Search Results for: sourcing

Webinar Replay: Check Out Last Week’s Recording on Supplier Collaboration in Strategic Sourcing!

Kyle Fitzsimmons - July 24, 2014 6:49 AM

Did you miss our webinar last week on supplier collaboration in strategic sourcing? Fear not because it is still available. Check out the recording of “Supplier Collaboration in Strategic Sourcing: an Oxymoron?” while it is still here to listen to! Thomas Kase (VP of Research) and Pierre Mitchell (Chief Research Officer) have also written a paper that provides helpful background if this topic is one of particular interest to you.

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New Downloadable Paper Delves Into Sourcing, Supply Chain

Kyle Fitzsimmons - July 22, 2014 2:22 AM

Get the Spend Matters viewpoint on sourcing and its transformation into supply chain with a new, downloadable paper from Jason Busch (managing director). "When Sourcing Becomes Supply Chain" enforces the notion that data-driven analysis in procurement is essential and already underway. This movement can benefit organizations and businesses from various industries, and the paper digs deeper into the continuing outcomes that can be expected when sourcing and supply chain become one and the same.

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Shipping Rates in the Near Term: Weak Demand, Oversupply, and Post-Panamax Ships

Guest Contributor - July 24, 2014 2:24 PM

The shipping markets have been depressed over the past few years, reflecting a combination of persistent weak demand and over capacity. In order to succeed or even survive against this backdrop, carriers have repeatedly tries to implement general rate increases (GRIs). However, most of these have failed to hold, due to the intensive competition in the market and weak price discipline among carriers. Consequently, carriers have shifted their focus to the challenge of how to cut costs. One approach has been to build bigger ships to achieve cost competitiveness. In particular, the growth of large, so-called Post-Panamax ships has been accelerated by the expansion of the Panama Canal project

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How to Cut Software Maintenance and Support Costs (and Fund IT Innovation)

Guest Contributor - July 23, 2014 2:39 PM

The cost just to “keep the lights on” in IT has grown exponentially over the years. Recent studies show that an average of 72 percent of the enterprise IT budget goes to this area, leaving only 28 percent to fund new projects. A big chunk of the 72 percent goes to maintenance and support – and that reality isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Here are four of the best ways to cut maintenance and support costs.

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Supply Chain Cops (and Robbers): On Conflict Minerals Compliance in Secondary Industries

Jason Busch - July 23, 2014 2:37 AM

In a Sourcing Journal Online column that’s a must-read for any industry, Stephan Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), frames the costs and hassle of conflict minerals legislation for the industry he represents. As he writes, “although [the legislation] was aimed at the electronics industry, which is a massive user of these materials, the broad reach of the regulation has ensnared our industry as well. For the past 18 months, U.S. footwear and apparel companies have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours in a desperate effort to come into compliance.”

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Managing Complexity – A Reevaluation of Energy Procurement Strategy

Guest Contributor - July 22, 2014 2:24 PM

There are few areas of corporate spend that invites as much fierce debate in strategy as the area of energy. The sheer number of purchasing mechanisms and strategies available can be overwhelming, and the advice of consultancies and subject matter experts is often contradictory. The combination of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil is frequently one of the top five areas of indirect spend, and some organizations with energy-intensive manufacturing processes build energy expenditures into standard costs. Such a critical and complex category requires a clearly defined management strategy that is flexible enough to evolve with changing internal and external conditions.

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Looking at Supply Chain Risk Like an Insurance Provider: Do Business Here, Not There

Jason Busch - July 21, 2014 2:24 AM

It would be great to have a supply chain risk silver bullet that highlighted specific suppliers that present riskier prospects. That would be financial risk variables, broader supply chain exposure, political risk (of site/factory/host countries), and more. Short of this risk management panacea or expensive one-off analysis, the 2014 FM Global Resilience Index is a fascinating starting point, at least as it pertains to both country specific risk and the overall factors that contribute to supply chain risk.

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Six Sigma Sourcing (and Procurement) – A Bridge Too Far?

Guest Contributor - July 27, 2014 11:40 AM

Six Sigma, the process measurement methodology originally developed by Motorola and popularized by GE, has far-reaching applications beyond its manufacturing roots. Applying the discipline of Six Sigma to improving sourcing and procurement processes will undoubtedly produce systemic and sustainable business process improvement. But the bigger questions for procurement leaders to address in considering Six Sigma are these: What level of performance is realistic, which projects would produce the most benefit, and what enabling technologies will be required to apply the DMAIC principles (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) of Six Sigma effectively?

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The Great Telecom Shakeup – How Will Enterprises Benefit?

Guest Contributor - July 9, 2014 2:42 PM

Unless you’re in the telecom industry, you probably haven’t noticed that it is in the throes of an historic shakeup – one that will have a lasting impact on enterprise buyers. Think of all the M&A deals, plans, and rumors in the market. How does this affect enterprise customers? Will the outcome be in their favor? NPI's Matt West argues yes.

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Cocoa Prices Jump 30 Percent in 18 Months

Guest Contributor - July 7, 2014 2:29 PM

The demand for chocolate remains on the increase despite the soaring cost of the key ingredient, the cocoa bean. The price of cocoa beans has been climbing since early 2013 and reached over $3,100 per metric ton at the end of June - a 37-percent increase since January 2013, and a three-year high. This price increase doesn’t seem to have curbed our desire for chocolate though!

