Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

BSKYB expects £200M!! in damages

BSkyB expects damages of nearly £200 million following its lengthy court battle with EDS over whether the IT services firm was completely truthful in its attempt to win a contract.

The satellite television operator had originally sued for £709 million in damages, claiming EDS had made a “deliberate, cynical and dishonest” sales pitch to win a £48 million deal to provide a new customer relationship management system – a contract that was terminated after two years.

Sky began its legal action against EDS (now known as HP Enterprise Services following a takeover by computing firm HP) in August 2004.

In his judgment Mr Justice Ramsey, who has taken 18 months to deliver his verdict, ruled in favour of the broadcaster, saying it would have chosen PricewaterhouseCoopers – a rival bidder for the contract – if EDS had not misrepresented its ability to deliver the project.

The judge said EDS had not carried out the “proper analysis” of time needed to complete implementation of the system they claimed to have, nor were there “reasonable grounds” – as they indicated – to believe they could deliver the system as promised. Mr Justice Ramsey said an EDS employee made the assertion “dishonestly” and “knew it to be false”.

But he ruled EDS had not lied about the level of resources necessary and how much it would cost to complete the project.

He also said EDS had “failed to exercise reasonable skill and care or conform to good industry practice”, with no effective programme management and a failure to provide the necessary technical and managerial resources. Because of this the judge awarded damages to Sky for breach of contract.

HP responded to the decision in a statement: “This is a legacy issue, dating back to the EDS business in 2000, which HP inherited when it acquired EDS in 2008. We are pleased the court dismissed the majority of the allegations made. While we accept that the contract was problematic, HP strongly maintains EDS did nothing to deceive BSkyB. HP will be seeking permission to appeal.”

The court will determine the level of costs and damages at a later date. Lawyers predict the case will lead to greater scrutiny of tender proposals and submissions by buyers and suppliers

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Friday, 26 March 2010

Jobs in Procurement on the up!!!

Recruitment market on the up

The UK purchasing jobs market is set to gain buoyancy over the coming months as permanent posts open up across the country, recruiters have reported.

A market update by procurement recruitment consultancy Edbury Daley out this week said permanent vacancies have been rising steadily since the end of 2009.

Other recruiters agreed and said this is the result of both general optimism in the UK economy and greater confidence among candidates, who are now more willing to move jobs. Richard Silk, account director at procurement consultancy CIPS GPA, said that up to 50 per cent of candidates are reporting that conditions are looking better for jobseekers.

But while the permanent job market is improving, demand for interims has slowed, according to Jonathan Ross, director of specialist recruitment firm Butler Ross. “This is possibly as a result of companies looking to strengthen their core procurement capabilities for the long term,” he told SM.

Edbury Daley director Andrew Daley agreed there had been a shift in focus. He said: “Cutting procurement staff during the recession is very short-sighted, but now people are starting to look forward again.”

It is a turnaround from the situation just a few months ago when recruiters reported problems appointing the right talent, despite the market being flooded with candidates.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Mcdonalds .........

UK scammers posing as McDonald’s buyers have stolen up to £2 million of goods.

A statement by Greater Manchester Police said the con artists pretended to be staff from the fast-food giant and purchased electrical goods from high-profile suppliers.

The items, including laptops, computers and televisions, were ordered with credit periods of between 30 and 90 days and delivered to addresses in Manchester, but never paid for. It is thought the fraudsters are now using the same scheme to obtain food, wines and spirits.

Detective inspector Neal Colburn appealed for help catching the criminals, who he said are likely to face “a long stretch behind bars” if caught.

“If your company is not a usual supplier for McDonald’s and you are contacted by an individual purporting to be placing an order on behalf of McDonald’s, please treat it with caution,” he said.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “McDonald’s holds long-term relationships with its suppliers and any new suppliers will need to register before providing services.

“Our restaurants are not authorised to request high-value goods and any McDonald’s genuine purchase can be checked by telephoning our accounts helpdesk on 0844 736 3611.”


Commodity prices from Supply Management issue 18 March 2010

These figures have been compiled from several sources and are intended as a guide to trends. SM disclaims any responsibility for the use of this information.

*Prices are the latest freely available to SM from the following sources.

Sources: Steel: MEPS (International) Ltd European Steel Review (0114 2750570). Non-ferrous metals: Metal Bulletin (020 7827 9977) and London Metal Exchange (020 7264 5555). Plastics: London Metal Exchange (020 7264 5555). Chemicals: ICIS Chemical Business (020 8652 3187). Fuel: John Hall Associates (01403 269430). Soft commodities: The Public Ledger (01892 530120). Timber: Resource News International (+1 204 947 1700). Pulp, paper and board: PPL Research (

Global Procurement........

Consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark has set up a global procurement hub to help cut costs by as much as $500 million (£334 million) by 2013.

The US firm, whose brands include Huggies and Andrex, has appointed Cynthia Dautrich as a global procurement officer and has set to work building a global purchasing team.

It unveiled the plans at an investors’ meeting in New York yesterday.

Kimberly-Clark hopes the new centralised team will enable it to build on procurement improvements made last year, when the company began to pull together its global spend and improve data to secure better terms from suppliers. At that time purchasing also gained control of new spend areas such as marketing, which enabled it to cut category costs by as much as 30 per cent.

This, combined with better operational efficiency and improved manufacturing and supply chain practices, has helped Kimberly-Clark cut costs by $450 million (£300 million) since 2008.

Commenting on purchasing’s contribution, chief strategy officer Chris Brickman said: “It delivered terrific results last year, but it’s absolutely just the tip of the iceberg. 2009 was not a one-hit wonder

Monday, 15 March 2010

Lessons from Bill Gates

Life Lessons from Bill Gates
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, ‘learn from them’..

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Increase in Perm Jobs......

Permanent placements grew at fastest pace since July 2007.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG said:
“The latest figures seem to confirm that the UK jobs market is on the road to recovery: Permanent job placements are growing at their fastest pace since July 2007,with both vacancies and salaries increasing. Sectors such as IT & computing as well as engineering & construction that were particularly hit by recession are clearly on the rebound. However, this all comes with one big warning: The impact of the inevitable public sector recession on the jobs market has yet to be felt and will be played out over the next six to 12 months.”
Copies of the report are available on annual subscription from Markit. For subscription details please contact:
The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit Economics and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.
The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date monthly picture of recruitment, employment, staff availability and employee earnings trends available.
1 Executive summary
2 Appointments
3 Vacancies
4 Sectoral demand
5 Staff availability
6 Pay pressures
7 Special feature