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.


Nimble Buying: A Guide to P2P Solutions for Mid-Market Companies

Procure-to-pay needs can be quite different for the large corporations of the Fortune 500 and small and medium-sized companies, yet the former has tended to dominate. Fortunately, now there are plenty of flexible and economical solutions that meet mid-market companies’ P2P needs and budgets. Xavier Olivera, lead P2P analyst at Spend Matters, and Justin Holden, a vice president of sales at Yooz, recently presented a webinar geared towards the mid-market company, Year of the Nimble Buyer: Quick-Hit Tools for P2P Success in 2018.

Thomas/ISM’s Newest “30 Under 30” Rising Supply Chain Stars Value the Greater Good

For four years now, Thomas and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) have partnered in holding the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program and showcasing the most talented young supply chain professionals out there. Earlier this month, they announced the results of the 2017 competition. To learn more about this year’s rising supply chain stars, Spend Matters spoke with Deb Stanton, executive director at ISM; Tony Uphoff, president and CEO of Thomas; and Rita Lieberman, director of marketing communications at Thomas. We came away truly impressed by the talented young professionals in supply chain today.

Apple Expands Supplier Audit, Publishes Results in Latest Annual Progress Report

hidden workers

For 12 years, Apple has published reports on its supplier audits, and the 2018 Progress Report was released earlier this month. In 2017, Apple conducted audits of 756 suppliers in 30 countries, including 197 suppliers that were audited for the first time. The expanded audit unearthed 48 “core” violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct, double the number from the year before. However, the good news is that the overall trend is toward greater compliance.

Deloitte’s 2018 Global CPO Survey Reveals Doubts About Digital Tech and Easing Talent Worries

Catalant

The latest picture of the state of procurement looks to be a cautiously rosy one. While most procurement leaders feel supported by their executives, they are unsure whether they are contributing significant strategic value. Compared with last year, more procurement leaders believe that their teams have sufficient capabilities to deliver on their procurement strategy, but they are still not the majority. And while they have high hopes for the potential of analytics to transform their profession, only a third of them are taking advantage of such technologies. These insights come from Deloitte’s 2018 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey, now in its eighth year.

Product Quality Top Concern Among Europe’s Sourcing Professionals in Recent Survey

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Concerns over product quality are top of mind for European companies that source abroad, according to Amber Road’s recently released 2018 E.U. Sourcing Survey Report. The complexity of international trade compliance is a close second. This insight comes from a survey Amber Road conducted of more than 150 respondents from companies based in the European Union. Sixty-four percent of the respondents represent companies that source from more than 10 countries, and 54% have at least 100 suppliers across their sourcing regions.

Haven’t Experienced a Significant Supply Chain Disruption in the Past Year? You’re Among the Lucky Few

supply chain disruption

Riskmethods recently commissioned a survey of more than 250 senior procurement executives around the world to see what strategies they’re using to manage risk in their supply chains, and the results were published in a white paper, Procuring Risk: The State of Risk Management and Mitigation in Today’s Global Supply Chain. The report found that avoiding significant supply disruptions is a top priority for senior procurement executives. These events are also not uncommon occurrences, as the vast majority of the survey respondents reported that they experienced at least one supply chain incident in the past 12 months that led to a significant disruption.

Applying Strategic Sourcing to Talent Management: What You Need to Know

interview

By 2020, more than half of the U.S. workforce will be involved in contingent work. Companies are rethinking their talent management strategies accordingly, and those that are familiar with strategic sourcing may already be a couple steps ahead. How strategic sourcing can be applied to talent management was the topic of a webinar that Spend Matters analysts Jason Busch and Andrew Karpie presented last month with NextSource’s chief executive, Catherine Candland, and senior program director, Jim Gallagher. NextSource has been in the contingent workforce business for the past two decades.

North American Staffing Sector Optimistic on 2018 Revenue, Concerned by Skills Shortages

North American staffing and recruiting professionals are overall optimistic on revenue, according to Bullhorn’s 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report, although challenges such as skills shortages remain salient. In a survey of 1,442 staffing and recruiting professionals, three-quarters anticipated an increase in 2018 revenue as compared to 2017 revenue. Twenty percent of the respondents predicted revenue to increase by more than 25%. Small firms were more optimistic than their larger counterparts.

From Process Efficiency to Savings: 12 KPIs for Business Spend Management

spend visibility

Coupa recently released its 2018 benchmark report on measuring business spend management success by means of 12 key performance indicators (KPIs). The 12 KPIs, which cover process efficiency, digitization, compliance and savings, were based on anonymized data from the top quintile of Coupa customers’ performance in each KPI. In this post, we will look in more depth at each of the four categories

New Report Warns that More Affordable Artificial Intelligence May Be a Blow to Cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence is becoming more affordable and available to different companies and industries. However, this also means more risks in the realms of digital, physical and political security, warns a new report co-written by a team of 26 AI researchers from prominent American and British universities and think tanks. There are a number of reasons AI can bring about a new level of risk. Most AI researchers believe that AI will exceed human performance in a wide range of tasks within the next 50 years — and if an AI system can lead to better farming practices, it can certainly also conduct more devastating cyberattacks. AI can allow for a greater degree of anonymity and distance for the human actor. And AI systems tend to be efficient and scalable.

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds

mining

For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

Beyond Logistics: 6 Non-Traditional Categories Where Companies Should Apply Sourcing Optimization

What exactly is sourcing optimization, and where can it be applied, besides the obvious areas? Earlier this month, Spend Matters analysts Michael Lamoureux and Tom Finn teamed up with Garry Mansell, sourcing optimization general manager at Coupa, on a webinar on this very topic, “Sourcing Optimization in New Categories: A ‘How-To’ Guide.” As the webinar title suggests, this isn’t about logistics or MRO, but rather some more non-traditional categories — six to be exact — where sourcing optimization can bring significant savings.