Spend Matters Europe procurement predictions for 2011

So...with just a week or so to go till Christmas, here are our bold predictions for 2011, developed after long hours of study around our crystal ball, fortified by just the odd glass of 1983 vintage port (lesser shippers need drinking now, top names good for another 10 years...)

In the 2011 software Olympics, the worlds most advanced procurement optimization software breaks the world record by calculating in 0.0001 of a second the exact structure of an optimal supply chain across 100 countries, 500 sites, 27,359 bidding suppliers, and 47 other evaluation variables.  It also wins the EuroLottery, finds a cure for AIDS, and produces the first complete list of  Silvio Berlusconi's amours.... unfortunately this last task blows its code apart and extensive re-programming is necessary.

Apple launches something that looks very nice and does some stuff that nobody really knew they wanted or needed.  It sells 359 million units in its first week.

The cost and scarcity of 'rare metals' becomes so great that many major firms offer their entire Procurement team 'exciting international transfer opportunitites' to Bolivia, Zaire, the Congo... free picks, lamps and shovels provided.  "Frankly, despite the burning heat, the claustrophobia and the danger it's more fun than negotiating with Oracle", says Freya Wolf, previously Senior IT Buyer for International Mining plc. "In fact, come to think of it, it's very similar to negotiating with Oracle".

CIPS (the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) declares that it now has more student members in China than the Red Army.  The Red Army takes offence and disputes this, and a border skirmish just out of the beautiful English market town of Stamford ends up in a full-scale military incident.  After an impressive show of force around the notorious ungovernable badlands of Peterborough, the CIPS "1st Examiners and Tutors Regiment" (known affectionately as "the Swots") receives the Red Army's unconditional surrender just outside Melton Mowbray.

In October, the disembodied "Voice of the  Ariba Network" announces that it now controls every business transaction on earth, all of mankind is now subjugated to its will, and henceforth inferior carbon-based lifeforms must sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the Network.  Luckily, an eProcurement expert in Stuttgart has the presence of mind to pull the plug out and tragedy is averted.

The UK Government's centralising commodity procurement initiative is so successful that every public sector organisation agrees to standardise on a single 'public sector pencil'.  Unfortunately, that does mean you have to wait quite a long time for your turn to use it....

And all over the world, Governments and private sector organisations announce huge "procurement savings", without independent verification or explaining anything about how they've measured them... so no change there!

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