In the next couple of weeks, we'll finally be going live with Spend Matters Navigator, a completely new type of research and relational navigation solution that takes an incredibly narrow procurement and supply chain slice to the most important content sources spread across the entire Internet (hint, hint ... it does away with the need for tagging completely). In the final testing of this new capability, I've been using it as my jumping off point for all blog, periodical and analyst searches for all subjects Spend Management. And one thing I've found is that in many recent queries, Purchasing's Blogs are covering a lot of ground and rising to the top of many of my contextual searches. That's a good thing for the online trades, considering that a handful of blogs have been taking away at least some of the more valuable, executive eyeballs from the controlled circulation world in the past year -- and continue to rise in reach, influence and stature. Purchasing appears to be finally playing the blog game in a somewhat serious way. And that's a good thing for all us.
In a recent a recent post one of their bloggers pointed out that the reason "poor on-time delivery remains the bane of our existence" is that the jobs that directly impact this area are among the most "difficult to fill." The Industry Week survey he points to lists truck driver, driver/delivery, and machine operators as three of the top ten most difficult jobs to fill in the United States. A good observation, but personally, the reason that I believe the last Spend Management mile -- a term I define as when goods leave a supplier's facility -- always proves such a challenge is because most organizations have an incredibly poor handle on tracking supplier performance at anything but the most localized level. And often times, these spreadsheets and scorecarding approaches fail to help a procurement organization dig into whether or not a delay occurred because of transportation or logistics related delays or whether the issue could be traced back to the supplier's facility.