Comments round-up: pearls of wisdom from our readers

by Peter Smith on October 25, 2010

We get some great comments on our posts but I think they get somewhat lost, sitting at the end of posts that have fallen down the page.  So here are some recent examples.

Steve Mullins – a legend of the procurement world no less, and a man clearly in the know about this topic – comments on my post about the new Lloyds TSB CPO.

Hi Peter – and my first input to your blog – much enjoying it by the way. Thought I could usefully add some thoughts on the ‘Michael@LBG’ saga. I understand that the recruitment process was run by a specialist in house executive recruitment team who deployed a global search. A short list of 6-7 was worked up, including a number of highly credible and experienced candidates well known to us. My understanding is that the process itself had five clear steps including a pretty searching half day assessment centre to check out not just capability and competence but also whether people would work well within the LBG culture. Very sensibly, one of the interviewing team was an ex CPO who is now in a senior operations role at LBG. And LBG indicate that Mark Fisher did not have Michael in mind from the outset, or at least not in a way that was evident to interviewees.

Happy to stand corrected Steve.

Then we have Jeremy Sams, who asked the thought provoking question, “is category management dead?”  I answered a firm ‘no’ to that, and Jeremy wanted to point out a couple of things about my post.  Sorry I didn’t know who you were Jeremy, but as I said last time, you have kept a low profile on LinkedIn, Google etc – that may have changed now.  And provoking debate with articles like yours is absolutely what it is all about.

Let’s just correct the inaccuracies/assumptions. The ‘by-line’ was requested by me, simply because I work for an organisation that is sensitive to its name appearing in print! There was no ‘concern about the piece’ from Supply Management, far from it! I wrote it from the heart, sent it to them and they wanted to publish it. They (and I quote) felt it was “interesting, thought-provoking and also instructive”. Whether you know me or not I am highly qualified in procurement and have many years experience across different industries at a senior level. I am very pleased that my article has created interest and debate and fully expected that it would generate criticism!

Florence Gregg has interesting thoughts about the ‘lottery’ method of selecting suppliers.

I understand that a lottery approach is starting to be used in some organisations. I’ve been told by suppliers who’ve been through this approach, that when the PQQs are received if the CA’s intention is to bring through, say, 8 to tender; the CA randomly selects 8 PQQs and these are evaluated. If upon evaluation not all not meet the published minimum passmark, the CA goes back and selects a further 1, 2 or whatever number and repeats the process until it gets the required number of tenderers.
I suppose as a micro business who sometimes tries to bid against the bigger consultancies, my PQQ being pulled ‘out of a hat’ could give me a better chance of getting through, than being ranked and falling just below the cut-off point. The odds, 40 PQQs and an intention to invite 8 to bid. My chances of getting selected (assuming I am capable of attaining the minimum score) is 8:40 – a 20% chance. Firm X, a bigger ‘usually always shortlisted’ has the same 20% chance of being selected; or, more interestingly, an 80% of not being selected – now that would be interesting!

I will be responding to Philip Hoult’s comment asking how easy it will be for the Government to give more business to charities with a new post shortly; and thanks (as always) to Christine Morton for her thoughts on the aircraft carrier fiasco / brilliant piece of supply chain strategy (depending which view you take…!)

Keep the comments coming please…

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