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Apple Watch Production Takes a Time Out After Supplier Parts Found Defective

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There has been a huge amount of hype for the new Apple Watch – with some 1 in 4 people eyeing the flashy device. Yet already Apple has run into a snag in its supply chain with the rollout of its latest product: a critical part from one of its suppliers was “found to be defective.” Specifically, some “taptic” engines (which have ability to deliver tactile feedback) produced for the watches by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. are breaking, forcing Apple to trash the watches with the faulty parts. While it doesn’t seem that Apple has sold any of the defective watches to customers and doesn’t have to deal with a product recall, it still will slow production of the in-demand device, causing an even bigger headache for the tech giant already suffering from supply and demand issues with the watch. Thomas Kase, Spend Matters vice president of research, shared his thoughts on the news, calling the dilemma “cultural issues at work.”

Friday Parody: Accounting For R&D In China — Internal Politburo Memorandum Found

Spend Matters has found an inside source close to the Chinese politburo (one of the rumors circulating in intelligence circles, which is not true mind you, is that we managed to smuggle out a secure red phone and stick it right in the middle of the office). Regardless of our methods, burn after reading ... the following was intercepted and translated by our staff in the past week ... To: Politburo Members From: The Big Red Accounting Team It has recently come to our attention that the world has become keenly aware that China's collective R&D spending is increasing. In […]

Jason at Coupa Inspire – and What He Found There

Two weeks ago our US founder and CEO, Jason Busch, attended and delivered a keynote speech at Coupa Inspire, the firm’s annual user conference in San Francisco. The event was very well attended and provided a good insight into the company, its solutions and its strategic direction. Jason issued regular pre-, during and post-conference analyses of events, discussions and speeches, and now that we are all comfortably back to our daily work routines sandwiched between the bank holidays, we thought we’d round up those reports and give you some quick links to the original, more in-depth analysis of his discoveries. […]

Alcoa Subsidiary to Pay $384M in Bribery Case, Roaches Found (Again) at California Chicken Plant

Alcoa World Alumina LLC, an Alcoa subsidiary, is pleading guilty to paying bribes to Bahrain and will pay $384 million in the case. Parent firm Alcoa is not being charged. The cold snap may be mostly over, but several energy providers are increasing their retail electricity rate as they struggle to meet demand in the midst of a cold winter. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

Fabrice Saporito Launches SpendLead – Helping Buyers and Sellers “Find and Be Found”

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One question we keep being asked is “whatever happened to Fabrice Saporito, that nice chap who used to be CEO of Sievo, the software firm whose product was really rather good at tracking procurement savings”? It was last June that we announced he was leaving Sievo, after some four years with the firm during which time it grew substantially. We really enjoyed working with him – he’s one of those annoying people who was (and is) really smart, business school, worked in finance, with IBM, Bain and BCG prior to Sievo, athletic, charming – but was also far too likeable […]

See Jason Busch and Kevin Brooks Reenact the Founding of Spend Matters

The photo in this post, featuring Kevin Brooks (now Chief Marketing Officer at FoodLink), Jason Busch, two glasses of beer, and two ordinary napkins, is not a perfect reenactment of the founding of this blog, but it comes pretty close. As the story goes, Jason and Kevin came up with the idea of Spend Matters over drinks, and Kevin had Jason write down the idea on a cocktail napkin.

What Can We Learn from the Founding Fathers’ Bill of Rights in Drafting a Procurement Bill of Rights?

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I thought it’d be good to go back to the ‘source code’ for much of its inspiration – the US Bill of Rights. It’s a document that is relevant globally as well as within an enterprise context for governing procurement processes internally and with external providers. Let’s touch on a few, which I will obviously simplify and even take a bit of license with, so bear with me. And don’t start pulling out your pocket versions to throw at me (which you can’t anyway).

Flaws Exposed in the Federal Procurement Data System

The Government Accountability Office has found that the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration—the two federal agencies that account for the vast majority of consolidated contracts—misreported the number of consolidated contracts in fiscal year 2011 and 2012. The GAO reviewed 157 contracts, and found that 34% of the DoD contracts reported as consolidated, and none of the GSA contracts designated as such, were in fact consolidated, leading the GAO to conclude that the two agencies “do not know the full extent to which they are awarding consolidated contracts.” The GAO also found four DoD contracts that were consolidated, but were not reported as such.

Ask the Expert: Analytics in Procurement and Supply [Plus+]

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Pierre Mitchell covers the details in the difference between supply analytics and spend analytics, and what opportunity can be found there. He also touches on how technology and vendors address the problem.

