Down the Procurement Pub with the MCA, riskmethods, 4C and Nothing But Thieves

I had a very pleasant lunch and catch-up with Milan Panchmatia of 4C Associates this week at Covent Garden brasserie Balthazar.  Excellent service, good food, not cheap but not stupid prices … We had a very interesting discussion which will give me ammunition for a couple of posts over the next week or two; with a great excuse to talk about one of my favourite topics in a procurement context. I’ll let you guess what that might be … I stupidly forgot to take a picture till I was leaving though, so here is perhaps the most boring DTPP shot ever.

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The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is holding their Buyers Forum annual conference next week on Thursday 28th September. The Forum brings together leading purchasers of consulting services with the UK’s top consulting firms in discussions around the value of consulting, good practice and so on. “With rapid change underway throughout consulting and client businesses, the Forum helps both buyers and providers to build their understanding of this market, learn about latest developments in client needs and foster effective and professional relationships”. It looks like a good event (I’m very disappointed I can’t make it) with discussion on market trends, the MCA Consulting Excellence scheme and more. It’s a short, sharp 3pm - 6pm timescale too, so doesn’t kill your whole day. And free to buyers of consulting - register here.

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Early warning! We’ve got a webinar with riskmethods on October 12th, looking at how to manage unavoidable risks. Out hypothesis is that many firms place more focus on risks that can be avoided (for obvious reasons), but think “well if we can’t avoid it, there’s not much point worrying about it!” Needless to say, we don’t think this is the case. So we’ll have lots of ideas about what you can do to minimise the impact of such risks. And while this topic is no laughing matter, we’ll have a relevant and even illuminating risk-based joke as well …. Register here and we will have more detail next week.

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After my cycling exploits last week, my pride, such as it was, was firmly put in its place with this incredible story. Mark Beaumont has broken the world record for round the world cycling, having covered 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometres) in 78 days. That is around 240 miles a day, every day, or about 16 solid hours at 15 mph (24 kmph). He began his journey in Paris on 2 July and cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China. He then cycled across Australia, up through New Zealand and across North America before the final "sprint finish" through Portugal, Spain and France. It sounds almost unbelievable – but he has been tracked every inch of the way, and it just shows what is possible if you try hard enough (and you’re fundamentally crazy).

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Essex band Nothing But Thieves are moving steadily up the rankings in the commercial but credible, heavy but tuneful rock genre  - at the top of which sit Muse and the Foo Fighters. We’ve tracked them for a while, seen them live, wouldn’t be surprised to see them headlining Reading one day, like those bands, and their new second album is very strong. But this could well be the song that really gets them wider public attention – as well as serious income from all the TV shows that will use it as background music. It’s very catchy, more tuneful and “lighter” than most of their work but showcases Conor Mason’s excellent voice (he is just as good live) and sense of melody. They’re touring soon – we’ll be seeing them in Southampton in November.

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