Down the Procurement Pub with SAP Ariba, CIPS Awards, BravoSolution, Science Warehouse and Sandy Denny

Here is a group of "top procurement analysts" at the SAP Ariba event in Prague on Wednesday night (before the disastrous London fire hit the news). You may spot Geraint John, ex Supply Management Editor and now with Gartner since that firm bought SCM World. It was good to see him again after some years, as well as catching up with other old friends. More on that event to come next week anyway.


To be honest, this is yet another Friday when it is difficult to be light and cheery after recent events in London. There are going to be many aspects to the aftermath of the fire, from the political to the personal, but procurement and supply chain will feature heavily, for sure - specifications, choice of supplier, signing off on work delivered and more. One immediate comment is that the criticism of the contractor who did the refurb work last year and installed the cladding is not fair if they did what was contracted for and specified. Remember, the blame and liability for the Deepwater oil spill eventually resided with BP despite their sub-contractors being involved. So I wonder whether this might come back to the Council ultimately as owners of the property? Anyway, our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected, and we will have more on the tragedy next week.


After all the bad press for British Airways recently, I was not looking forward to my BA flights to and from Prague. Travel is not an exciting novelty any more but a source of some stress, but they were excellent. We were actually 15 minutes early into Prague and on time home. Both flights were packed but well managed by professional, competent and pleasant staff, so praise where praise is due.


Well done to all the short-listed entrants for the CIPS SM Awards. You can see the whole list here, and it looks like a strong field who will compete for the awards on September 13th at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The overall entry was impressive apparently and we have been told by someone who knows (OK, it was a judge, and we beat the information out of them) that in some categories, there were 20-plus entries of a generally high standard and “we could have had some longer short-lists of good entries as far as I’m concerned”.


Don’t forget the BravoSolution webinar with Guy Allen next week – book here to find out how to “find hidden in-year savings”. If you are at the Science Warehouse customer conference the same day listening to me in Leeds you can always listen back to Guy’s webinar later if you register. That’s what I’ll be doing anyway.


It didn’t seem appropriate to feature anything too jolly today in our music spot, so here is a recording of Sandy Denny from a 1973 John Peel show, singing her song Who Knows Where The Time Goes – simply one of the very best songs of the last 50 years, beautiful yet wistful and sad too.

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Voices (3)

  1. Chris:

    Hi Peter,

    Do you have a view on how Interserve, NHS England and Rolls-Royce have managed to get entered and shortlisted into the Best Procurement Organisation- Start Up category at the CIPS SM Awards?

    I thought that category was for Procurement teams that were less than 3 years old (I.e. formed after 2015.)

    With so many organisations setting up new Procurement teams, I’m not sure this helps to celebrate the good things they will be doing.

    What’s your thoughts?

    1. Peter Smith:

      A good question – I had not spotted that. It may be some subset of Rolls Royce, for instance, and NHS England I think was technically only created in 2013 as that specific entity! It is a great question though – let’s see if we ca get an answer from CIPS.

      1. Final Furlong:

        NHS England’s procurement team is relatively new in the context of owning a team (as opposed to the function being provided by another arms length body, such as NHS Business Services Authority).

        This is a direct extract from the LinkedIn profile of the Procurement Director at NHS England which might provide helpful insight….

        Head of Commercial
        NHS England
        September 2015 – Present (1 year 10 months)
        Responsible for implementing a new Commercial and Procurement function into NHS England. Total annual spend of £80billion Clinical and £3billion non clinical. Designing and leading a transformation programme that ensures the objective and outputs are in line with the ambition to be an exemplar organisation……External Assurance independently assessed by Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and gained the Standard Certificate in July 16 (within 4 months of starting the process). It is the intention that the Advanced Certification is achieved in 2017.

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