Down the Procurement Pub with Remy, Supply Management, Alison Curtis and Bombay Bicycle Club

Interesting to see luxury goods firms such as upmarket drinks businesses suffering as the Chinese get tougher on corruption and ostentatious gift-giving in the business context. Here’s Reuters this week -

“Remy Cointreau said sales contracted more than feared in the third quarter, as a Chinese government crackdown on ostentatious spending further hit demand for its premium cognac. The like-for-like sales decline was 18.9 percent against a 5.3 percent drop in the second quarter...”

It is not only Remy of course that has been hit by this change – for instance, the price of fine wines at auction has declined. In our view, the whole gift giving and entertainment area is pretty hard to separate from pure corruption, certainly at the margins. So with our professional procurement hat on, it’s positive to see such a critical part of the world economy looking to get tougher on fraud and corruption – good news for everyone it the long run.

Having recently praised Outsource Magazine, it is only fair to offer our compliments to Supply Management. I found the January issue the best for ages, with more content worth reading than I’ve seen for a long time. That’s helped by articles from some genuine experts in their field like Paul Vincent and Stephen Ashcroft – we may well come back to some of the articles next week in more detail. But if you haven’t done so already, do take it out its cellophane and have a look (or go on line of course...)

Congratulations to my old – sorry, long-standing, friend Alison Curtis, who has been appointed Deputy Director of Procurement at the Department of Transport. Alison has worked over the years in Revenue & Customs, Department of Education and DWP, and is one of those people who is very much not the archetypal civil servant either in attitude or commercial outlook (that is intended as a compliment)!  She’s working for Melinda Johnson at DfT and we all know what a challenging and interesting Department that is, post West Coast Rail and various other experiences. Well done Alison and good luck!

Music is a bit slow really, not many big new releases until February, but this track from Bombay Bicycle Club bodes well for their hotly anticipated new album, out next month.

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