Search Results for: sourcing

Guide to Solution Providers: A Spend Matters PRO Round Up


Spend Matters PRO has been chock-full lately of in-depth analysis on solution providers. In case you missed any of these multi-part series, or are still trying to decide on the best provider for your procurement organization and want a refresher course, here is a round up of some of these premium posts. Included in this round up are deep dives on spend management solution providers Unimarket and SciQuest, e-sourcing solution provider Intesource and CPQ and contract management solutions provider Apttus.

Is Sustainable Trade Finance an Oxymoron? The Palm Oil Story


Here on Spend Matters, we have written a lot lately on sustainable supply chain practices – specifically, with regard to McDonald's recent announcement it would take efforts to rid deforestation from its supply chain. Our sister site Trade Financing Matters also recently discussed the issue of sustainability in the article: Palm Oil and Sustainable Trade Finance. David Gustin, author of the article, writes about the problems with palm oil sourcing around the world. While the oil is in high demand, as it is used in a wide variety of products from soaps and lotions to foods, it's production can be problematic.

VMSA Live ‘Scorecard’ – Reflections on the Recent Contingent Workforce/Staffing Supply Chain Conference


I spent the greater part of last week covering the VMSA Live 2015 conference in Las Vegas, and I wanted to wrap up my coverage with not really a “scorecard,” but with a summary of impressions and key take-aways below. Incidentally, if this were a scorecard, VMSA Live 2015 would – in my opinion – score at the top across all conference rating categories. I’ve mentioned this a number of times in my posts: VMSA Live 2015 uniquely brought together professional practioners and leaders from all parts of the contingent workforce/staffing supply chain and successfully orchestrated their engagement and facilitated information sharing, discussion, learning and thinking about best practices for individual performance and for optimization and innovation across the supply chain.

McDonald’s and Deforestation: Supply Chain Traceability vs. Visibility


We recently started to cover McDonald’s recently announced commitment to eliminating deforestation throughout its supply chain. The announcement pays more than lip service to the opportunity, in part because if will cascade across multiple tiers of suppliers rather than just tier-1 or direct suppliers to the fast food giant. There’s also a number of other rather curious elements to the program that warrant further analysis, one of which is contained within the Supporting Addendum McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation that explores the difference between how McDonald’s is defining traceability vs. visibility.

VMSA Live 2015 Pulls Up Stakes in Vegas, Contingent Workforce Suppliers Brace For Demanding Supply Chain Environment

vmsa 3

Bucking up the supplier side was a clear focus on the final half-day of VMSA Live last week. The 2 and a half day conference is designed to bring together practioners from all parts of the staffing supply chain (including enterprise contingent workforce programs, MSPs, VMSs, staffing suppliers of various kinds, and other supporting service and solution provides). While the prior 2 days of the conference modulated actual interaction and information exchange between the supplier and the enterprise sides of the staffing supply chain, Friday’s sessions aimed to provide undivided attention and a “thumbs-up” to the upstream businesses that do the bulk of the work to supply enterprises with their contingent workforce (temps and contractors) and talent-based project services (SOWs).

McDonald’s CSR Commitments Go Multi-tier – But is the Fast Food Giant Ready?


McDonald’s recently announced an important commitment to sustainability by moving to eliminate suppliers that engage in any potential deforestation practices in its supply chain. For quick background reading on the topic, see McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation pledge. On the surface, the pronouncement would seem to have corporate social responsibility teeth. I share some of the main points the fast food company has made in its new commitment.

The Funky Market Dynamics of Procurement Technology: Vendor Management Systems (VMS)


Earlier today, Spend Matters PRO published a detailed company and geographic update on IQNavigator, IQNavigator: From Strength to Strength – 2015 Company and Solution Outlook. This was the first research brief in a series providing an updated look at one of the top 3 VMS providers by volume and growth (Fieldglass, Beeline and IQNavigator together control the majority of the VMS market). Once a tactical tool to manage compliance and basic workflow for contingent labor, the humble VMS is growing into a full-fledged source-to-pay suite for the broader services procurement market. But the VMS is an atypical relative to other procurement technologies for a number of reasons.

Strategic Sourcing in Developing Countries

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Heather Towt of The Hackett Group. The increased focus on strategic sourcing in response to ever-shrinking margins is not a phenomenon specific to the developed world. Throughout the developing world, companies in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shifting from transactional-based purchasing and tactical sourcing to a strategic sourcing model. While the goals of strategic sourcing (cost savings, improved performance, risk mitigation and improved supplier relationship management) remain the same across geographies, unique challenges arise when sourcing in developing countries. Besides the usual suspects of language barriers, differing cultural norms and complex financial issues, several additional challenges should be kept in mind when sourcing in a developing country.

The Apple Watch: Generating “Supply Chain Strain” or Simply a Blockbuster?


I’m one of the many folks who are geeking out about the Apple Watch and have my place on the waiting list to purchase one. As a runner, the idea of a heart rate monitor that is simply on the wrist all day and accurate enough to be valuable is sufficient to put me over the edge. But aside from my own “early adopter” proclivities, from a procurement and supply chain standpoint, the launch of the watch is also fascinating to keep tabs on for a variety of sales and fulfillment reasons. (And this was true even before news of the came out last week.)

