Skip to main content
Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast

Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast

By Peter Smith
Organizations waste billions through spending their money badly, through failures, frauds and... you know what! In this podcast, industry expert Peter Smith explores cases of Bad Buying, looks at why they happen, and what people and organizations can do to avoid such disasters. Full of shocking, sometimes almost unbelievable stories, along with a bit of humour, Peter Smith's Bad Buying podcast is entertaining and enlightening for anyone interested in business, how government spends our money, or how to make their own organisation’s cash go further!
Listen on
Where to listen
Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 2 - Incentivising Suppliers and Ventilators in the Spotlight

Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast

Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 2 - Incentivising Suppliers and Ventilators in the Spotlight

Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast

Vaccination success for the UK, the true meaning of value, and the future of the NHS - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast, Episode 11
We look at how "bad buying"by the EU led to the UK getting ahead in the covid vaccination race. That leads on to thinking about value in what we buy, and we also take a look at why the NHS is going to be reformed, with the likely death of the "purchaser / provider" split.  
February 07, 2021
School Lunch Boxes, Broccoli Panic and Covid Vaccines - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast, Episode 10
We take a look at what appears to be a UK government buying success story (for a change), as well as supermarket shortages caused by ... well, what exactly? Then there is the story of the top footballer, school lunch boxes and a contrite supplier. 
January 23, 2021
Wanna Buy Some PPE? Dodgy Demand Models, and (Allegedly) Corrupt Contracts - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast, Episode 9
We look at two National Audit Office reports concering pandemic issues in the UK - one looking at PPE procurement and the other at the Test and Trace process, whhich also containes some interesting remarks about procurement. Then we fininsh off with some worrying allegations of fraud and corruption in PPE buying, made by a top lawyer...  
December 18, 2020
Managing Supplier Relationships with David Atkinson and the £48M Bollards - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 8
Bad buying doesn't just happen when you choose a supplier and negoatite a deal. How you manage the contract, the suppleir and your rleationship with them is key too. We look at an example where that didn't work in Birmingham, then interview David Atkinson, one of the UK's leading authorities on supplier relationship management. 
December 04, 2020
"Where's the Flipping Documentation" says National Audit Office Report on UK Government Pandemic Procurement - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Epdisode 8
I look at the UK National Audit Office report on how the UK government has conducted emergency procurement (worth many billions) during the pandemic. The main focus is on buying PPE, where some "interesting" (to say the least) suppliers won huge contracts. But there are also horror stories in terms of lack of good process in other areas too. The most commonly used phrase in the report - "there was a lack of documentation..."  Not for the faint-hearted... 
November 23, 2020
Kevin the Carrot, Threatening Beer Ads and Chocolate! Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 7
I talk about marketing and advertising and how the "multiplier effect" makes it a very interesting spend category. The Aldi supermarekt Kevin the Carrot Xmas campaign is a great example of good buying; Schlitz Beer provides the opposite case study.  Then we look at how Easter Egg packaging can make or break the success of the product ... sometimes not spending enough can be Bad Buying!
November 17, 2020
VIP PPE, the Slippery Slope of Public Corruption and a Personal Confession - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 6
Peter Smith talks about the mysterious £45 million paid in advance for PPE (surgical masks) and asks a famous detective for his opinion...  There is also the UK government's "VIP route" for firms offering PPE - what did that mean and was it dangerous? And finally, there is a personal confession (and a story about a $2 million stamp!)
November 08, 2020
IT Disasters and an Interview with Les Mosco - Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 5
Les Mosco, who was the UK Ministry of Defence's top commercial man for seven years, tells us what he thinks about recent UK government Covid contracts and gives some great advice for all buyers. We also look at a case study of an IT programme that went wrong, and give some suggestions around dealing with technology and professional services firms.  
October 27, 2020
Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 4 - Fraud, Corruption and How to Incentivise Covid Suppliers
Peter looks at the criminal side of Bad Buying - fraud and corruption, from the mild-mannered Maidenhead accountant who swindled his own firm to fund his spirts car habit and Nigerian mistress, to mega-frauds that have brought down governments and led to US Admirals going to jail.  He then discusses how the UK government COULD have incentivised / penalised suppliers working on the covid track and trace scheme, despite what the health minister claimed. 
October 18, 2020
Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 3 - Stupidity, Avocados and a Book Launch
Peter looks at how "stupidity" is a common driver of Bad Buying, and shares the experience of his book being published - and reviewed in the Times. He also looks at the human rights issues around avocado growing in Kenya and the supply chain for fresh produce, and the link between Bad Buying and "Procurement with Purpose". 
October 12, 2020
Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 2 - Incentivising Suppliers and Ventilators in the Spotlight
In this episode, Peter looks at why lack of competence, capability and information often drives bad buying decisions. He talks about how to incentivise suppliers and what can go wrong if you create perverse incentives. In part 2, he discusses the new National Audit Office report on UK government procurement of medical ventilators during the pandemic.  A great success - or hundreds of millions wasted? 
October 05, 2020
Peter Smith's Bad Buying Podcast Episode 1 - Why Bad Buying?
Peter Smith explains why he wrote his book, published by Penguin Business in October 2020 - " Bad Buying - How organizations waste billions through failures, frauds and f*ck-ups".  He tells us why organizations need to focus more strongly on the money they spend with suppliers of goods and services, and gives his first key tip on what you can do to improve your own buying ... 
September 27, 2020
Bad Buying Podcast Trailer
“Bad Buying - How organisations waste billions through failures, frauds, and .....” by Peter Smith is published by Penguin Business in October 2020. Coming soon, the Bad Buying Podcast will bring you fascinating stories of Bad Buying, explanation of why it happens and tips on how to avoid it. Why does this matter? Well, we’re talking $50 TRILLION a year…
September 17, 2020