Daily Archives: February 9, 2012

Controlling Telecom Spend: A Complicated Business

Spend Matters welcomes some cautionary tales from Ben Mendoza, CEO of international telecom expense management experts MDSL. Controlling spend in the telecom arena for very large organizations has always been somewhat of a high-wire act. But at MDSL, we know where the 'known knowns' usually hide. Plus, as Mr Rumsfeld once famously said, we can tell you where the 'known unknowns' can be found. Take Unified Communications (UC). UC is frequently hailed both for the cost savings it can bring and the potential it offers to reach our work colleagues, no matter where they are or what device they use. […]

Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Natural gas at 10-year low. Warm U.S. Winter Whacks Natural Gas To 10-Year Lows -- Of all the energy commodities, there's no question that weather dovetails the most with the U.S. natural gas market. Currently, the U.S. natural gas market is sitting near $2.50 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), close to the bottom of a 10-year price chart. This is primarily due to the combination of one of the warmest winters seen in the U.S. in decades coupled with several years of non-stop drilling in prolific natural gas shale areas. These events have created a massive glut of the […]

Apple, Social Responsibility and Procurement: More CSR Pesticides or Going Organic? (Part 6)

Click here to read previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Within its breakout of environmental auditing records of 14 supplier facilities, Apple reports a few findings around hazardous substance management. These include reports showing that over 33% (5) of the facilities audited had "no secondary containment and rainshelf for hazardous chemical storage." Moreover nearly two-thirds (9) of the audited facilities "made handling errors including lack of signs of waste storage, hazardous waste mixed with non-hazardous waste, and mislabeling or miscategorization of hazardous wastes." Given that Apple only surveyed 14 supplier facilitates […]

November/December Imports Decline: Anomaly or Concern?

Panjiva recently released its latest trade numbers covering November 11-December 11 2011. While Panjiva notes "the number of waterborne shipments coming into the U.S. experienced a 7% month-over-month decrease from November to December," the more insightful overall metrics are the wide-ranging percentages and overall volatility for the same period in recent years (which Panjiva sites in their above-linked post). In other words, this is a time period accustomed to year-over-year swings and fluctuations. The number of global manufacturers that shipped goods to the US in the period also declined modestly, falling 4%, Panjiva indicates (compared with a 9% decline in […]

No Half-Steppin’ Here — FullStep Tackles Manufacturing-Centric Procurement in Spain/Beyond (Part 2)

Please click here for the first post in this series. In continuing our analysis of FullStep from late last year, we'll turn our attention to exploring how this Spain-based spend management suite vendor (currently expanding into North, Central and South America) has tailored its set of solutions for a manufacturing environment, including the middle market, where a general lack of technology, resources and cross-facility collaboration often hinders the potential for direct materials sourcing and vendor management savings programs. To review FulllStep's general breadth and capabilities, be sure to keep these items in mind: FullStep maintains a surprisingly broad footprint inclusive […]