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For me, the end of March signals the end of my work holiday year – as I’m sure it does for many people. With the clock reset the possibilities of what to do with my weeks of entitlement stretching all the way into 2018 represent a fun challenge to my imagination. My current thoughts include here and here as well as plenty of other places too.

The end of March also, signals the end of the tax year and so sparks all sorts of financial planning considerations – not least pension contributions. I’m not sure that buying a retirement Lamborghini – as once proposed by a UK former pensions minister – is likely to be a viable option. Certainly, the more I apply the old adage of a bird in hand being worth two in the bush and opt for fun travel over less fun, far away old-age-stuff the less likely it is that a Lamborghini will be mine in my retirement.

Actually, I don’t own a car of any sort - & haven’t for years - so I probably won’t be pining for a super-car aged 89 (or whatever the UK pension age gets pushed out to by the time I get there). Nevertheless, I like to imagine that serendipity will intervene and I’ll be able to have my cake and eat it. Fortunately, for when my imagination fails me, there are always plenty of suggestions out there (22 in this instance) to help me fund getting the good stuff in the here and now.

The path to bounty from following such an approach is a well trodden one in the personal sphere – it’s rather less well publicised in the business world. I was therefore pleased to find such an example brought to public attention by Computerworld.

The pleasing thing is the example is very close to home for me – at least when I’m at work (even if that’s a bit of a contradiction) – because the money saving enabler is SAP Ariba. The wider context is that Deloitte is replacing its R/3 ERP with S/4 HANA and Deloitte's Paul Bray, believes that the operating savings a better procurement system [in this instance provided by SAP Ariba] could essentially offset the local implementation costs for the S/4 project.

I suspect this is not just pleasing for Deloitte & myself but there are many CPOs out there who will also be pleased to read Paul’s words “that by bringing a greater share of procurement into formal purchase processes the organisation coul...”.  It does seem that CPOs would especially welcome this commentary since, as Deloitte’s own 2017 CPO survey revealed a gap of 14 percentage points between current effectiveness of the procurement function as a strategic business partner, in comparison to where procurement aspire to be. Given the current score is 72% (v the aspirational 86%) procurement is hardly failing in its role as strategic partner but being seen as an enabler of key projects can only propel them towards closing the gap to 86%.