Procurement News – August 24th

There's a very good article here on the CIO website about how the public sector could save money through better output based specifications and standardisation of  IT requirements.  From my experience in this area, I can only say I agree.  The one point I might add is an exploration of why government organisations over-specify and look for bespoke products and services; I believe it is largely the risk averse attitude of Ministers and top civil servants.  They know they will get vilified in the media if things go wrong, so they over-compensate by caution in pretty much everything they do; including procurement decisions.

Mixed European economic news; Germany’s composite purchasing managers’ index rose to 59.3 from 59.0 in July, while France’s purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing industry climbed to 54.7 in August from 53.9 in July.  But the rest of Europe was flat, meaning that the overall eurozone composite figure fell from 56.7 to 56.1, consistent with a GDP quarterly growth rate of about 0.7% .

Meanwhile, something else to add to your list of supply chain risks; Northern China is suffering the longest traffic jam in history (reported here by ABC News) , trapping thousands of trucks and other vehicles for days or even weeks. Makes the M25 on a Friday evening look like a drive in the country... but joking aside, perhaps this is indicative of the sort of problem that the pace of industrialisation may bring China over the next few years?  Keeping infrastructure up to the requirements placed on it will be a real challenge.

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