Down the Procurement Pub with Justin Sadler-Smith, Swedish Ships, and Drive-By Truckers

Here is a picture from the BravoSolution Real World Sourcing session (before the nice lunch and wine arrived, actually) led by Guy Allen and titled Nurturing Procurement Talent in the Millennial Era. Held in Smith & Wollensky on Wednesday, it provoked a lot of discussion around what motivates people – not just millennials – and even the shape of the procurement professional of the future. More on that next week.


Yes, of course we will be writing about the Tesco / Unilever argument but our detailed analysis will have to wait until next week. But we predicted this in our article on Tuesday when we said this:"And suppliers are not going to be coming in looking for just the couple of percent increases that we've perhaps got used to in recent times. These are going to be double-digit increases proposed in many cases - a real test for procurement people who have got used to the low inflation environment over the last ten years or more".

It is a power thing as usual when it comes down to it, and we will have to see how that works out. It's also amusing that the media generally has picked up on "Marmite" as the short-cut for saying "lots of Unilever products". I am unusual though - I neither hate nor love the yeast extract product. It's OK, in my opinion. Which of course, means that for me, Marmite is not a Marmite product ...


I only just found out (when I tried to email him) that Justin Sadler-Smith has recently left Emptoris / IBM. One of the best-known people on the solution provider side of our industry, he’s now Vice-President of Sales at Duetto, who make ice creams – oh sorry, that’s Cornetto. Duetto “leverages travel industry 'big data' to help hotels increase forecast accuracy, optimise demand, maximise rates and minimise costs”. So I guess he has disappeared from our industry, for the moment at least – we wish him well anyway.


As this is published, I will be in Stockholm, chairing the Trade Extensions customer conference. They have just got so many really huge firms amongst their customer base – I was adding up the combined revenues of the five speakers from the customer side and got to over €150 Billion annually!  The social side has been good as well. Dinner last night was at the Vasa Museum, the Swedish equivalent of the UK’s Mary Rose; a ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was rescued in the 1960s. It is just a brilliant museum, so well done and interesting, and if you are ever in Stockholm should be top of your “to do” list.


The Drive-By Truckers are one of the most under-rated rock bands around. With country and blues influences, they have produced albums over many years, including rock “operas”, often with politically and socially aware songs as well as classic country-rock ballads, all with incisive and clever lyrics and aggressive but intelligent rock music. Their new album American Band is excellent - an anti-Trump blast from the deep south.

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