Friday, 16 February 2018

CIPS Public Procurement courses - Birmingham 20/21/22 February 2018

Next week I am running 3 days in Birmingham for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, covering UK Public Procurement.  The first day is the Introduction and is fully booked (next one is 25th April in Bristol).  Second one is Applying the Procurement regulations, and the third is the Future of Public Procurement .

3 good days, which can be taken as a block or one at a time - they are as standalone as I can make them.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Zebra fuel

Listening to the BBC I came across Zebra Fuel, who are a start up in London who will come round to your house and fill up your car.  They claim to be no more expensive than your local petrol station.  Which in London is apparently turning out to be not so local.

In the North of England where I live land is not so important.  But London has reached some quite staggering land and property values.  I am constantly amazed that the commercial infrastructure continues to work as for almost any business in London there is more money to be made by closing the shop and selling the building than can be made in a generation of hard work.  Ok, I have not done a detailed financial analysis, but I hope you can see where I am heading.  The average 2018 property is selling for £600 000.  Working on a 5% profit margin a shop has to bring in £12m to make that much money over a period of 24 years, say £500k per year, that is £10k/week, or £2k per day.  How many shops turn over that much?  Actually for a petrol station most, as that is only 40 fills - though really probably 80 would be needed as petrol only has profit margins of about 2.5%.

Anyway my point is that if you own a petrol station in central London you can have a quick windfall by selling it for development, or a long slow slog to make the same amount of money.  (let's not worry about future property values, and net present value of money over 24 years...).  Which would you do?

Petrol stations therefore are closing, and likely to continue to do so.  Electrical vehicles will only make this trend worse in the medium term.The prevalence of small corner shops and Supermarket Local branches means that the petrol stations other role as the shop of last resort is covered.

Zebra therefore makes sense as a value proposition - they can invest in out of London depots and delivery vehicles (ironically possibly electric to avoid the congestion charge), which may turn out to have lower costs that being physically based in London.  The customers don't waste their time finding a petrol station and then filling up.  So in theory there could be lower operating costs, and customers (in future, once the principle is established) willing to pay a premium for convenience.

Sounds very plausible. 

Apparently they have ambitions for Paris, but I suspect it will take a long time to come to Yorkshire.

It reminds me of a company in Manchester called Diesel Weasel who would go round and top up generators on construction sites on a daily basis.  They are no longer around (it appears) but I think Zebra have a good chance.  In business you never get more than that.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

IChemE: Engineering Procurement Online course

Well we are nearly at the end.  The last webinar is tomorrow 7th February 2018 at 9am and 4pm.
This session is called Improving Engineering Procurement, and is based around a series of 5 tips to improve procurement in your organisation.  It should pay for itself.

All 4 webinars will be available to buy online after the event.

Full details are here.