Down the Procurement Pub with Trade Extensions, NHS Consultants, Optimum, Wax Digital and the Madeline Rust

I had a very pleasant beer the other evening in a heaving St Stephens Tavern, opposite the Palace of Westminster. Nice pint of Badger Ruby Rustler, and the bar service, for such a busy place, is incredibly good as it always has been in my experience. I was with an ex-colleague I haven’t seen in ages, one of the most capable procurement people I’ve ever worked with, but they insisted on strict anonymity so no names! Could be career limiting apparently. So it will have to be this picture of the lovely ceiling in the George “Pub”, part of the very fancy 5-star Andaz hotel next door to Liverpool Street Station. Housed in an imposing listed building, it is actually a very decent place, and the “posh pub grub” was excellent at prices only a little higher than “not very good pub grub”. Recommended.


Less pleasant news – the Daily Mail tells us that NHS is “being held to ransom by management consultants who charge up to £4,000 a day, a top academic has warned. Professor David Oliver compared the outside experts to ‘arms dealers’ and ‘racketeers’. The health service’s expenditure on such advisers has more than doubled to £640 million from £313 million in 2011/12”. Barts and the London Trust spent nearly £1 million in ten months on a “turnaround director”, (there’s got to be an irony there), which appears to work out at some £4,000 a day. A ridiculous day rate. Are procurement people involved in this spend? Or are they being bypassed we wonder?


We've heard rumours that Trade Extensions, the leading advanced sourcing and optimisation software provider, has made what in football transfer terms would be called a “marquee signing”, recruiting a very experienced guy from a major competitor to run their Germany and Eastern Europe sales organisation. We understand the gentleman involved is now enjoying the proverbial gardening leave; so more to follow when we can confirm this.


Meanwhile, Wax Digital has announced that their Google Glasses Product, web3 Glass, the world’s first wearable procurement system (we wrote about it here when they previewed it at the eWorld conference in September) is now market-ready and available for customers. Will it catch on? We're really not sure, it is very clever but its application might be limited to certain sectors, we suspect. “The wearable technology app allows users to use voice commands to search for items they need and Google Glass’s touch bar to place orders. web3 Glass is fully integrated into Wax Digital’s web3 core purchase to pay solution so that all actions taken via the glasses are seamless and automated”.


And Optimum Procurement added to the solution provider news this week, announcing that they have won a significant outsourcing contract with OCS, the leading international total facilities management provider. Optimum will manage a diverse portfolio of over 65 spend categories throughout OCS’s multi-million pound supply chain. The contract award follows on from OCS outsourcing vehicle fleet management to Optimum in 2013. In scope categories include; Catering Food and Equipment, Horticulture, Cleaning Products, Temporary Labour, Recruitment, Consultancy, Utilities, Telecommunications, Waste, Building Support Services, Security and P&E Hire. Well done to Peter Rushton, Mike Jones and the team.


I'm starting to put together our top albums of 2014 list for publication between Christmas and New Year. I appear to have bought approximately 53 new albums on physical CD this year (not including any re-issues, greatest hits, etc). But here’s a lesser known delight, passed on to me by the man who makes my music collection look positively puny, David Atkinson. From last year actually, this is grunge-rock band The Madeline Rust from Nottingham with This Time Next Year. It’s that unusual thing - a credible Christmas rock song. I would have cut it a touch to around the 4 minute mark if I’d been advising them, but it’s great anyway.

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Voices (2)

  1. Bob Beveridge:

    These consultants appear to be mandated by Monitor as part of their interference in management of Trusts that get into financial difficulty. There will be much more of this spend as most Trusts are now in financial difficulty.

  2. sam.unkim:

    Re: The NHS
    They are charging £4k a day since they
    “would not be taken seriously if the bill was any less”
    So it’s for our own good really and they obviously only appear to be greedy **********s.
    And, no, procurement people are not usually involved in this.
    “Need him to start tomorrow ,wonderful chap, just what we need, shot in the arm”

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