Down the Procurement Pub with Richard Heaton, Xchanging, the Co-op, and Babymetal

I did go to the pub this week, with an old friend for a very enjoyable catch-up, but I forgot to take a picture. Our venue was the tiny and characterful East India Arms in London's Fenchurch Street,  surrounded now by huge office blocks, a veritable oasis of excellent Shepherd Neame ale in a financial jungle... The Whitstable Bay Pale Ale was very fine, refreshing and not too heavy for a (vaguely) summer's evening.


Just one further thought about Richard Heaton, our new hero, and his brave letter to his Ministers telling them they were wasting their money on the Kid’s Company charity (see here). He sent it on June 26th; on July 2nd it was announced that he will move to be Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice. Coincidence? A reward for his bravery? Or a decision that he could not work for Ministers that he had opposed so publicly? I honestly suspect the first explanation but it is coincidental ...


You will have seen our article about Xchanging earlier today, but 2015 has been a pretty poor year for many quoted firms in our sector. Our share portfolio, that we report on in our subscription service Spend Matters Plus / PRO, shows most of the 24 procurement solution provider firms in it having declined this year. All in all, as a portfolio, they have way under-performed the wider stock market – it is interesting to ask why that is? Too many firms going after too small market? Too much over-promising in our sector? Or the unquoted firms (BravoSolution, Coupa, iValua, Trade Extensions for instance) doing better than the quoted?


It’s all happening at the Co-operative Group. Not only have they recruited Fabienne Lesbros as CPO (see last week), they’ve also tempted the Executive Director of the Government Digital Service and the UK government's Chief Data Officer, Mike Bracken, to join them in October as Chief Digital Officer. He will be a big loss, everyone says, although the cynic might say the “going digital” thing has become a bit of a cult, and GDS has given some parts of government pretty bad advice, from what we’ve seen, as well as having had some genuine successes. But his contribution is certainly in the plus column, and that is two very impressive hires for the Co-op.


OK, as well as all the great new indie bands and dub-step nu-folk songwriters I’m looking forward to seeing at Reading Festival, there is also the real weird stuff. This is Babymetal, an “idol-death metal” band from Japan, consisting of three teen girls (15, 15 and 16) singing and dancing in front of a serious metal backing band. Amazingly, this is not only huge in Japan but in many other countries, and apparently they went down a storm at the UK metal festival, Sonisphere last year. It will be interesting to see what Reading makes of them, ten years ago they would have been bottled off, but the crowd is much more open and forgiving these days.

Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.