Author Archives: Sydney Lazarus



Afternoon Coffee: Sears Holdings in Jeopardy, Low-Cost Manufacturing… in the U.S.?

Sears and Kmart are the latest brick-and-mortar stores struggling to stay financially afloat in an e-commerce world. Parent company Sears Holdings has said that there is “substantial doubt” whether the two retailers will survive. Changing supply chain economics has meant that companies are beginning to look to the U.S. for lower-cost manufacturing. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

Afternoon Coffee: Whole Foods Tightens Tuna Sourcing, VW’s New Cloud-Based Truck Ecosystem

Whole Foods is holding itself to a higher bar when it comes to sourcing tuna. The natural foods supermarket chain released new tuna sourcing guidelines, which require suppliers to use software that tracks the tuna supply chain from vessel to can, monitoring for any unauthorized fishing. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chain.

Afternoon Coffee: Meat Processors Under Investigation, U.S. Manufacturing Output Up 0.5%

Talk about news that leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. The BBC reports that Brazil’s largest meat processors are accused of having sold rotten beef and poultry for years. Investigators alleged that the companies used acid and other chemicals to mask the quality of their products, in addition to using potato, water and cardboard paper as fillers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

On Expense Management, Mileage Fraud and GPS: An Interview with Runzheimer’s Mike Bassi

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Recently I talked to Mike Bassi, director of partnerships at Runzheimer, a provider of mobile workforce solutions that works with more than 1,300 companies. One of Runzheimer’s areas of expertise is mileage spend, and I was curious to hear about technological advances in expense management from a provider’s point of view — as well as ask about how common low-level expense fraud is.

ISM/ThomasNet’s Newest “30 Under 30” Rising Supply Chain Stars Are Tech Savvy and Well Traveled

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Thomasnet.com have announced the winners of the 2016 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program, which serves the dual purposes of recognizing promising young professionals and encouraging the millennial generation to pursue careers in supply chain. Now in its third year, the competition has undergone a significant change by opening up to the international level, whereas nominees were previously limited to the United States.

Must-Know Practices for Adopting Contingent Workforce/Services Procurement Technology

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Many organizations are beginning to adopt new contingent workforce/services (CW/S) procurement solutions. Why now? In short, it’s because new underlying technologies are available to enable new solution approaches and organizations are compelled to make use of these technologies to address changes in talent supply, whether it’s skill shortages, generational shifts or changes in attitudes and behaviors.

ICYMI: Tackling the Complex, Multifaceted “Hairy Beast” of Risk Management

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Last Friday, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell teamed up to present the webinar Risk and Compliance Management: Embedding Risk Management in Procurement and Supply Chain. Busch and Mitchell began with a segmentation of the types of supplier and supply chain risk and compliance management technologies out there, before moving into the topics of how to embed these technologies throughout your procurement and supply chain functions. They discussed the best ways to create linkages with other areas of procurement technologies, as well as how to create a procurement culture that is risk-aware.

Afternoon Coffee: Trump to Review Car Emissions Regulation, Intel to Pay $15.3B for Mobileye

President Donald Trump will meet auto executives and workers near Detroit on Wednesday, beginning the process of reexamining the Obama administration’s vehicle efficiency standards. And Intel has agreed to pay $15.3 billion for the Israeli technology company Mobileye, which specializes in making sensors and cameras for driverless cars. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

Where to Find Sustainably and Ethically Made Apparel? Ask Project JUST

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Last month, I came across an article on Medium about Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and a group of six researchers’ attempt to unravel the supply chain behind the apparel. Sure, the fact that she is the daughter of President Donald Trump may have given the matter its newsworthiness — after all, plenty of celebrities lend their names to clothing lines — but I was curious whether Ivanka’s “women who work” platform extended to employees farther down the supply chain. Do women’s rights to, say, maternity leave, apply to the female factory worker sewing dresses in China or Indonesia — or just to the women buying those dresses?

Afternoon Coffee: Coca-Cola’s Supply Chain Goes Mobile, Old St Labs Partners With Vodafone

Coca-Cola is encouraging small retailers to use a mobile app in sending order requests to local distributors, who bid on the deal – and then gig workers are enlisted to help with delivery. As Alan Boehme, the company's chief innovation officer for global IT, put it, “In the white spaces in the ecosystem between partners, bottling facilities and consumers, there’s an opportunity for disruption.” Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

Spend Matters Book Club: Must-Read Books for Procurement Professionals

A recent good read on how data, algorithms and internal biases affect our lives caused me to wonder: what other books, while not nominally related to procurement, have pertinent takeaways? To find out, I asked around. Responses ranged from the rare oddity to the classics of the business canon, with suggestions from the Spend Matters team and practitioners alike. Welcome to the first meeting of the Spend Matters Book Club.

Successful Women in Procurement and Supply Chain Share Career Advice

Today is International Women’s Day, and the United Nations has selected “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-5o by 2030” as this year’s theme. The idea, as you can probably tell, is to push towards a 50/50 balance in men and women’s economic empowerment. Procurement and supply chain remain a male-dominated profession. So in honor of International Women’s Day, I asked women holding mid-level to senior roles in this field for a few pieces of career advice for their fellow female procurement professionals. Here's what they had to say.