Friday, 30 September 2011

Last Quarter Training programme

Incredible as it seems with the weather at the moment the warmest since May, but tomorrow is the beginning of the last quarter of 2011.  So I thought I should quickly outline the training programmes we are delivering before the end of the year.  As always these are run through a variety of providing organisations, which I can either direct you to or you can look up on the net.

I shall be doing six events for BIP Solutions;

Project Management
9th November -  London
16th November – Birmingham
6th December – Manchester

11 October 2011 – Birmingham – Rights to Challenge
18 October – Leeds – Supply the public sector workshop 1 & 2
1 November – Leeds – supply the public sector workshop 3 & 4

I shall also be running four 5 day programmes, two in London -
The Purchasing Management Masterclass, and 5 day Purchasing MBA, and 2 for another company in KL International Trade under the WTO  and the Complete course in Purchasing Management.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Are there really opportunities for SMES in the public sector?

I've written before about the unresolved conflict at the heart of goverment procurement policy - the need to save money and the desire to inolve more SMEs.   It was always likely that for all the rhetoric, money would speak loudest, and government departments would look for savings by aggregating requirements rather than look to the longer term game of stimulating competition.

A couple of other blogs today have provided examples - my friends at Government Opportunities are pointing out that one of the Government's own working groups (on ICT) is saying that things are going backwards - see here.

Meanwhile over at Bdaily, they report on the North East Chambers of Commerce calling for the National Procurement Framework for construction to be scrapped because it would disadvantage North East firms without national reach - see here.

These issues get to the heart of the public sector dilemma - if Britain were a private company it would be able to focus on getting the best quality at the lowest price.  Public Sector procurement always has a broader dimension.  Realistically it always it will.  You can call for all decisions to be made purely on a commercial basis, but the Bombardier issue shows that people (and the media) are not happy with that approach.  And what Politician is going to willingly give up the lever of using public funds to create jobs (and votes) for their constitency?

It is always going to be a difficult balance, and we should expect Politicians of all flavours to tailor their proposals to their audience - even if it leads to inconsistency.  I expect cash savings to dominate for at least another year or two, and then as the clamour for action rises, the policy to be revamped to favour the broader agenda - just in time for the next election.

Article at Bdaily Business Network - Winning business from the Public Sector

I have a brief article on the Sector Focus of BDaily - click here to read it.  Anyone coming to this blog from that article - welcome.  I hope you find some things to help your business in the previous blogs.

Friday, 16 September 2011


Just over a week ago my laptop started giving me warning messages saying that a fatal drive crash was imminent.  I talked to Dell who started walking me through diagnostics, and then quickly stopped listening to the diagnostics and started arranging for a new hard disk drive.   It arrived on Monday, and now (late on Friday afternoon) I think I am about done with installing software and restoring it to where it was.  Oh, and extending my warranty just in case.

I was able to carry on working on other computers, and because as soon as I got the error messages I backed everything up to an external drive.  Which I copy to another external drive, and store each in different buildings - though if the whole town blows up I am in trouble.

I know it is a cliche, but really - if you haven't backed up recently, do it now.  That is now!  The interuption to your business could be fatal.
One thing I use that helps is Dropbox - see here.  This is a free web based utility that makes it easy to sync files between computers, and your phone.  It also acts as a backup for your documents, so you don't lose them if your HDD crashes.  There is a paid for service, and it used to be that I could get more free space if I invited you to join, but really this is a public service announcement not an advert.

Back up now.  Just in case.