Down the Procurement Pub with the MCA, Coupa, Cabinet Office and King Charles

Here we have a not particularly brilliant picture of Terry Mackay, who has worked at very senior level in procurement and supply chain in a number of consulting firms and is also an international basketball player (in veteran’s tournaments). We had a beer this week in the Crosse Keys in Gracechurch Street, central London. It is a Wetherspoons in an old banking hall and it is HUGE! May be the biggest single-room pub I’ve ever been in … with 18 different cask ales too. The good news is I'm getting a new phone next week (and hence new camera ) so you might be able to see the people in my pics soon!

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I have acted as one of the judges for the Management Consultancies Association Awards for the last few years (based on my co-authoring the bestselling (?) book “Buying Professional Services”). I did my judging day recently and it is genuinely fascinating to hear about some of the best consulting projects you can imagine, that really do add great value to their clients. But the team at the MCA also told me that their Awards are up for an Award – yes, there is an Award for the Best Awards Event! Here it is; the Association Excellence Award 2016, including the category “Best Association Awards Event”. But the question is of course – is there an Award for the best Award for the best Awards Event? And as we disappear into the hall of mirrors …

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Spend management software company Coupa announced Coupa Release 14 this week, a “platform update that provides more sourcing control, extends global e-invoice compliance and adds new features across the Coupa application suite and Coupa Open Business Network”. It looks at first sight like a lot of small improvements rather than anything game-changing, and the enhancements have very much come from “crowdsourcing” – the best ideas from Coupa customers. But the pace of Coupa’s development is still impressive.

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I am a sad person, you know. I still get that little frisson of excitement and anticipation when we see an article in Civil Service World (an excellent source of news and information) telling us that Cabinet Office is publishing a “wide-ranging set of commercial standards for government”. And here they are! Released the other day. Yes, as a public procurement geek, this is like an undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript, an unknown Picasso in the attic, Elvis Costello emailing me some of his unreleased outtakes from Armed Forces … you get the idea. Anyway, we will be spending all weekend examining these, so more next week.

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King Charles is one of those artists you feel should be much better known – charismatic performer, excellent live, writes catchy indie-pop songs, well connected (Marcus Mumford contributes to the new album). This is a rather lovely song but not sure it is quite enough to take him into the big-time that in many ways he deserves.

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