Procurement Predictions for 2015

Having said last week that predictions are notoriously inaccurate, we have recanted somewhat. We’ve put tongues firmly in cheeks, looked hard at our tea-leaves and the lines on our palms, carried out our astrological predictions, with set-square and compass, strewn the entrails of assorted newts, toads and wildebeest (a bit of a struggle in Surrey), and drunk far too much home-brewed psychedelic moon juice. All in the interests of bringing you THE most accurate predictions for the world of procurement in 2015.

So today and tomorrow, we are delighted to bring you Old Smith’s Almanac, also known as Those Things Of Which We Cannot Be Certain Yet In Procurement But Will Come To Pass According To The Knowledge Of The Ancients*.

(* and David Smith, CB, FCIPS).


- CIPS are increasingly worried by their declining credibility in the UK public sector. Following Bill Crothers job title changing from UK Government Chief Procurement Officer to Chief Commercial Officer, CIPS announce that they will change their name from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply to the Chartered Institute of Commercial and Supply.

- Following the latest corruption scandal in Italy, the government announces it plans to outsource all procurement activities to G4S and Serco. “Let’s face it, it can’t be any worse than what we’ve had before. Can it?”

- After their busy 2014, Proactis, the Yorkshire based software firm, announce 3 more acquisitions. “We aim to make Wetherby centre of the procurement solutions world,” says their spokesman.


- Coupa , the spend management software firm, announce that they will float the company in October. “It’s not about raising money really or crystallising the shareholding of senior management” says CEO, Rob Bernshteyn. “It is about setting a firm foundation to serve our customers for the future”.

- Premier Foods announces that potential suppliers who want to speak to someone in the procurement department will in future have to call a premium rate phone line and be charged at £10 a minute. “We don’t think that is unreasonable” says a spokesperson. “We’re just looking for firms that share our vision for the future. And are really, really stupid”.

- All the large IT firms see major declines in their share price, as investors worry about the effect of the move to “Cloud” and the ability of huge firms to react quickly to changing market conditions. One major firm announces the formation of global committees to examine the issue of “business agility” and report back to the Board in early 2017.


- Cabinet Office issue a carefully argued 48 page note explaining why Bill Crothers new job title will be Government Chief Sourcing Officer. CIPS announces they are changing their name to the Chartered Institute of Sourcing and Supply.

- The BBC shows a new exposé of condition in Apple subcontractors’ premises in China. Some only have a choice of two main dishes in the canteens at lunchtime, and in another, the music played in the factory is a bit crackly.


- Excitement in the market leads to rumours that Coupa could be valued at over $500 million. “Look, this isn’t about how much the senior management team are going to make. We just want to steer our course to satisfied customers and giving our users a great spend management experience” says Rob Bernshteyn.

- A new procurement conference is a big success. The “Procurement of Procurement Conferences Conference” spends two days explaining to delegates how to choose between the ever-growing number of procurement events available to professionals, and how to negotiate great deals in terms of delegate fees, freebies, etc.

- Proactis announces acquisitions of software firms based in Spain, Albania and Singapore. “This is great news for Yorkshire”, their spokesman says.

- Francis Maude says he is "very sad" that the pre-election purdah period means that he can't release the figures for government spend with SMEs. "We were all ready, and then we just noticed a coupe of typos and - well, what do you know! We missed the deadline!"


- The general election leads to a highly inconclusive result. David Cameron tries to form a government but fails. MPs from Labour, the SNP, two Greens, the Ulster Democrats and a UKIP member who “was always a communist, really” form a radical left-wing coalition.

- Just as the last remaining council worker in Barnet is outsourced to Capita, the ruling Tory party is obliterated at the local elections. Capita announce that of course the new Council can exit from the contract, the penalties will only amount to £2 billion and the beautiful daughter of the new council leader’s hand in marriage.

More tomorrow!

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