Down the Procurement Pub with empty bars, South Africa centralisation, Proxima and the New Pornographers

A deserted bar the night of the England match

How much did England’s early exit from the World Cup cost pubs and bars in this country? If the Pitcher and Piano in Cornhill is anything to go by, a lot. This was the scene during the England Costa Rica match on Tuesday. The upstairs bar was about half full, probably typical for a Tuesday, but downstairs (where the picture was taken) it was almost deserted – just the TV screens playing to a few bored looking bar staff! That one bar must have been thousands of pounds down on their expectation. So blame the team if the UK crashes back into recession...


After their excellent report on Corporate Virtualization, procurement outsourcing service providers Proxima are supporting an MSc student at Oxford who is writing a dissertation around “measuring the value of non-core suppliers”. An interesting question – might we assume that by definition, a non-core supplier can’t add that much value for instance? Or is there more to it than that? As part of this Natalya Lozovaya (the student in question) has launched a 5-minute survey “aimed at corporate managers who are familiar with their firm's procurement function and how it ties into their overall firm strategy”. The survey can be found at this link: and it would be great if you could contribute to this research – we’ll no doubt feature the results here.


We wrote a while back about Jacob Zuma’s plan to centralize more public procurement in South Africa. But now BDlive reports some fears about this move.

Centralising government procurement may lead to "simply centralising corruption", the Black Business Council (BBC) told the Treasury’s chief procurement officer, Kenneth Brown, on Wednesday night. BBC secretary-general Sandile Zungu warned that centralising procurement was no panacea to eradicating corruption when doling out state tenders ...  Mr Zungu said that in the "massively corrupt" environment in which the state and the private sector were both participants, one could "cynically" deduce that the government would be centralising corruption with this change”.

He went on to say that lack of supply-chain management skills was a major cause of corruption. I’m sure that’s correct and there is no doubt that centralisation will bring its own issues – as we said before, sheer manageability could well be a problem for South Africa given the volume of procurement work that could be landed on the centre.


Be careful Googling this band, but the New Pornographers are a Canadian band made up of folk who in the main have their own careers – like the amazing Neko Case. But they come together every few years to make brilliant, tuneful, clever indie-pop albums. And there’s a new one on the way soon. Here’s the first track from it, whetting the appetite nicely for the August album release.


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