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Rising Crude Oil Prices May Cause Economic Concerns

Guest Contributor - June 30, 2014 2:23 PM

As we get further into the summer months and the weather starts to heat up, so does the price of crude oil. The summer is the driving season and the increase in gasoline consumption means higher demand for crude oil. However, this year there are more than just driving habits causing prices to rise. Crude oil prices in the US have increased by nearly 10 percent since the start of the year, and the international benchmark rose over 5 percent in just the last month. So what’s to blame for the rise in prices?

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What Do You Mean, a Coed Sauna? On Sourcing Activity Synchronization and Customers

Guest Contributor - July 24, 2014 2:26 AM

Art van Bodegraven, managing principal of Van Bodegraven Associates and founding principal of Discovery Executive Services, is back with another essay for Spend Matters. As we look for better ways to integrate and synchronize sourcing and procurement activities intelligently within the greater supply chain, it is easy to become confused about who and where the customers are. You know, the ones we are supposed to be delighting? This is a burning question in both the B2B and the B2C worlds. And the obvious answer is not always the complete answer. For example, when a company's customers are the ones actually paying the bills, and the sales and marketing mission is to get them to buy as much as can be rationalized, plus some extra “just in case,” we cannot afford to overlook sales and marketing as an internal customer, whose needs and demands we must at least recognize.

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FedEx, UPS, and Volumetric Pricing: A Tale of Three Boxes

Guest Contributor - June 19, 2014 1:35 PM

By now, just about every shipper has heard the news: effective January 1, 2015, all FedEx Ground shipments, regardless of size, will be subject to DIM (short fordimensional) charges. For many shippers, this will represent a very hefty increase. Are there any silver linings to these new DIM charges? Probably not much, but If you have high density shipments – over 10.4 lbs per cubic foot – there could be minor benefit to you. First, you were not subject to the DIM before, and will not be under the new rules. Secondly, the carriers will argue that since the shippers with “bad” cube will now be paying their fair share, it might translate into slightly lower annual rate increases in 2015 and beyond.

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Lessons from A&D: When Suppliers Take on an Outsourced Supply Chain Management Role

Jason Busch - June 16, 2014 6:26 AM

It is very easy today to “outsource” indirect procurement (though it’s not something that is necessarily by itself the right decision for companies – we’ll leave that topic for another day). But it’s a more difficult decision, no doubt, to indirectly or directly outsource parts of supply chain management to suppliers. Yet when companies turn to suppliers to provide finished parts and components, they’re doing precisely this, although they might not be hiring a partner such as a BPO to do it on their behalf. The same is also true, mind you, of the “outsourcing” that occurs when working with intermediaries and distributors in other spend areas, including logistics and MRO.

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Shippers, Get Ready – UPS Moves to Dimensional Weight Pricing for Ground Delivery

Guest Contributor - June 25, 2014 2:30 PM

Last week, UPS announced that it will move to dimensional weight pricing for all ground shipments in 2015. For certain packages, the impact of UPS’s changes is huge. For lightweight shipments in packages less than three cubic feet, the price increase could be 30 percent or more. Many shippers won’t be able to handle these cost increases without passing it on to their customers – especially those in industries like retail, where margin is razor thin and consumers are accustomed to low-cost or free shipping options. Here are some things you need to do as soon as possible if you are using FedEx or UPS ground services to ship in 2015.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Insight Sourcing Group – A Provider to Know

Thomas Kase - July 4, 2014 6:48 AM

“When you can’t be bothered to source it on your own” – would be a rather simplistic quip to explain what Insight Sourcing Group does for their customers. The Atlanta-based firm takes a full service and hands-on approach in all sourcing areas. They get their hands dirty analyzing all your spend data and develop a list of sourcing projects that will deliver the best bottom line bang. Over the years they even developed their own spend analytics solution for this purpose – and spun it out into a separate business entity, SpendHQ.

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Methanol, the Cheaper Gasoline Substitute

Guest Contributor - June 23, 2014 2:37 PM

As a fuel substitute, methanol has many advantages. It is greener, cheaper, easily blended with gasoline, and unlike ethanol, its feedstock doesn’t have to compete for food consumption. However, it is not currently part of the US fuel market. In the 80s and early 90s, methanol was used as an alternative fuel in the US, but since then its blending into gasoline has been abandoned, possibly due to limited availability and the high price. Recently though, the methanol industry has been thriving due to the shale gas revolution and the abundance of its cheap feedstock, natural gas. Natural gas prices have fallen 30 percent over the decade while crude oil prices have more than doubled. The price disparity of natural gas over crude oil has invited vast amounts of capital investment into the methanol sector.

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Lessons from A&D in Local Sourcing with Industry Certifications, Regulation, and Offsets

Jason Busch - June 11, 2014 10:16 AM

For those with total cost on their minds, re-shoring remains a hot topic – especially from the standpoint of factoring both price and risk into the supply chain equation. But in certain industries and categories, in-country or local sourcing is in fact the right strategy from the start. I came across an article in AMD that points out just how critically industry certifications and regulation can factor into the sourcing equation for markets such as A&D with specific requirements.

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Billentis Releases 2014 E-Invoicing Report – China and More

Jason Busch - June 19, 2014 10:28 AM

For a while I've been hoping to meet in person with Bruno Koch, the brain behind Billentis (known most for its annual e-invoicing report). My plans to attend and speak at his event last year in Europe did not work out, but I hope to do so at some point in the future. Bruno’s annual compendium is an encyclopedia of e-invoicing activity that explores trends and growth on a global basis. One area that caught my attention in this year’s edition was the evolution of country-specific activity. Bruno had some interesting things to say about China .

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