Category Savings, 3D Printing, and GSA’s Reverse Auctions: Best of Guest Content

Spend Matters extends a big thank-you to all our guest contributors. From NPI’s Jon Winsett on guaranteed service refunds to Archstone’s Josh Peacher on category savings opportunities, here are the guest posts that have generated discussion and seen consistent interest from our readers.

Find the Low Hanging Fruit: Evaluating Category Savings Opportunities – Procurement groups are always trying to identify the next category savings opportunity. However, resources are often limited so initiatives must be strategically focused. The goal of the exercise then becomes to maximize return with minimal effort…( i.e. identify the low hanging fruit). This sounds basic enough, but it can be very challenging and many organizations struggle to achieve the results they are looking for. From my experience, the most common pitfall for procurement groups is a lack of structure in their approach. Too often, the decision is myopic and driven by a single variable such as overall spend within a category. – Josh Peacher of Archstone Consulting

3D Printing: What Additive Manufacturing Means for the Future of Procurement – As additive manufacturing gains momentum, it may drastically alter current supply chain fundamentals and manufacturing techniques. Procurement stands to benefit by remaining flexible and innovative in the face of 3D printing and other technologies. – Joel Johnson of GEP

Accountability at Stake: Will UPS and FedEx Get Rid of Guaranteed Service Refunds? – If you’ve renegotiated your UPS or FedEx contract lately, you may have noticed that both carriers are trying to eliminate Guaranteed Service Refunds (GSRs) from their agreements. These refunds represent the contractual obligation that UPS and FedEx have to their customers to deliver shipments on time.      – Jon Winsett of NPI

A Close Look at GSA’s New Reverse Auction Platform – On July 1st, the General Services Administration (GSA) launched GSA Reverse Auctions, a reverse auction site developed by the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)’s National Information Technology Commodity Program. This new competitive bidding platform is focused on procurements of commonly purchased information technology products, office supplies, and simple services. Participating suppliers must already be on approved contractor lists (known as Multiple Award Schedules and Blanket Purchase Agreements in the federal world). Thus, GSA Reverse Auctions operates as a second order of competition, as the auctions are a way of further reducing the prices paid by federal agencies under these agreements. – David Wyld of the Reverse Auction Research Center

Coffee Prices Are Falling, But For How Long? – It should come as no surprise that coffee growers all over the world are expanding their production in order to supply this growing market. Coffee production this season is estimated to rise by 6% year-on-year to 144.6 million 130-lb bags, of which 88.7 million bags will be the finer-quality Arabica bean and 55.9 million will be of the easier-to-grow Robusta bean. This increase in production has helped lower prices for both varieties of coffee. – Abigail Green of Mintec

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