Goodbye From Me – Or Is It Au Revoir?*

(* see this classic bit of video with Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller to understand that reference!)

I told you last Friday about my plans to step back from Spend Matters work at the end of the calendar year, handing over to the capable team of founder Jason Busch, Nancy Clinton and Jenny Draper. (Contact Nancy for anything to do with editorial, website and related issues; Jenny for commercial matters).

There are three reasons for my decision. The first is simply that I have written so much, perhaps too much, about procurement in the last 8 years, and I am somewhat worn out in terms of trying to come up with exciting new angles on the topic, much as I still love the whole procurement world.

But I calculate I have written approximately 4,000 articles, as well as over 80 “papers” of some sort, and probably done more than 100 webinars or speeches over those years. That’s not far short of 3 million words about procurement, equivalent to about 30 full-length books! Now it hasn’t all been of great quality, I know, but for sheer quantity, I doubt whether anyone has produced more words than me about the topic in recent years. And I’m just a little bit tired of the constant pressure to come up with interesting content, to be honest, fascinating though the latest thinking on tender evaluation or SRM always is, of course.

Reason number two is that Spend Matters in the US is now focusing more on the excellent SolutionMap procurement technology analysis, and the products and services around that. I believe that is exactly the right way to go, so the time is right to get Spend Matters in Europe more aligned with that, particularly through Jenny Draper. Jenny, Nancy and the “brand studio” team at Spend Matters US will continue to offer bespoke support to solution providers, but there will be more focus on the technology research, advisory work and so on that flows from the deep and informative SolutionMap analysis.

I’m also (reason number three) getting older, believe it or not. I would like to have a little more time for family and friends, cycling, walking, cooking, and music.  I have even bought a proper “how to play the bass guitar” book, after teaching myself the rudimentals over 35 years ago - all wrong I now realise!  I plan to work a few less hours every week anyway.

But it is not the end of my presence in the procurement world, I hope.  I intend to keep my voice active to some extent and plan to write regularly, but no longer the 10 articles a week!  I’m not quite sure how yet, but I also intend to write / publish books – hopefully a couple quite quickly, probably self-published, maybe just e-books. I may do a little more consulting, maybe something with our friends at Koble (where I have a small equity stake), ditto Public Spend Forum, perhaps another non-exec role would be good … we’ll see. I enjoy speaking at events, so that may still happen occasionally if there is any demand.  There’s every chance I may do a little something again with Spend Matters too.

So, if you want to keep in touch, and find out if and when I publish or do anything interesting, the best way for now is probably via LinkedIn at or Twitter. I will be gearing up my own Twitter account, @gpetersmith. (The current Spend Matters account will stay with Nancy and team of course.)

And don’t forget the events I’m doing in the next few weeks – maybe see you (live event) or interact virtually (webinar) with you there!

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Voices (4)

  1. Ian Heptinstall:

    All the best Peter. You have done more than anyone to raise procurement’s profile in the past decade. As well as looking under rocks and sharing what you found there.

    Enjoy the change of pace.


  2. Paul Wright:

    But where will we learn about new music?
    (oh, and procurement too).
    Thanks, and good luck. Sorry I never found the time to write a few words myself.

  3. Karen Bowman:


    You have been an inspiration and ongoing genius on procurement spend matters. Sorry to see this particular link go but do keep in touch ( I guess I will have to step up my LinkedIn use which is pretty paltry) and let me know how the new ventures or books are coming along. Some have suggested I write but others really really prefer I don’t about ‘my life in public procurement’…

    PS I can recommend the part-retirement lark – for me it is allotment (wonky potatoes anyone), cycling e-bike and embroidery and Wikipedia-editing – there’s something where your knowledge would be fantastic for sharing…

    Best wishes to Spend Matters and the team without your lively contributions! I am sure they will go from strength to strength – in a good way, of course…

    1. Peter Smith:

      Karen, thanks so much to you and everyone else who has made kind comments here and on LinkedIn, Twitter etc. I hadn’t thought of Wikipedia tbh – that’s another option to add to my list! As I said, I’m sure I will find a way of getting my views on procurement “out there” without quite the pressure of the website. Maybe even something on the music front too… we’ll see. “Smith Music” – the dynamic new indie music label maybe?

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