Author Archives: Sydney Lazarus



About Sydney Lazarus

Editor-at-Large - Spend Matters | Sydney is editor-at-large at Spend Matters, where she writes on a variety of supply chain and procurement-related topics. Her reporting interests include labor conditions, corporate social responsibility, and women and millennials in supply chain. Like most of her editorial colleagues, Sydney is an alum of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and a couple places where she chose to be published anonymously.


What are Companies’ Biggest Risk Misconceptions? A Conversation with Coupa Economist Ahmad Sadeddin (Part 2)

As a senior economist and risk expert at Coupa, Ahmad Sadeddin is in a good position to see what companies do well and not so well in terms of risk management. Unfortunately, companies are being put to the test more frequently these days, as risks become more numerous and unpredictable. In this second half of our pre-webinar interview with Sadeddin, the risk expert discusses common risk-related misconceptions, challenges that Coupa’s clients have faced and one recent risk success story that impressed him.

Successes, Failures, Worries: Coupa Economist Ahmad Sadeddin on All Things Risk Related (Part 1)

Are companies paying more attention to risk as they become more sophisticated, or are risks so numerous nowadays that risk management has become a bigger priority? If news headlines are any indication, we are all in need of a few contingency plans. And if you — as a business or as an individual — don’t even know where to start, well, you’re not alone. From hurricanes and earthquakes to Brexit and the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), what is one supposed to look at first?

New Report: For Freelance Engineers or Designers, San Francisco Offers Highest Compensation

If you’re an engineer or designer thinking about going freelance, San Francisco is the place to be, with average hourly rates of $105 and $85 respectively, according to a recent report from Hired, a San Francisco-based tech-centric talent platform. For this report, Hired looked at its own data on contractor workers in the U.S. and the U.K. who used the talent platform. In 2016, this translated to more than 175,000 interview requests and job offers.

Does the Supply Chain Hiring Process Need Revamping? ISM’s M.L. Peck Discusses Talent Gaps and the “30 Under 30” Competition

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The nomination period has opened again for the “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” program, which recognizes some of the most talented young supply chain professionals. (A public service announcement: If you’re interested in nominating someone, you have until Dec. 3!) Organized by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Thomasnet.com, “30 Under 30” is now in its fourth year and just as ambitious as ever in its aim to attract young people to the supply chain field and tackle that notorious talent gap.

What Will Freelance Work Look Like in 2027? MBO Partners Has Some Predictions

Lystable

Currently, some 55 million Americans are independent contractors — 35% of the U.S. workforce. That’s a significant increase from a decade ago, when only one in five American workers were freelancers. What can we expect the situation to look like in another decade? To that end, MBO Partners recently published 10 predictions on what freelance work will look like a decade from now, in 2027.

Dr. Edward Altman and CreditRiskMonitor CEO Jerry Flum on the Looming Corporate Debt Crisis

Debt is a growing problem, both in the U.S. specifically and worldwide. As the Congressional Budget Office announced earlier this year, U.S. debt held by the public is projected to reach 150% of GDP by 2047. Currently, the $19.9 trillion of U.S. public debt equates to about 107% of GDP, according to the Pew Research Center. In short, there’s a mammoth debt problem, which was the title of a webinar that CreditRiskMonitor recently hosted on this very topic.

Chasing After Procurement Excellence: Findings from A.T. Kearney’s Latest Report

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

World-class procurement organizations see a comparatively threefold higher return on their supply management assets, according to A.T. Kearney’s 2017 Assessment of Excellence in Procurement. The firm has been conducting these assessments every three years or so since 1992, and this is its ninth assessment. A.T. Kearney divides companies into four groups based on their ability to manage external spend: Leaders (7%); Aspirants (11%); The Pack (55%); and Strugglers (27%). The “Leaders” are twice as likely to invest in supplier innovation, risk management and digital technologies like blockchain or automation.

New Research: Using Best Practices to Maximize Travel & Expense ROI

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Travel and expense management goes beyond making sure employees aren’t submitting dubious expenses like, say, $1,000 toward adult entertainment or $80 worth of drinks to keep a spouse “calm and occupied” (both of which were real expenses, by the way, as reported by Inc.). According to a new London School of Economics report commissioned by Amadeus, companies can cut the cost of processing a transaction by more than 50% by actively managing T&E and implementing best practices.

‘Ask Spend Matters’ Lightning Round: Marketing Spend, Public Procurement and Finding a Contractor

As we work behind the scenes to turn Ask Spend Matters into a more regular feature, we thought we’d chip away at a few of the reader questions we’ve been sitting on. As managing editor Taras Berezowsky promised last month those who have submitted a question but not heard back, we haven’t forgotten about you! Today’s lightning round edition, if you will, tackles three specific questions on the value versus price debate in marketing spend, where federal agencies find their suppliers and how to find a young person to prepare those boring databases.

Risk Expert Gary Lynch Discusses Hurricane Irma and Supply Chain Insurance (Part 2)

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 in a two-part Q&A. Missed Part 1? Read it here.

The unusually strong and ongoing Atlantic hurricane season prompted us to take a good look at supply chain risk. To that end, we talked to Gary Lynch, founder of The Risk Project (and considered by our own chief research officer Pierre Mitchell as “the best supply risk guru in the world”). In this Part 2 of the Q&A, Lynch talks about different insurances that businesses can consider, which industries are likely to be most affected by Hurricane Irma and why risk can be an asset.

Risk Expert Gary Lynch on Harvey, Irma and Supply Chain Risk and Resilience (Part 1)

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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have come and gone, leaving devastation in their wake and — what’s that? More hurricanes on the way? At the time of writing, tropical storm Jose is expected to become a hurricane and make its way towards the northeastern U.S. Instead of looking at Irma specifically like we did for Harvey, we decided to take a broader look at supply chain risk. To that end, we talked to Gary Lynch, who, according to our chief research officer Pierre Mitchell, is “the best supply risk guru in the world.”

How Well Are Your Peers Doing in Supply Chain CSR? EcoVadis Releases New Report

If you’re a small or medium-sized construction company, congratulations. Chances are you’re doing pretty well in your supply chain corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Likewise if you’re a large company in the financial, legal, consulting and advertising markets. On Tuesday, EcoVadis released its first annual Global CSR Risk and Performance Index, which evaluated 20,400 companies according to 21 criteria related to the environment, labor practices and human rights, fair business ethics and sustainable procurement.