e-Procurement

A meeting is not what you do. It is the forum in which you do something. You discuss problems in order to develop a plan to resolve them. You provide updates on progress of a project in order to gain approval to move to the next stage. You may sell your product or buy a product. These are the things you do in a meeting. If you have a busy day coming up, preparing an important presentation and responding to lots of emails, you wouldn’t say “I’ve got to use the computer a lot today” – you just wouldn’t. So why do people say “I have lots of meetings today”? So I’ve banned the word meeting. I want to remain focused on the purpose of any meeting rather than the meeting itself and I want my staff and colleagues to do likewise. And next, I’m going to ban the word “data”.

How can a banjo frailing ballad singer in Appalachia operate a more modern business model than a government department? Imagine that I am a finance director in the UK with personal tastes which run to “roots” music. Even for relatively obscure artists in any genre and any country, I will probably be able to find a website either for them or a distributor and buy their music directly as a cd or as a download. I will pay with my credit or debit card and get my cd a week later or my download almost immediately. The artist will get paid relatively quickly and pay a merchants fee which they will have factored into their original pricing. What I will not do is raise a requisition for the cd, have it approved and then issued to the artist, create and issue a goods received note when the item is delivered and approved, match the ensuing (paper) invoice against the receipt and the order and then promise the artist that I’ll instruct my bank to pay them 30 days thereafter. Yet, when I go into work the next morning, guess which process I will insist that my organisation uses?