Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Going green and staying profitable.

The Benefits of Adopting a Green Supply Chain -- Green IT is a term that is becoming increasingly ingrained in the business psyche, particularly as reduced operating-expenditure and capital savings have become welcome fringe benefits of energy-efficient business processes. The supply chain is one such critical function where significant improvements can be made by adopting a 'greener' approach. These benefits can include optimized operational efficiency, improved supplier/retailer relationship, both of which can lead to increased profitability across the business.

Rare metals: prices on the up and up.

Tantalum Price Spike Could Dent Supply Chains -- Tantalum is used in products as diverse as metal blades and bone implants. But one of its most important uses is in electronics, in capacitors which are vital to everything from iPhones to laptop computers. Tantalum has characteristics that make it unique; there is no real replacement in the capacitor market that enables them to be both small and highly efficient. According to the U.S. Geological survey, tantalum capacitors accounted for more than 60 percent of the tantalum consumption, and the total value of the metal imported was $122 million in 2009. The United States imports all of its tantalum as the last mining was done in 1959.

Wonder what will happen as the new Wall Street Bill regulations go into effect re: conflict minerals in the Congo.

Supplying the military: An interview with Alan Estevez.

DOT's supply master keeps the military mighty -- To get an idea of the complexity of Alan Estevez's job, you only have to look at the length of his title. Estevez is the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense (logistics & materiel readiness) in the office of the secretary of defense and has served as the acting assistant secretary of defense (logistics & materiel readiness) since April 2009. What that means is that Estevez is the most senior official in the Department of Defense (DOD) devoted to supply chain, distribution, transportation, product support, and logistics issues.

Some more thoughts on The Cloud.

SaaS ERP: Business in the Clouds -- CRM continues to be the most successful category of application running in the cloud. A recent survey in the UK by Really Simple Systems found that the split between companies using on-premise CRM versus those that use a cloud-based version is near parity. But the numbers for other application categories deployed to the cloud, such as ERP, Payroll, HR and Manufacturing, are very small. 13 percent of companies said that they're using SaaS-based ERP and only 39 percent have confidence in ERP systems running in the cloud. Gartner has forecast a 16.1 percent market share of SaaS ERP by the end of 2011. But Gartner cautions that most of the early market share for ERP solutions are really point solutions, primarily for human capital management and financials. Gartner predicts that "mature robust solutions are unlikely to emerge by 2011."

Sheena Moore

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