Down the Procurement Pub with W&E Brewery, Applegate, Clocks and the Hanging Stars

Today, we have the first picture we've featured here of Isaac Busch, eldest son of our esteemed founder and the heir presumptive to the vast Spend Matters empire. He and Jason were in the UK for a very brief stopover, and thanks to Guy Allen, we took then to a real English football match – to see Guy’s team Brentford lose 1-0 to 10-man Blackburn! Sorry Guy… but Isaac learnt some interesting new English words. “Dad, what does “faaaaakking” mean”? (Generally combined with “referee”).

Before that, we popped into Windsor on Saturday morning, and stopped at the Windsor & Eton Brewery, just to pick up a few bottles for Jason to taste. Luckily, we found my old friend and colleague from Mars, Jim Morrison (also in the picture), unloading the brewery transit van – he is one of the four founders and owners of the brewery. Jim very kindly gave us a quick tour as they prepared for 200 people to come and watch the rugby that night – they have a licence and open the brewery up for events like that, which sounds brilliant!

They also now run the George Pub in Eton, and as we’ve said before, they brew really excellent beer. The Conqueror Black IPA is stunning; I love the Kohinoor IPA and although I’m not often a lager drinker, their Republika is one of the very best I’ve ever tasted. Look out for their beers in selected pubs and larger branches of Waitrose.

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Applegate, one of the UK’s leading online directory firms, has launched an online eProcurement service, Applegate PRO, aimed particularly at smaller businesses. It is free to users and enables users to run RFP type exercises and issue purchase orders. “Applegate PRO, on online procurement buying platform, streamlines request for quotation and purchase order processes that can take businesses hours or even days, into a quick and easy function that takes minutes”.

We spoke to Stuart Brocklehurst, the CEO of Applegate, and he told us that the solution is free to both buyers and the sellers. That surprised us - we assumed the supply-side would be charged, perhaps a percentage payable by the winning bidder, but no, it’s totally free, which is an unusual business model. Brocklehurst explained to us that the core Applegate revenue stream comes from the firms advertising in their well-regarded directory, so this is in effect a value-adding service for their benefit. We haven’t tested the product ourselves as yet, but we will return and take a look shortly; definitely worth investigating.

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The National Legislative Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand’s government, bought some new clocks for their parliament. Unfortunately, they don’t work. However, Pornpetch Wichitcholachai, the President of the NLA, “insists no damage was caused to the parliament over the procurement of faulty digital clocks” according to the Thai Visa News. The 200 clocks have been removed and the contractor has not been paid. The reporting of this just goes to show there is no such thing as a low-risk, tactical spend category when you’re supplying (or buying for) the government!

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The Hanging Stars are a new discovery for me, but their new album “Over The Silvery Lake” is a rather lovely blend of slightly psychedelic tinged pop with touches of folk and country courtesy of a prominent pedal steel guitar. They are a London based band, but the album was recorded in “Nashville, LA and Walthamstow” apparently! Love the retro-styled video too.

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