Author Archives: Guest Contributor

Trucking Rates Expected to Stay Steady in 2014 and Accelerate in 2015

IHS anticipates that 2014 will see weak prices for trucking, with the truckload sector experiencing flat prices and the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector experiencing only mild gains. The second half of the year is expected to be stronger than the first, but this improvement may be delayed, resulting in a weaker 2014 than forecasted before. This is particularly true in the truckload sector, where rates have had little growth recently.

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Arabica Coffee Prices On the Rise Following Three-Year Decline

- April 14, 2014 2:32 PM | Categories: Commodities, Guest Post, Price Forecast

In November we wrote about the falling prices of coffee. Now, only five months later, things have certainly changed. After nearly three years of falling prices, Arabica coffee prices on the ICE took a turn in the opposite direction towards the end of last year and have now shot up over 35 percent since the beginning of 2014.

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How Organizations Extend Lean to Their Supply Chains

- April 12, 2014 12:11 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supply Chain Management

APQC recently conducted in-depth interviews of organizations that have embraced lean concepts throughout the enterprise, including in their supply chain functions. We focused on winners of the Shingo Prize, which recognizes organizations for operational excellence. Two of the organizations APQC interviewed, Lycoming Engines and US Synthetic, adopted lean processes internally but have extended these programs to their suppliers so that they can provide the best value to their customers.

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It’s Time for a “Smartphone” Approach to Spend Management

- April 11, 2014 11:36 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Spend Management, Technology

Up until now, our thinking about spend management, and expense management as a subset of that, has been informed by the tools that we’ve had at our disposal, just like our thinking about communication was informed by the tools we had before smartphones. It used to be that we just thought of the phone as a way to talk to people who were not with us physically. If you wanted to text them, you could do that with a pager; if you wanted to email them, you could do that with your computer.

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Does Procurement Truly Appreciate the Value of P2P?

Are people in your business actually buying against the contracts you spent so much time negotiating? When Xoomworks' Simon Hurst poses this question to procurement practitioners at conferences, the answer he gets often is that there is another team taking care of it. Achieving this is partly down to having a solid and well-implemented Purchase to Pay (P2P) system, or even better a fully integrated Source to Pay (S2P) system with contract management. Having the ability to turn your sourcing event into an awarded contract and catalogue that can then be purchased against is immensely powerful and also allows you to track spend against your contracts—in other words, compliance.

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Water, Water Nowhere and Not a Drop for Wheat to Drink

- April 9, 2014 2:58 PM | Categories: Analysis, Commodities, Guest Post

Despite global increases in wheat production, the United States and India have actually seen drops in recent years. That trend could persist as experts are predicting as much as a 3 percent decrease in yield from last year. A drought could have a serious effect on all crops this summer and if the production of maize or soybeans decreases, expect wheat prices to spike.

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Maximizing Group Procurement Impact in Conglomerates

- April 8, 2014 2:45 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Procurement, Sourcing

Premature demise and steady-state stagnation are two things that often lead to less effective group procurement functions within conglomerates. There are remedies to underachieving group procurement functions, however. Pranav Padgaonkar of GEP explains how to get the most out of centralized procurement and strategic sourcing.

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Successful System Implementation Means Better Not Just Faster

- April 7, 2014 2:30 PM | Categories: Commentary, Guest Post, P2P, Verian Technologies

Too often speed is the most valued aspect of a P2P system rollout. However, best-in-class P2P providers balance rapid implementation with effective strategy and high quality execution to expedite quick gains in efficiency and compliance. Understanding what makes the implementation process better is the only way to pick a P2P provider.

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Bid Rigging in a Competitive Market: What Should You Look For?

- April 4, 2014 6:30 AM | Categories: Commentary, Guest Post, Industry News, Perspective

Despite the Sherman Act, bid rigging still exists in many shapes and sizes and is difficult to detect. Almost all forms of bid-rigging schemes have one thing in common: an agreement among some or all of the bidders, which predetermines the winning bidder and limits or eliminates competition among the conspiring vendors. Jim Kiser of GEP breaks down how exactly it happens.

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Ethanol Prices Surge

- April 3, 2014 2:30 PM | Categories: Analysis, Commodities, Guest Post

smokestack Samatha Miles of Mintec discusses the cost of rising ethanol prices since the beginning of 2014. A number of factors, including our beloved polar vortex, contributed to the trend. Things could turn around, however.

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Shipping Costs Encounter More Volatility as Regulatory Fallout Becomes Clear

- April 2, 2014 2:25 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Logistics, Sourcing

Jim Haller from NPI explains how changes made to hours of service, an expected driver shortage, and other regulatory changes affect carrier capacity going forward. Carriers may not be able to absorb the financial implications of these changes, which would transfer costs to shippers (and thus increase the price of services).

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Latin America E-Invoicing 2014 Update: Summary of Requirements

- March 28, 2014 2:28 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Invoicing and EIPP

I have written over the past few weeks on the requirements in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. I chose these as they have specific mandates that will have an effect on the Account Payable processes. In today’s post, I’m going to provide a summary of what to look for as you approach these countries -- and Latin America in general -- from the AP and Shared Services perspective.

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