Board silly

15 January 2013
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementSt Homobonus, the patron saint of shoemakers, tailors and purchasing, has a monthly column in SM… Board silly If you spent the festive period squabbling over Scrabble or moaning about Monopoly, you might like to try a new board game. ‘Business on the Move’ is designed to “excite young people about global business and inspire the 
next generation of business 
leaders and entrepreneurs”. Players are tasked with “moving a range of products from China to their UK customers by land, air and sea as quickly, as profitably and as responsibly as they can”, says the press release. I’m sure a lot of businesses would also like to find out how to do that. Dress to un-depress It’s January, which means ‘Blue Monday’, the most glum day of the year is upon us. This year it falls on 21 January. But all is not lost, as staff at businesses across the UK are being asked by Mental Health Research UK to dress in flamboyant colours to lift their mood as well as raise money to combat mental health issues. Trustee Dr Laura Davidson said: “We want to encourage people to brighten up for a day – to make the commute to work a kaleidoscope of colour.” I suggest an extra donation to allow you to wear sunglasses. Left-field luggage While brightening up, if you find your Joseph-style coat of many colours has gone missing, you may have left it at a Travelodge. Also gathering dust at the hotel chain’s lost and found office last year were: a micro pig called Percy; a bucket of live crabs; a diamond-encrusted iPhone, a script for a soap opera and 7,000 copies of Fifty Shades 
of Grey... Germinant staff A press release has arrived from office equipment supplier Slingsby reporting that UK employees are going to work despite being ill because they fear that taking time off will make them look bad. According to the Office for National Statistics, last year the average number of sick days taken by workers fell to its lowest level since records began, with workers now taking an average of just 4.5 days per year. It reminded me of a TUC report that described these people as ‘mucus troopers’. Now why hasn’t that phrase caught on? Oddbins’ Odd offers Someone at wine company Oddbins has definitely been sampling the produce if the firm’s latest offers are anything to go by. Each weekend in January it is offering a 10 per cent discount to people “who, in 2012, did not always receive the love that they probably deserved”, namely mothers, bankers, journalists, Germans and gingers. No sign of a deal specifically for procurement professionals – maybe they presume you guys can negotiate your own discounts – but if you’re a flame-headed German mother with a banking career, Prost! Not fare UK rail fares rose by an average of 4.2 per cent earlier this month. And in case that’s not enough to arouse indignation, a Labour MP’s question revealed transport minister Simon Burns used a chauffeur-driven pool car to make the 35-mile trip from his Essex home to Westminster, at a cost of £80,000 a year. His defence was he could not read classified documents on public transport “for security reasons” (swiftly shot down by the Cabinet Office). However, in the spirit of new year resolutions I have been promoting, he has since wrapped up and headed out to 
get a train instead and said: “In light of the response from my constituents... I have decided to adjust my working practices.” Resolutely ridiculous Hello and good morrow to you fair purchasers of these isles and beyond. For a new year has dawned. Any business-related resolutions to report? How about taking up some morning exercise by jogging to work? Or if this is too smug/exhausting/impractical, perhaps you could encourage some exercising en masse in the office, engendering a feeling of cameraderie and promoting stakeholder relationships? The Daily Telegraph reports Richard Roberts last year promised to do something new every day in 2012 to raise money for charity. These included drinking armadillo milk, impersonating a mannequin, holding a snake and sitting in a hutch all day. Although the chap clearly expanded his own horizons, you, as purchasers also have the chance to be of great worth to mankind. I suggest you assess your social and corporate responsibility (yes, again), thus saving the world between you in the manner of a superheroes or, indeed saints. Tweet of 
the month Even watching a show about animals in Africa was far more appealing & interesting than what I learnt about procurement today! 
Central London and Cheltenham
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