Monday, 31 October 2011

Training course changes

The current economic climate is obviously having an impact on businesses, and as a result we have been forced to cancel the three courses in project management scheduled for November and December.  We shall look at arranging new dates in the new year.  In the meantime if you are interested in the Project Management courses, please let me know and we can see what can be arranged.

Numbers have been low for a number of seminars, and I am sure that businesses are cutting back on their training activities.  Hopefully this is only for a short while.  When business is slow it is a good time to get staff to refresh their skills, confident that they will not be taking them elsewhere in the near future.  However it is hard to be that positive about the future, and many businesses take the attitude that training is a discretionary spend that they will cut.  Obviously I am biased in this discussion, but I have put my money where my mouth is and paid to improve and broaden my skillbase and I feel it paid off.

In more positive news about training, we hope next year to have a very exciting series of training events in London.  Most will be about procurement and supply chain, but there will be a broad range.  More details to follow.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Good news/bad news - Procure4London

The local authorities in London are banding together to procure collectively.  This should achieve the twin aims of reducing costs, and making it easier for smes to bid for business (though not necessarily to win business).  The site went live on 9th September 2011 - see here.

Why do I say good news/bad news?  Well partly the point  I made about about whether this will help smes.
But secondly, it will be another portal.  Opportunities are already supposed to being shared through ContractFinder, and many London opportunities (not just Olympic opportunities) are going through Competefor.  The original intention was to have Competefor as a legacy of the Olympic Games.  That probably died with Glasgow 2014 decided not to use it, but it seems a shame not to use it for this opportunity.  There may be issues I do not understand but it seems from here like a duplication of effort - and cost.

One step forward, one step back...

Quote of the day

The relentless pressure on the Financial system is getting to some people.  And some people are cracking - have a look at the quote of the day from Management Today here.  Made me laugh anyhow.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


The old Office of Government Commerce website has been taken down, and replaced by the Cabinet Office website here.  I can't help but think that this is a misstep.  The government is probably focusing more attention on Public Sector Procurement than any previous administration, and the OGC website was  great source of best practice and clarification of rulings.  It can't have cost that much to run, and the replacement site has a much wider remit and consequently very little actual coverage of procurement (it covers constitutional reform, national security, Transparency, and the Big Society as well as Efficiency which is where we will get most procurement coverage).

I hope that in time the government will see the value in having  a central point to share information about how to comply with regulations, be more effective, more efficient and save money.

In the meantime the old OGC website is here, in the National Archives.  Over time it will become increasingly out of date, but for the next year or so it should still be a good source of information.

Incidentally, if you are waiting for the book Excellence on Public Sector Procurement by Emmett and Wright, we are told by the publisher to expect the proofs this month.  It appears publishing is still a time consuming business.  How long from proofs to print I don't know, but I suspect we shall be lucky if it is this side of Christmas 2011.