Down the Procurement Pub with Walkers of Whitehall, Resilient Music, Tungsten, Xchanging, and Charli XCX

I have discovered my new favourite pub in (or just off) Whitehall (London) - Walkers of Whitehall. Don't know why or how I have never been there before. It’s not owned by a big chain, has a small ground floor but then a cool, cavernous, atmospheric (hence the photo...)  basement, with food a cut above the Wetherspoons pub grub, but still unpretentious. Meeting an old friend, I went for the 4Cs,  heart-attack-inducing  choice - chicken with chorizo, cheddar, and chips of course. Very good is was too.


If you didn’t see our first guest post from Richard Kirstein on Wednesday, do take a look. It’s all about buying rights to musical works, for instance when a firm wants to use a song in an advert. It’s a fascinating area, and when I first spoke to Richard I couldn’t help thinking this was close to my dream job – a combination of procurement and music! But what other ‘dream’ procurement jobs are there? The Olympics was pretty exciting, but apart from big one-offs like that, what is the most exciting / interesting / fun “spend category” that someone is running day to day? Any thoughts? (Perhaps we should look for the most boring too ...)


Xchanging announced their half year results this week – bang in line with market expectations. “Year-on-year organic growth in adjusted operating profit of 32.2% on like-for-like basis,” was the headline, with confirmation of the change in focus in the procurement business under Chirag Shah that we commented on here. As they say, the procurement business is being “fundamentally repositioned around core technology offering and placed under new leadership”. The share price hardly moved at around 178p, although that is up almost 20% on the month in response (we suspect) mainly to the recent acquisitions of two software firms on the insurance side of the business.

Meanwhile, more good news for Tungsten, now the parent company of e-invoicing specialists OB10. Tungsten Corporation plc “has secured a new contract with BT Group ... to deliver electronic invoicing, Purchase Order Services and Invoice Status Service to its global operations. BT started working with Tungsten Network, then OB10, in the UK in 2003. The company has now selected Tungsten to extend the benefits of e-Invoicing to all its suppliers across all entities”.


Well done to Supply Management for reporting on the NHS Procurement Atlas of Variation just ten days after we broke the story. They did get this nice quote from the Department of Health spokesman though. “Lots of hospitals have told us that the Atlas will really help them drive down supply costs so they have more money to put into frontline patient care. Where concerns have been raised with us, we have responded promptly to help hospitals understand how the Atlas will assist them.”   That is, of course, almost certainly a PR person’s bare-faced lie. I challenge DH to come up with ONE hospital that has told them the Atlas “will really help to drive down costs". If that’s the case, let’s hear it from the hospital.


Who is the most talented young pop songwriter in the UK today? Jake Bugg? Ed Sheeran? Laura Marling? How about Charli XCX? She’s only 22 years old, but has already written two iconic pop songs that will be played I’m sure for as long as pop music is listened to. She wrote Icona Pop’s I Love It, the big pop / dance hit of last year, and she should be number 1 in Sunday’s UK charts with this, Boom Clap. We don’t tend to feature the big pop hits here, but I can’t get this out of my head. Just a great pop song, and it is 2 mins 45 seconds long, the approved perfect length for a single. I also love the way it just stops - no fade, not even a big finish, it just stops.  Genius.



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