Author Archives: Jason Busch

About Jason Busch

Jason Busch is the founder and Managing Director of Azul Partners (a media, publishing and advisory firm with ownership and management interest in a range of ventures). He started Azul Partners in 2004 after leaving FreeMarkets. The firm now controls the largest and most influential set of B2B, procurement and supply chain media and research resources online, reaching millions of readers and members each year through diverse properties including: Spend Matters, Spend Matters Plus/PRO, Spend Matters UK/Europe, Spend Matters Netherlands, MetalMiner, Public Spend Forum, Trade Financing Matters and Healthcare Matters. He is also active as a partner in Spend Matters Group, an advisory firm, which works with companies and private funds on transactional advisory and due diligence in the procurement, finance and supply chain areas. Jason is known for his role in shaping (and shaking up) the analyst, media and technology industries. He spends most of his time working on new ventures, helping put together strategic investments and buyouts for companies & private funds, and of course, continuing to research, write about and lecture on procurement, finance and supply chain topics that capture his interest. Prior to Azul Partners and FreeMarkets, Jason worked in consulting and merchant banking. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Exploring Supply Chain Risk: Sole Sourcing

- December 10, 2014 6:06 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

1414463807otqd6 A recent study by the supply chain faculty at the University of Tennessee, Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain, highlights one key area supply chain risk many procurement organizations do not often consider as primary supply risk considerations: sole sourcing. Sole sourcing involves working with a single supplier for a given SKU, item or service.

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Supply Chain Risk: The Facility Link

- December 9, 2014 10:04 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

file6831280608850 When it comes to supply chain risk, most organizations initially begin by considering the overall risk that a supplier might introduce. But examining supply chain risk at the factory or distribution facility (DC) level can be just as important to understand specific risk factors and interdependencies. The supply chain faculty at the University of Tennessee published a study, Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain, which suggests that 47% of companies do not have backup plans in place for a factory or DC shutdown.

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DHL’s Global Connectedness Index: Miles and More

- December 9, 2014 6:28 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Networks

As we conclude our look at some of the (very) high level highlights from DHL’s Global Connectedness Index report, we’ll end with two items that caught our attention. The first is a fascinating statistic looking at the global average distance traversed by international interactions.

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The Comparative Immaturity of Services Procurement – Is the Tech and Services Ecosystem Coming Up Short?

- December 9, 2014 2:37 AM | Categories: Procurement, Supply Chain

In the next 2 weeks, Spend Matters will release a survey report examining differences between how companies manage services procurement and supply chain efforts (with a focus on contingent labor) relative to indirect and direct materials. We are looking at the study, which is based on a sample size of 144, as the first major effort that has been made toward covering the services procurement market the way in which it needs to be covered, compared to the silo-based approach that we (and others) have taken in the past. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, offers a preview of some areas of our research findings and begins to point the finger at the existing solution provider ecosystem for coming up short in delivering comparable procurement solutions to direct and indirect spend.

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Supply Chain Risk: Challenges We’re Ignoring, Solutions We Don’t Know About

- December 8, 2014 10:16 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Management, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

broken-dangerous-lake-1087-849x550 There is no shortage of studies on supply chain risk (I co-authored my first one in the area roughly 12 years ago). But, it would appear that procurement and supply chain managers are not taking action based on what they read (or chose to ignore). A study by the faculty in the supply chain/operations program at the University of Tennessee, Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain, published earlier this summer, begins by highlighting what appears to be a lack of attention being paid to the overall supply chain risk equation, including all of the available solutions (such as insurance) that can mitigate risk.

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Exploring the Government Threat to Globalization: Our Continued Analysis of DHL’s Global Connectedness Index

- December 8, 2014 6:40 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Networks

We often take the positive side of globalization for granted. Yet the rise in anti-dumping cases (some with merits no doubt, some without) filed by US companies suggests that global trade is not necessarily free trade in an equal sense. Yet staying vigilant by not overreacting from a policy standpoint is of critical importance. In this regard, DHL’s Global Connectedness Index has some recommended guidance that we should all pay closer attention to.

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MBO Partners: Exploring the Corporate Value Proposition

- December 8, 2014 2:45 AM | Categories: Solution Providers, Vendor Snapshots

In Part 1 of our analysis of MBO Partners, we considered how the firm provides a range of unique capabilities for independent consultants and freelance workers. This begins with tests to show (for their clients) whether or not they are compliant with regulatory guidelines for working independently and additional capabilities that span through payroll, withholding, expense management, invoicing and more. MBO’s solution also includes what Spend Matters believes is probably the only “live” case of technology-intermediated trade financing in the freelancer/contingent market today. As our look into MBO Partners continues in Part 2 of our analysis, we will consider the buyer-side view of the independent consultant/freelancer equation with MBO Partners and the broader vendor management system (VMS), freelancer management system (FMS) and managed services provider (MSP) ecosystem.

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Are Emerging Economies Better Connected Than Established Ones?: Our Continued Analysis of DHL’s Global Connectedness Index

- December 5, 2014 6:34 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Networks

Are emerging economies better than established ones when it comes to connectivity with other nations and trading partners? Perhaps, which is at once both ironic and not on a range of levels. Regardless, this is specifically what DHL’s Global Connectedness Index suggests. The report notes, “Emerging economies are reshaping global connectedness and are now involved in the majority of international interactions. The 10 countries where global connectedness increased the most from 2011 to 2013 are all emerging economies.”

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Supply Chain Localization Rarely a Priority: Our Continued Analysis of DHL’s Global Connectedness Index (Part 3)

- December 4, 2014 6:49 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

file0001110809384 One of the somewhat surprising trends in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index is that “Advanced economies have not kept up with the big shift of economic activity to emerging economies.” This might seem surprising on the surface – increasingly larger companies are mobilizing localized supply chains to serve regional global markets. Yet the question remains: Are we doing it enough?

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Capturing Talent: The Millennial Disconnect

- December 3, 2014 10:07 AM | Categories: Learning / Research

My friend and colleague Paul Teague recently penned a curious column at Procurement Leaders showing a surprising disconnect in perception between the millennial workforce and those managing it (not necessarily procurement specific). Referencing a SAP survey titled Workforce 2020, Paul observes some statistics that caught me off guard (based on what I’ve seen working with the millennial generation).

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What Procurement Doesn’t Know Matters – Our Continued Analysis of DHL’s Global Connectedness Index

- December 3, 2014 6:14 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning

file0001684441929 One of the top trends in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index is a movement toward greater connectivity between countries, reversing trends from prior years. The authors note, for example, that “global connectedness started to deepen again in 2013 after its recovery stalled in 2012.” Yet the rise of interconnectivity, as measured by trade, is still tepid.

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DHL’s Global Connectedness Index – A Must Read For Supply Chain and Procurement Professionals

While some of the more advanced procurement organizations that we know and work with have reached the “devolution” phase of maturity – i.e., centralized support and enablement but with localized, decentralized execution and capability – the general linkages of global supply chains is a trend that is likely not to reverse itself. Even as companies localize supply chains rather than center global sourcing efforts from an export perspective, interconnectivity between countries and organizations is rising, not falling. For companies that are increasingly “sourcing locally,” the underlying sources of supply for lower-tier materials, semi-finished goods and ingredients are becoming more reliant on global sources. With this in mind, DHL’s academic, yet outstanding Global Connectedness Index should be required reading for those with any sort of global orientation or interest within supply chain and procurement.

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