Down the Procurement Pub with Ivalua, Jaggaer, Trade Wars & Another Sky

This is my friend Carson Reid, procurement professional extraordinaire, and me, as he and I were having a cup of tea yesterday in Café Nero on Kingsway.

He has just started working for the new East-West Rail organisation which is looking to join up Oxford and Cambridge into a dynamic corridor of British high-tech industry …  buy property in Milton Keynes now, you heard it here first!


Final call for the Ivalua event, “the Voice of Procurement”,  in London next Tuesday, March 13th (at Kings Place, near Kings Cross). Hear interesting keynotes from Swissport and Blackberry’s, the latest on Ivalua’s very impressive technology, and me chairing a panel discussion on the Future of Procurement!  The conference programme runs up to lunchtime, then there are optional product demos and training sessions in the afternoon. And there are still a few places available free of charge for procurement practitioners – book via that link.


Next Tuesday March 13th at 4pm UK time, Kelly Barner will be the presenter on the Jaggaer Real World Procurement webinar, titled “Breaking Through the Tech Hype”.  She is owner and Editor of Buyers Meeting Point, an online resource for procurement and purchasing professionals, and while I don’t know her personally I like her articles and writing a lot. Here is her article previewing the session – as she says, “The whole business world is currently under siege by hyp- driven technology. Examples include blockchain, RPA, machine learning, digital transformation, AI, and cognitive computing. EVERYONE is talking about them. EVERYONE knows they are the future of whatever industry, field, or business process is being discussed. And EVERYONE is positive they will cure all ills and create undefeatable competitive advantage”.  However …  register here and tune in to find out the truth!


Of all the “interesting” Tweets from President Trump, perhaps the one that is easiest to demolish from a factual point of view was the recent comment that “Trade Wars are good and easy to win”. Now we do have some sympathy with the President. While most experts don’t think that steel and aluminium are the real issues to be addressed, there is evidence that China in particular has not behaved fairly in the global trade environment, particularly through its attitude to intellectual property.

But the proposed tariffs will increase the cost of US manufactured goods that use those raw materials. That does not seem “good”.  And even more importantly, any action taken by the US is likely to be met by retaliation from other countries. A tit-for-tat round of increasing tariffs will certainly not make any trade war “easy to win”. Indeed, all the evidence from history is in fact that no-one wins trade wars. We could go on, but that’s enough for today.


Our good (ex-CPO) friend Guy Allen is starting the next leg of his round Britain cycling excursion soon (March 19th) so read about his plans here and consider whether you are crazy enough to join him. Exeter to somewhere on the northern Cornwall coast this time … I think it is a little early in the year for me, much as I loved the day I spent with him last September (see pic for the aftermath ...). But it should be a spectacular trip.


We’ve been quite “commercial” in our recent music selections so here is something a little more left-field, with Forget Yourself from Another Sky, a hotly-tipped (as they say) London band, who met at Goldsmith’s University (arty types, clearly). Echoes of Radiohead, James Blake and more, it starts slowly but builds into something really rather beautiful.

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