Down the Procurement Pub with the Conservatives, Coupa, GOT and Valerie June

We had our monthly team meeting in the Stag and Hounds at Binfield yesterday. My colleague Nancy Clinton is vegetarian so I decided to join her, forego the burgers and be healthy. I must say had  a delicious plateful of food with focaccia and a sort of salad including something I have never eaten before in my life – caperberries (different from capers). Loved ‘em.


I also met an old friend this week who I hadn’t seen for a while – one of the team that chose the famous “best albums of all time” list we featured a few years ago, Steve Wills.

He ran procurement at Axa Insurance, but now has an interesting life doing procurement training in various countries – and we’ll have more on his venture, Procurement Central, here shortly anyway. Here he is, as we drank ... a cup of tea.


With the UK general election just three weeks away, we featured the Labour Party manifesto here and yesterday the Conservative Party document was launched. Not surprisingly, much of it is about continuation along the current track, so it is in a sense not as inherently “new” as Labour’s. There is an interesting re-positioning of the party however as being very much “for working families” and meritocracy and against “untrammelled free markets”, so a departure form the Tories of Thatcher and even Cameron in many ways.  But it is light on really new thinking and big ideas as far as we can see from our first quick look.  We will have more on it next week, but one point to make immediately; if we thought Labour didn’t say much in our area of interest, then this is just as thin when it comes to anything interesting around how government handles its £200 Billion a year of procurement expenditure. So don’t get too excited waiting for our detailed review.


Coupa announced it will launch Coupa Payments, a cloud e-payables solution designed to streamline cross-border payment systems and automate accounts payable processes, according to a press release. Coupa Payments digitizes the payment processes in 170 countries in 140 different currencies, and standardizes the process with the same payments workflow to provide visibility across the payment lifecycle, the company said. The firm also announced the launch of Coupa Open Buy with Amazon Business, according to a press release. Open Buy allows Coupa customers to shop beyond managed catalogues using an embedded Amazon Business marketplace within the Coupa solution. And they just quietly acquired a four-person start-up in the risk sector called Riskopy – “Riskopy's analytics engine combines conventional and alternative data sources in a proprietary algorithm”. They have been busy!  


An Aberdeen-based oil sector procurement company has gone into administration less than two years after its launch, reports Energy Voice.  Administrators were appointed to GOT Procurement Services on May 3.

The firm was set up by businessman Warren Anderson, who earlier this year was made bankrupt and barred from being a company director for 12 months. He launched the firm in mid-2015, less than two weeks after an earlier venture – the similarly named GOT – went under. From their website, they seemed to be mainly about sourcing products and providing some sort of “marketplace” or catalogue type service for energy industry clients.


Well, if you read our Down the Procurement Pub feature last week you will have been tipped off about the lovely song from Portugal - that sure enough went on to win the Eurovision song contest. It joins the elite company of unexpected wins that has keep my Betfair account afloat to support my annual losses on the Grand National horse race. I only bet 2 or 3 times a year generally, on odd things usually, but the £50 profit from Salvador Sobral joins my short list of long-odds winners that includes basically him, golfer Brandt Snedeker (Farmers Insurance Open, 2012 after his main rival shot an 8 on the last hole) and Speech Debelle (Mercury Music Prize, 2009 – where is she now?)


Here is another artist we have discovered via the Metacritic list of top-reviewed albums of the year so far. Valerie June with her Order Of Time album scores very well, with her intriguing mix of country, gospel, soul and blues. Her voice won’t be to everyone’s taste, but she’s another interesting discovery for us. Here is a live performance of Astral Plane from that album.

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  1. Alphabet Bands:

    Love Valerie June, such a wonderful and unusual voice. Really fascinating person too, I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years back for a chat (which, handily, I wrote about here:

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