Review – “A short guide to procurement risk” by Dr Richard Russill

Dr Richard Russill has been an inspiration to me for many years.  I remember giving a speech at a conference years ago, thinking I was a pretty good speaker and knew my stuff as a young CPO; then Dick speaking next and just making me feel like an absolute novice in terms of both my understanding of procurement and my ability to capture and hold completely an audience's attention!

Anyway, he has written the latest in a long line of books, " A Short Guide to Procurement Risk", published by Gower.  It is one of a series of short risk guides from Gower, and is indeedshort - only 130 pages.  It is packed full of thought provoking material around every aspect of procurement risk you can imagine; it is quite a scary read to some extent!

There are many insightful nuggets about everything from managing monopoly situations to clever negotiation approaches, so it is in many ways a broader book (despite its length) than you might expect from the title.  Dick's style is easy to take in and understand; it is very much a practical guide rather than a textbook, and it would provide a very good checklist for any practitioner looking to review or analyse their procurement risk status.

I would have liked to see a little more about the use of technology (the Internet, specialist risk management software, financial analysis) in managing risk, but that may be a result of the pressure on length.  Similarly, the BP disaster has drawn attention to risk management through complex supply chains, and that is another topic that could probably deserve a full book in its own right.  Anyway, this is an area of growing interest, and in producing (as far as I know) the first book in this area, Dick's timing is immaculate; and he has written a very readable, useful and thought provoking book.

ps I think it only fair to point out though that my book has more pages and is cheaper .....!

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