Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Apple is changing the face of the supply chain.

Apple leads the evolution toward digital supply chains. -- "For the past several years, analyst firm AMR Research has attempted to rank the most successful supply chains in the world, balancing out the opinions of supply chain experts and AMR analysts with solid metrics (inventory turns, return on assets and revenue growth). Taking all of those factors into account, AMR then produces an annual list of the top supply chains, and for the third year in a row, Apple took the No. 1 slot."

Oddly enough, this honor comes not from Apple possessing a great deal of skill in production, transporting, and warehousing capabilities -- but from the fact that nearly $2 billion of their revenue came from products that were completely digital, via iTunes and the App store. Way to go Apple -- now let's close that supply bottleneck I talked about last week and get me an iPhone 4.

The implications of China's currency adjustment heat up.

Is Manufacturing Coming Back to the U.S.? -- "If you haven't been paying attention to the news lately, you might have missed some interesting developments: the Chinese government has started allowing the value of its currency to fluctuate, and Chinese workers have begun striking in efforts to increase their wages. Both of those developments are likely to increase the cost of manufacturing in China, and here's another newsflash: the costs of shipping containers are also going up. Fast."

I'm interested to keep up on this topic and see if "near-sourcing" will become a viable and popular option if foreign import prices get too high.

Continuing on in our supply risk mitigation importance tirade.

Five Best Practices to Mitigate Supplier Financial Risk -- Read 'em. We can't stress enough how important this is.

Basware automates Accounts Receivable processes.

"Basware, the global leader in purchase-to-pay solutions, today announced the addition of supplier functionality to its Basware Connectivity services. Basware Connectivity for Suppliers enables Accounts Receivable (AR) departments to deliver all sales invoices electronically to their customers, regardless of the invoice format required by the customer organization. With Basware, Accounts Receivable departments can achieve a 100% e-invoicing capability from day one. E-invoicing increases invoice accuracy, and ensures that invoices are sent on time and have been received. This results in increased visibility over the entire invoicing process, facilitating cash flow forecasting as well as increased customer satisfaction, since customers are able to process invoices electronically.

Click here for more info on their new e-invoicing process.

Europe is slowing down.

European manufacturing, services growth slows in June -- European manufacturing and services industries growth slowed in June as inflows of new orders declined, but pace remained sufficient to drive further rise in employment, a report from London- based Markit Economics said. The Composite Output Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), which is a weighted average of the manufacturing output index and the services business activity index, declined to 56 in June from 56.4 in May but remained above its long-run average value 53.4.

Forecasters seem rather wishy-washy in their ideas about what the future may hold...

With appreciating currency comes...

Global Supply Chain News: Update -- Labor Dynamics Continue to Change in China as Workers get Bold -- Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce of South China, [said] that "There are internet cafes everywhere, so workers can get information. They are starting to ask for more. The days of cheap labor are gone."

Workers in China are beginning to realize what they're worth.

Sheena Moore

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