Down the Procurement Pub (Restaurant) with the IoD, Xchanging, the Garden Bridge, Cloudbuy and Julia Holter

Had a very good lunch this week at the Institute of Directors restaurant – much better than expected, strong flavours and good combinations. However, on lowering the tone and ordering a side order of chunky chips (sorry), we were shocked to get this dinky little basket with the grand total of six, yes, count ‘em – six chips. OK, they were quite chunky but not huge actually, and at £3.75 that worked out at 62.5p per chip. On querying this, the waitress said “yes, that is the portion size”. What gets me is that the marginal cost of providing say or 9 10 chips instead would have been about 5p, and would have driven much higher customer satisfaction. Or maybe they hope you order more portions. Anyway, it’s not good enough in VFM terms. (And if you know a bigger chips rip-off, let us know - we’ll be launching our new website “Chips Matter” very soon!)

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Back to serious stuff – we interviewed the CEO of Xchanging a couple of weeks back and were about to publish this article when blow me down, two takeover bids for the firm came in! Capita and US private equity firm Apollo. We'll have more on this next week, but after recent changes in the Xchanging procurement operation, this means more uncertainty for staff and customers.

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A final call for next week's BravoSolution Real World Sourcing session - Guy Allen leads on Preparing Procurement for Disruptive Change. At the Jugged Hare restaurant near the Barbican, London as usual, the event starts at 11am and finishes after a good lunch / networking session. A very few tickets are still available here.

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I don’t think we’ve ever had as much Twitter action – as well as comments on the original article – as we have had for the Garden Bridge piece we published the other day. The audit report showed some shocking procurement practice by Transport for London, that certainly looks like a “fix” to appoint the suppliers that Boris Johnson and Joanna Lumley had already chosen. But what happens next? Shouldn’t TfL respond and explain why they thought breaking the procurement regulations was OK? Maybe we need to send the information to the Commission, see what they make of it.

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More corporate type news. We reported here that Cloudbuy shares on the AIM market were suspended when they lost their broker. Well, the good news is they found a new one and the shares are back in play. The bad news is the share price dropped from 18.75p on suspension to just 10p as we write this on Thursday. Might the firm become another takeover target? Something needs to happen given the increasingly perilous cash position.

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Julia Holter has been considered a pretty avant-garde sort of artist, but her new album, whilst still very interesting, is her most accessible and tuneful to date. I'm still getting into it, but here's a track to whet your appetite.

 

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