Down the Procurement Pub with CIPS, Coupa, Industrial Strategy and Betsy

The CIPS Fellows’ Winter Dinner was sold out with around 70 of us sitting down in the beautiful setting of the Oriental Club in London on Monday. It wasn’t all fun though. We had a good speech on the topic of GDPR, given by lawyer Dean Armstrong (with lots of questions) which made sure we had to engage brain as well as stomach.

But the highlight of the evening was the well-deserved special award made by CIPS acting CEO Gerry Walsh to Shirley Cooper, in recognition for her great work in boosting the whole Fellows concept and driving a strong programme. The number of Fellows has doubled in the past 5 years or so and much of that growth is down to Shirley and her committee who have organised consistently interesting, worthwhile and enjoyable Fellows’ events – like this one.


The UK government published its industrial strategy this week. The document, “Building a Britain fit for the future” does give a few mentions to procurement, and we may well come back to it in more detail soon – but we wrote a brief review of it for the Public Spend Forum here if you want more detail right now. Most observers weren’t particularly impressed with the document, but let’s face it, writing reports will never guarantee a bright future for any country. It’s what government – and many other players – can actually do that matters.


Thanks to everyone who tuned in for our webinar with Paddy Lawton of Spend 360 / Coupa Spend on Tuesday. We had some good questions too, and Paddy has the valuable gift of making what could seem quite dry topics (like machine learning) sound fascinating. If you missed it on Tuesday you will be able to listen to it soon, and you can now download our briefing paper with the same title – “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About your Spend Data … (but were afraid to ask)”. 


Nestlé has launched a global procurement hub in Malaysia to act as one of the firm’s central locations to serve the Asian market.  This hub is now one of three global procurement hubs, known as Nestrade; the other two are located in Switzerland and Panama. No doubt the decision was made purely on where the optimum combination of performance and effectiveness could be found. But with all the stories in the press about other firms engaged in totally legal tax avoidance approaches, you can’t help wondering …


Betsy is 24 and grew up on a goose farm in Wales, has a very distinctive fashion sense and has produced a pretty stunning debut album that combines a modern feel to the music (pop/dance/soul) with a big, soulful, quite “old-fashioned” voice. We think the whole thing works rather well, and once upon a time this would have been a big “hit single”!

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