Beyond Invoice Discounting and Dynamic Discounting Alone: 6 Triggers for Receivables and Payables Financing

I sometimes tell people that we’re in the top half of the first inning, with the lead-off hitter on plate, to describe where we are in the evolution of purchase-to-pay (P2P), supplier networks, business networks and trade financing. And the first pitch we’ve tossed to the plate is the approved invoice (net of dilutions) as the trigger for online-driven financing. This is the premise behind financing-centric network and e-invoicing providers like Tungsten and Taulia. But e-invoicing is only a single trigger...

Jeremiah Was NOT A Bullfrog!

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Art van Bodegraven. Fans of the innocent earlier days of popular music might remember the monster hit “Joy to the World,”by Three Dog Night. But an earlier Jeremiah was a prophet in the Kingdom of Judah, the "weeping prophet" who urged reform and repentance. He is recognized in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Baha'i. Some think that I might be modeling Jeremiah, but my own views are not quite as pessimistic.

The Irony of Globalization and Trade: Declining Capital Availability and Financing

With globalization and increased trade flows, could available credit and capital to fuel global supply chains actually be declining? It almost sounds impossible. But financing needs have not kept up with booming global trade between countries, raising risk in the supply chain and creating situations that favor larger suppliers over smaller ones.

Make Vs. Buy For Procurement Market Research

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Anup Shetty from GEP. With growth rates plateauing in both the developed and developing worlds, companies are turning their attention to managing costs and keeping their demanding stakeholders just about satisfied. This trend has brought a spotlight on procurement organizations that are frantically searching for the next big wave of savings opportunities. Most companies agree supply market intelligence is a key enabler in this pursuit. However, many are struggling with the classic “make vs. buy” conundrum as they plan to institutionalize market intelligence into their workings.

Waste Matters! (Food Waste, That Is)


How much food do we waste in America? A lot: 30% to 40% of the food supply ends up in the landfill. In 2010, 133 billion pounds of food was thrown out at retail stores, restaurants and US homes. Today Spend Matters begins a new series on the food supply chain, the amount of food waste we produce and what is being done about it. We think it’s timely, too, as the holidays approach. We will take a look at this important issue gaining national attention and what it means for procurement and the supply chain.

What Does Dim Weight Have To Do With Me?

Off in the nether regions of dirty fingernails supply chain execution, practitioners are leaving work early to stock up on sackcloth and ashes. Oh, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth! It is as if a plague of Biblical proportion had been loosed upon the people. The proximate cause of the hoopla and furor has been the announcement by UPS and FedEx of dimensional weight (dim weight) pricing for its commercial customers. Stripped of all the anti- rhetoric and pro-smooth talking, what dim weight comes down to this is: A parcel of twice the cubic size of another will cost twice as much to ship.

Anticipatory Sourcing: Anticipating What, And When

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Art van Bodegraven. When I use the term Anticipatory Sourcing without setting the stage fully and correctly with an audience, even an audience of one, the reaction is eerily reminiscent of the late and much lamented Richard Pryor exclaiming, "Say what?!?!?" (Shades of the cult classic film, “Stir Crazy.”) But, at the risk of offending and alienating, I will stake out the position that, unless you are doing anticipatory sourcing, you are taking up valuable space that ought to be occupied by someone more motivated, more aware, more understanding and, possibly, even a bit more intelligent.

Improving Contractual Flexibility – The Difference Between Success and Failure (Article 2)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from POD Procurement, a business consultancy that created the POD model. To achieve the maximum savings, buyers need to commit to procuring the goods/services from the suppliers. Once the contract has been awarded, both parties focus on delivery. If the business requirements reduce post-contract award it can lead to a difficult business decision.

The Difference between Success and Failure (Article 1)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from POD Procurement, a business consultancy that created the POD model. In our 3-part series we will explore these 3 core areas of achieving procurement success: Centralized Procurement (Article 1), Improve Contractual Flexibility (Article 2) and Encourage and Reward Post-contract Supplier Innovation/Efficiency Gains (Article 3).

Local Sourcing and Localized Supply Chains for Magma and the Automotive Industry

Auto News recently reported that Magna International, one of the top three auto suppliers based in Canada, has been rethinking its supply chain of late, noting that “local strategy and efficiency improvements as key cost-saving measures within its supply chain.” In particular, supply chain localization was one of three trends within Magna’s supply chain identified by Carrie Van Ess, vice president of procurement for the Americas, at a recent industry briefing. Van Ess said a new supply chain model is emerging in which “goods are produced, sold and consumed in the same geographic region,” according to the article.

Accenture Spend Trends Report: Logistics Market Intelligence – “Get Local” and More

Accenture's Spend Trends Report from Q2 (published in October) covers a number of macroeconomic areas impacting procurement and supply chain costs while also diving into a number of category-specific trends. One area the research brief explores is the logistics market, offering a global perspective on it and opportunities for savings and procurement improvement.