Down The Procurement Pub with Bloom, eInvoicing and Tom Petty

No pub pics today – it has been a truly horrible week. Above all, we saw the tragic events in Las Vegas, and while our hearts go out to everyone affected, it is just incredible that the US still can’t get its collective head around gun control. We will say no more but refer you to the satirical Onion article, published now several times over the years with only the location and numbers of dead changed after every massacre.


The Conservative and Labour Party conferences in the UK have not exactly been light relief either. Brexit is so dominating British politics at the moment if feels like there is no room for anything else – including discussions of how government spends its money. Personally I found the Labour air of triumphalism rather inappropriate given they did lose the election, while the Tories are so far up their own leadership plots they're hard to take seriously. Their half-baked “let’s appeal to the kids” measures aren’t going to convince many 20 year olds to switch allegiance either. Maybe that generation (which, for instance, never experienced the joys of state-owned utilities) will just have to go through a few years of disastrous socialist government to understand a few economic basics …  But you had to feel a bit sorry for Theresa May with her disastrous speech. I mean, when the letters starting falling off the slogan you really didn't know whether to laugh, cry or just look away.


On a more positive note, our friends at Bloom Procurement, who run the vendor-neutral NEPRO framework for consulting services, are holding two customer events in October and November. I’m speaking at the London event on November 16th at County Hall; while the event in Manchester at Lancashire Cricket Club on October 17th will see our friend David Smith, CIPS Past President and ex public sector CPO, giving the keynote. As some of you will know, David is one of the very best speakers in the procurement world – always engaging, funny but also relevant and insightful. The events will include new insights on professional services procurement, including the trends Bloom are seeing, best practice and case studies from Bloom buyers and suppliers. They’re free to attend and open to anyone interested in how the public sector can best buy professional services. Book here for Manchester and London.


Basware has released a new report this week looking at invoicing practices in the UK public sector. It reveals that 92 per cent of the UK public sector still relies on paper invoicing to operate. “The report, conducted by Basware, surveyed organisations across local government, housing and emergency services. This reliance on paper is despite the fact that many organisations are moving towards purely digital practices, with the NHS required to go paperless by 2020. By relying on paper invoicing, organisations are leaving themselves at increased risk of cyber attacks”.  We’ll have more on this next week.


And then Tom Petty goes and dies. I own just two of those hundred-quid 8 CDs boxed set of rarities, books, etc. One is his; the Jam is the other. Despite his 80 million album sales he was an under-rated artist – for me, in my top-ten artists of all time, Refugee one of my favourite tracks ever.

But we never saw him live. When I went to Nashville as CIPS President for the NIGP conference back in 2002, we bought tickets in advance for the legendary Grand Old Opry. When we got to Nashville, we discovered Petty was playing the stadium in town that same night! And tickets were available, so we agonised about whether to go, and ditch the Opry. But we’d paid a fair bit for the tickets, and we thought that would probably be the only chance we would get to go there. “We’ll see Petty another time”, we said. And of course we never did. Rest in peace Tom, you brought a huge amount of pleasure to many, many people.


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Voices (4)

  1. The Lady Doth Protest:

    I have been a massive fan of Tom Petty since I was an early teenager. I have every album, and yes got to see him live at Hyde Park this summer. I turned to my best friend and said I was so glad we came – heaven knows whether we’ll see him again… and now we won’t.

    His duet with Stevie Nicks that night – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – was as if all the stars aligned. Unforgettable.

  2. The Guutar Man:

    I am a massive fan of Tom Petty and like you think that, despite the huge album sales, I believe him to be seriously underrated. Coincidentally I am in Nashville now where the plethora of bars all with at least two/three bands playing are all including Petty material in their sets and it goes down a storm. Personally I would include Refugee along with Free Falling and American Girl as my favourites. Spookily, I have a ticket for the Grand Ol Oprey tonight and Ed Sheeran is in town. I wonder if his legacy will be as significant as Petty’s.

    1. Peter Smith:

      Enjoy the Opry! It does go on a bit but the band – who back most of the artists, with very limited practice- are amazing. We did’t have time to do many of the bars when we were in Nashville but would love to do that one day. Perhaps a procurement tour next year …?

      1. The Guitar Man:

        Sounds like a plan. The musicianship on display in the bars is stunning!

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