Friday Latte: Legal Sourcing, Bidding for Twinkie, Cattle Shortage, Alibaba Overtaking Amazon?

- November 30, 2012 9:11 AM
Categories: Afternoon Coffee, Sheena Moore |

“Compared to a few years ago, legal sourcing is now an area where I see major companies investing.”
LEGAL SOURCING STEPS IN TO THE SPOTLIGHT — Bustling mid-town Manhattan was the location for a recent conference on collaboration between sourcing and the legal function. On the rostrum, a seasoned sourcing executive from a Global 200 company was sharing his successful experience working with legal. Seated to his left, his colleague, a senior executive in the company’s legal department, would echo and amplify his comments. As they described a series of new approaches to purchasing legal services that had saved millions of dollars, some audience members began to shift in their seats, becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

So quit paying $300 for the things on ebay.
Twinkies: Firms bidding for Hostess brands — One of the best-known US snack food brands may survive as its bankrupt owner revealed it is in talks with 110 potential buyers. Hostess Brands, which makes the Twinkie, is due to liquidate itself after a labour dispute. An advisor to Hostess said that the suitors now include at least five national retailers.

WHERE’S THE BEEF??
Smaller, fewer, thinner – the future for American beef? — The country that is synonymous with steaks as big as Texas is suffering a serious shortage of cattle. The US national herd is now at an all time low. Numbers peaked at 132 million head of cattle in 1975. At the start of this year this was down to just under 91 million.

“For 2012, Alibaba Group – as a whole – is expected to do $40 billion in revenue while Amazon should do $60 billion.”
New Study Says Alibaba’s Tmall Will Overtake Amazon as the World’s Biggest Ecommerce Site by 2015 — A new study by Euromonitor has concluded that Alibaba Group’s Tmall will overtake Amazon (AMZN) by revenue by 2015, making Tmall the world’s largest ecommerce site. Tmall’s revenues should hit $120 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor. Amazon’s revenues will likely be $100 billion by then.

Sheena Moore

Comments

  • Shane:

    The legal sourcing article was fascinating! Thank you for posting that. Legal seems like a tough nut to crack, but once they’re on-board, it sounds like there’s some huge opportunities. Has anyone had big success with this, other than the folks mentioned in the article?

  • Brendon:

    Legal may not be as difficult to crack as you might think. In my experience, the legal department has been more than willing to make efforts to stay ahead of the game.

  • Anonymous:
  • James:

    I’m wondering what part of legal is most ripe for this kind of move/where the low hanging fruit is? Is it easier to start with IP rather than litigation, for instance?

  • Danielle:

    Procurement and legal’s mindsets need to be more aligned. Looking forward to that step ahead.

  • Jason Winmill:

    I was glad to see these comments related to the legal sourcing topic. The category is ripe with savings potential – the challenge is really getting "in" and getting traction. As for other companies that have made progress in this area, I would point to GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, DuPont, and perhaps a few others. As for good places within legal to start (e.g., IP vs. Litigation) – having worked with dozens of Fortune 500 legal departments on legal sourcing initiatives, all I can say is that "it depends." One needs to consider the spending (and the fragmentation), the legal risk, and the personalities of the legal counsel involved. I’m curious to learn if any other are starting to work on the legal category, and what issues they are encountering (if any!). Conversely – any one had any recent success stories to share about taping into legal saving? Jason Winmill, Argopoint

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