staff whilst he drives through the professionalization process.


Andrew Travers, CEO at Barnet Council, was telling the Public Sector Show the other week that their outsourcing contract with Capita was going to save loads of money. That got uncritically reported in a number of places, including Supply Management.

He said the easyCouncil tag “certainly didn’t catch the programme in its entirety” and the customer and support group contract with Capita, which includes procurement, commercial services and a range of back office functions, would produce savings of £126 million.

Two points worth making. Firstly, 'would produce' is very much in the future. To date Barnet have spent a lot of money on the outsourcing programme, benefits are still to come. Secondly, in the interest of balance, it is worth noting that Barnet Council are contractually obliged to promote the contract to the outside world, as we reported here. So Mr. Travers is doing a great job in fulfilling those obligations, and we suggest that his remarks are treated with the respect they deserve.


The SAP acquisition of Fieldglass closed last week, with the purchase price estimated at some $1.1 billion. Why didn't I get a job in private equity? Or start a software firm at the right time? (Answer - because you would have been a useless software CEO). Anyway, now we get into how exactly SAP are going to integrate the business, at a time when they themselves are going through some senior management turmoil. Interesting times ahead...


We saw The Bulletproof Bomb supporting Catfish and the Botttlemen last week in Guildford and they did a brilliant cover of Pump it Up by Elvis Costello - what a song that is! This is their current single which is pretty good too.

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