Down the Procurement Pub with CCS, Science Warehouse, the Front Covers and Hippo Campus

A quiet week really, back from hols and we’re not yet into the spring conference season, no US visitors or exciting pub trips. So let’s use this slot to say farewell to Sarah Clarke, Marketing Director of BravoSolution in the UK and beyond, who flies off any day now to Singapore to start a new adventure with her partner Alan. She has been a true pleasure to work with for 6 years, probably the best marketing person I’ve worked with in our industry, and just a great person too. We will miss her tremendously.


John Manzoni, top man in the Cabinet Office and Malcolm Harrison, CEO of Crown Commercial Service,  got grilled by the Public Accounts Committee this week. The hearing related to the National Audit Office report on the Crown Commercial Service that we covered briefly here and will come back to next week. We’ll also review their live performance, as it were, in front of the Committee; that will take a little time as the session went on for over two hours! Something for me to check out on Sunday afternoon perhaps …  I’ve known Harrison for 30 something years and never could have imagined when we first met as young procurement managers at Mars that he would end up in front of a PAC. (Or that I would be writing about him for a "website", a concept we did not even imagine in those days.)

Anyway, from our initial look at the first part of the PAC  session it looks like he acquitted himself well, coming across as direct and knowledgeable. But more next week.


Leeds-based software firm Science Warehouse are in the midst of seeking responses to their annual procurement survey. The  Procurement Trends Survey gathers the views from procurement professionals and is now in its sixth year. The report coming out of it will look back over how procurement has changed over those years, as well as making some future predictions. It should only take 10 minutes to complete, and everyone who completes the survey will receive a copy of the Procurement Trends 2017 Paper as well as being entered into a prize draw to win one of three (moderately) exciting prizes! (Apple Watch, Fitbit Surge™ Fitness Super Watch, or a Sonos Wireless Speaker).


David Smith, CIPS Past President and ex CPO at the Department of Work and Pensions, is also a considerable musician, as many of our readers will know. His band, The Front Covers, are playing in a Battle of the Bands at the Hare and Hounds, Claygate in Surrey tomorrow (Saturday 21st January).  It is a charity event with money being raised for the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Charity – the similar event last year raised thousands for great causes. Admission free but with a collection. If anyone can’t make it but wants to make a donation, drop me an email and I will give you the details. psmith (at)


We loved Hippo Campus at Reading Festival 18 months ago – young US band, smart indie / pop, great musicians, so tight live and with an unusual emotional edge to their music you don’t often find in this genre. Vampire Weekend is perhaps the closest comparator. Their debut album is out next month and we’re going to see them on February 1st at Dingwalls in Camden – tickets still available, I’ll buy you a beer if you come along! Here is a track from that forthcoming album.

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  1. David Smith:

    Thank you Peter for promoting our Battle of the Bands event at The Hare and Hounds, Claygate on Saturday 21st January (from 8pm). We raised over £2,500 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity last year ( which is a most fantastic charity that pioneers the fight against cancer but also cares for those who are suffering. This year we hope to raise at least that amount again!

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