Find answers, ask experts and talk with the procurement community


Do you want to deliver savings faster, reduce risks and transform functional performance?

Industry-leading events

Inspirational thinkers and innovators share their vision, providing unique opportunities to network and share best practice

Upcoming events

12th Annual Europe Forum

Executive Briefing: 4 October, 2017

Forum: 5-6 October, 2017

Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

Join the annual procurement community gathering for EU procurement professionals centred on business alignment and category leadership.

7th Annual Asia Pacific Forum

Forum: 8-9 November, 2017

The Westin, Singapore

Join 150+ senior level procurement professionals from the Asia Pacific region to delve into topics ranging from the effects of geopolitical change on procurement through to transformation success measurements, and future-proof your procurement function and business.


My Profile

Supplier's quotes too good to be true? They probably are..

TechnologyRiskEuropeSupplier relationship managementSupplier PerformanceSupply DisruptionTechnology and TelecomsBlog+-

Imagine being responsible for purchasing at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, with its Large Hadron Collider, an underground 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets, in which two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide.


This not involves sourcing specialist scientific products, many of which don’t exist ‘off the shelf’, but also working to tight deadlines and even tighter financial constraints and it is the suppliers who cause the biggest headaches.


Welcome to the world of Thierry Lagrange, head of finance, procurement and knowledge transfer at CERN.


When one supplier was asked to price for one particular prototype, it came out so far below other quotes that the strategy the team had employed to find suppliers was thrown out the window.


So the supplier was contracted but it soon became clear that this particular supplier wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.


The team discovered that everything was being subcontracted out, even the contract itself. Worse than that, the supplier changed a key material of one of the products it was contracted to build, but it was discovered that this didn’t actually work and had to be dismantled after it had been installed.


Costs rocketed, just what the team had been looking to avoid.


Lagrange’s advice? Make sure you have inspectors.


Tim Burt
Posted by Tim Burt