Down the Procurement Pub with Odgers, Oxygen, Cordie, Basware and Tom Chaplin

This week we were at one of the social highlights of the season, the Odgers drinks party. Led by the excellent Lucy Harding, their procurement and supply chain recruitment practice is probably the best connected of the head-hunters in our field. It was good to see some old friends and meet some new; had a very interesting chat with a charity sector CPO that has got me thinking, and managed to avoid any difficult topics with some of my central government friends too! I don’t know why I didn’t get a picture of Lucy and her team really – you’ll have to make do with this artistic shot …


Oxygen Finance, who work with public organisations to implement early payment and supply chain finance schemes, published a research report this week looking at local government prompt payment performance. The Time for Change report found that “while 90% of invoices issued to local councils were paid on time, the late payment liability for UK councils during 2015/16 is at least £160 million. However, the potential liabilities facing councils are likely to be much higher as the report’s calculations are based on the minimum late payment penalty”. Now it is debatable how many suppliers are actually likely to come after their customers for late payment penalties, but it’s an interesting study.


My colleagues Nancy Clinton and Sheena Smith attended the Basware Connect conference in October, and really enjoyed it; we wrote a couple of articles about it too.  This week Nancy mentioned a review of the event published by Basware – “it’s really good” she said. And it is. A very well presented summary of the key sessions, not just Basware sales focused, with short articles ranging from Matthew Syed on changing organisational culture to key predictions for the Finance function.  And a well written and clear piece on Blockchain too; all very useful stuff! You can get hold of it here.


Cordie – procurement training providers who do CIPS-related work and much else besides  – have launched an App to help students with their CIPS exams. Procurement moving with the times, eh!  It covers the Level 4 Diploma, with Level 5 and 6 coming soon. So I’ve just downloaded it, very quickly gone through one of the modules and it is very straightforward to use and will be helpful to students, I think. And no, I’m not telling you what I scored on the 50 multiple choice questions!  (What’s the pass mark again?) But we’ll have a longer report on the App once I’ve done some more revision …


Talking of CIPS exams; I’m trying to work out if there is some very clever negotiation strategy behind President Trump’s move on Jerusalem.  There must be something behind it surely, I mean he must have a master plan? But then, that’s what we thought about the UK government’s approach to Brexit, a touching faith that our politicians would have clearly thought-out strategies and plans.  I’m regretting that naivety more every day …!


Did you know it is Christmas in just over two weeks? No? Well, it is. So here is Tom Chaplin, ex-Keane (remember them?), who has a really beautiful voice  - and a new Christmas album out now. It includes some old favourites and some of his own new compositions.


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