The Big Blue Dilemma: Why Companies Overpay for IBM Solutions

For the last decade, IBM has found itself in a tight position. Despite an aggressive growth-by-acquisition business strategy, the vendor has found itself falling further behind in the race to the cloud and inheriting an ever-growing number of competitors. The heat recently reached white-hot levels when Credit Suisse downgraded the vendor’s stock under the assumption that the company’s lack of organic growth puts it “effectively in decline.” With more than a third of its gross profit dollars coming from mainframe and UNIX hardware and software (cash cow, but declining market), it’s clear that IBM is at a crossroads.

81% of S&P 500 Companies Issue Sustainability Reports — Why Not 100%?

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More companies are publishing reports on their sustainability efforts every year as corporate social responsibility becomes increasingly important to key company investors and stakeholders as well as customers. A new report from the Governance & Accountability Institute found 81% of S&P 500 index companies issued corporate sustainability reports in 2015, more than ever before. That is up from 2014 when 75% of S&P 500 companies published sustainability reports, detailing environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts and achievements.

Tips on Speaking to a Procurement Audience: Give Up the Slides, Please [Plus+]

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Whenever I have a big speech to give, I usually spend a few weeks preparing, or at least going through in my head, a planned outline. Like many presenters for whom public speaking did not come naturally to start, I’ve often found myself relying on slides to guide my talk. They’re a type of crutch, if you will. But in recent years, in the rare cases that I’ve been forced to present without PowerPoint, I’ve found the audience was far more engaged – probably something about a lack of 12 point Helvetica fonts and multiple takeaway arrows per slide, I suppose.

Atkins wins HS2 job to push BIM to supply chain

Atkins wins HS2 job to push BIM to supply chainConstruction EnquirerAtkins will also work to help drive long-term efficiency and durability into asset management. Last year HS2 published the findings of a study looking at BIM readiness within the supply chain. It found an ever-increasing awareness and implementation … and more »

Food Manufacturers Lack Supply Chain Visibility, Risk Reputational Damage

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The majority of large food manufacturers lack visibility into their supply chains, putting them at risk for violating regulations and damaging their reputations, according to a recent survey commissioned by Achilles. The results found 19% of large food manufacturers around the globe could not determine the name or address of all their suppliers in the supply chain, and 53% said they had no plan in place to find this information in the future.

Cambodian Soldiers Quash Garment Factory Protest, Wal-Mart Recalls Donkey Meat Product in China

Cambodian soldiers stepped in to quash a protest by garment factory workers striking for better pay, beating workers and monks and taking 10 people into military custody. And Wal-Mart is recalling a donkey meat product in China that was found to contain DNA from other animals. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

TradingPartners: A Founder's Obituary

Today we welcome guest commentary from Chirag Shah, a founder of TradingPartners and the firm's former CEO. Chirag is currently Chairman of MarketMaker 4, an e-sourcing and market intelligence specialist. Founded in 2000, TradingPartners was amongst the pioneers in the eSourcing movement. The company focused on providing "Fully Managed eAuction Services." This combination of capabilities represented a hybrid combination of eSourcing and consultancy support. With many large corporations struggling with understanding the role of eSourcing and lacking in-house expertise to operate such technology, the company found itself in an attractive niche and grew very quickly, twice garnering accolades in the […]

Afternoon Coffee: Shippers Oppose Rail Merger, Oil Prices Fall to Near 7-Year Low

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A new survey found the majority of rail shippers are against a possible merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern Corp. The survey released by Cowen and Co. pointed to fears of higher prices and fewer shipping options for lack of support for the merger. And, oil prices fell below $37 a barrel today, the lowest price February 2009, as the supply glut continues. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

The Shocking Confessions of a Procurement Industry Analyst

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When I tell people that I am a services procurement and contingent workforce industry analyst, I usually get either a glazed look or a look that betrays a kind of sympathy or pity. That is usually the time — after a moment of uncomfortable silence — to turn the tables and ask what they do. But given that I am an analyst, I have felt compelled to ask myself and try to answer these questions: What is an analyst? What does an analyst do? Here’s what I found.

Managing Contingent Labor: Common Challenges and Case Examples

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In a recent Spend Matters research study titled Applying Supply Chain Rigor to Contingent Workforce Management, we found companies cited a number of common challenges regarding managing contingent labor relative to the direct supply chain. In this article, we share some of the highlights from the research paper.