Down the Procurement Pub with SMEs, iBuy, SAP Ariba and Blitzen Trapper

This week Nancy and I went up to the North-West to interview the victorious Manchester Airports Group (MAG) procurement team and their CPO (until recently) George Owens.

The team won a major award at the CIPS Supply Management Awards in London in September then no less than three awards at the first European Awards in Berlin last month, including George taking the individual award. What is the secret of their success? Find out on Spend Matters, comong soon, but in the meantime, this is Mr Owens and Ms Clinton enjoying a pre-dinner beer at the Thomas Rigby pub, one of many historic hostelries in the fine city of Liverpool.


We’re pleased to see that somebody – Civil Service World – picked up on our story about government’s spend with smaller firms, which has apparently declined in 2015/16.  Caroline Nokes, Cabinet Office minister for government resilience and efficiency, told CSW that the government had set a “challenging target”, for SME spend (33% including indirect spend) but that it was the right ambition for the country.  “This government is doing more than any previous government to break down barriers for SMEs who want to supply to the public sector. We are confident these new measures will be welcomed by small businesses throughout the UK.”


This week we also went along as an observer to the SAP Ariba "Future of Procurement" event in London. It was held at the Royal Society of Physicians HQ, which was worth a visit in itself, as it proved to be not the fusty old Georgian pile we expected, but a 1960s Grade-1 listed modernist classic designed by Sir Denys Lasdun. Just off Regents Park, it is a fascinating building and there were really interesting exhibits to look at between sessions - scary old medical equipment and the like. Anyway, we will have more of the specific procurement content from the event here next week too, and there was some genuinely interesting material that will get you thinking, I suspect.


I’ve just caught up with the iBuy website, a CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply)  initiative to tempt young people into procurement as a career. We’ll have a more detailed look at it soon, but at first sight – very good! There is clearly a lot of good content in there, with an attractive and striking front page, and some genuinely interesting examples of what young buyers are doing in their jobs – like Les Smith, who buys gym equipment. We’re not related, I should say but my goodness, I wish I had biceps like that


I’m just starting to think about the famous Spend Matters top albums of the year listing – only 8 weeks away now! But we’re still looking for new and interesting artists, like Portland’s Blitzen Trapper, who sound like they should be death metal but aren’t. We haven't come across them before, but really like this, from the new album Wild and Reckless which we’ll be checking out in more detail soon.


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