The Industry News Category

Mitigating Trade War Risks: Do Procurement Organizations Have the Data Needed to Respond?

trade

What’s the best tool procurement organizations have to mitigate risks in the U.S.-China trade war? In a word, data. The Trump administration’s Section 232 and 301 probes have led to billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs, igniting a U.S.-China trade war. And the tit-for-tat duties are only likely to escalate: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in July published a list of additional Chinese goods to tax — to the tune of $200 billion. With everything from vaccines to nuclear reactor parts to metals beyond steel and aluminum up for consideration, escalating trade tensions have introduced numerous unforeseen risks into procurement and supply chain organizations.

U.S. Apparel Industry Scrambles to Diversify Sourcing Strategy in Wake of Escalating U.S.-China Trade War

apparel

For many U.S. companies in the apparel industry, the old sourcing strategy of “made in China” is turning into “China plus Vietnam plus many,” with emphasis on the many. As Washington and Beijing continue to one-up each other’s tariff threats, the prospect of a looming trade war is driving U.S. apparel companies to further diversify their sourcing strategy and shift production away from China. While China remains the top sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel industry, the country now accounts for 11%–30% of companies’ total sourcing volume, compared to 30%–50% in the past.

The Amazon Prime Effect: Rising Expectations for E-Commerce Delivery and Fulfillment

If the 100 million-plus shoppers who pay $119 a year for fast shipping via Amazon Prime are any indication, a smooth and expedient delivery and fulfillment process is crucial to e-commerce success. And expectations are rising. According to a recent survey of 3,000 online shoppers from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., younger generations are particularly critical, with less than half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 saying that they receive their orders on time and in perfect condition. These findings are published in a new report from Radial, “The Everyday Essentials of Successful E-Commerce Fulfillment.”

How AI Forces Procurement to Change the Concept of Contract Management: A Q&A with Seal Software CEO Ulf Zetterberg

contract

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the holy grail of procurement software capabilities, but few vendors have begun to distinguish the plain chalice of useful functionality from the jewel-encrusted goblet of empty marketing promises. This is especially true when it comes to contract management software, which claims numerous possible applications of AI yet few real-life case studies. To learn more about how the contract management software market has evolved in this context, we sat down with Ulf Zetterberg, founder and CEO of Seal Software, a provider of contract discovery, extraction and analytics solutions, to discuss how procurement organizations can tell if AI capabilities are the real deal, as well as how regulatory challenges from GDPR and increased M&A are changing the very concept of CLM.

Are Companies Doing Enough to Prevent Software Supply Chain Attacks?

cyber attack

Software supply chains are at ever higher risk of cyberattacks, a recent report from the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has warned. With seven significant events reported last year — compared to four between 2014 and 2016 — 2017 “represented a watershed in the reporting of software supply chain operations.” NCSC notes that “software supply chain infiltration already threatens the critical infrastructure sector and is poised to threaten other sectors.”

A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Reshoring Index: Has the Reshoring Trend Reversed?

Toyota supply chain

Harley-Davidson was in the news last month when it announced that it would be shifting some production overseas as a result of the E.U.’s planned retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. The American motorcycle manufacturer is also closing its Kansas City factory and opening a plant in Thailand, decisions that were spurred by sluggish domestic sales and the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As it turns out, Harley-Davidson is hardly alone. Since 2013, A.T. Kearney has been tracking reshoring, and its 2018 Reshoring Index shows that the practice has not taken hold.

New Upwork Enterprise Capabilities Support Adoption of Flexible Talent Programs

Upwork, the global online freelancer marketplace, announced Wednesday that it is adding capabilities to its Upwork Enterprise solution that will support businesses in their adoption of online freelancing and other alternative forms of flexible talent. The announcement of the Program Owner Experience capabilities came at Upwork’s second annual Work Without Limits Executive Summit, a gathering of Upwork Enterprise clients.  Upwork Enterprise is Upwork’s technology and managed services solution geared to support larger organizations. Program Owner Experience will provide Upwork Enterprise clients “with the resources and tools they need to drive flexible workforce adoption to build, scale and measure the impact of their flexible talent program,” according to a press release.   

Prices Move South for Brazilian Soft Commodities on Oversupply and a Weak Real

sugar

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Corrina Hutchings, senior market analyst at Mintec.

During the Rio Olympics 2016, we wrote an article on Brazil and the country’s major commodities, predominately sugar and coffee. Differences between the market place back then and in recent months are notable, to say the least.

The Rise of the Social Enterprise (Part 2): Why Corporate Citizenship is Crucial

As the nature of work changes, so too does our understanding of careers. This is one of the most important trends covered in Deloitte’s 100-page 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report. While 84% of respondents who took part in Deloitte’s survey deemed the ability to build a 21st-century career as “important” or “very important,” only 37% think they are ready to do so. Part 1 of this series covered C-suite, contingent workforce and compensation trends. Today’s post will discuss four more trends in human capital: corporate citizenship, corporate wellness, longer careers and the redefinition of the career itself.

Commodities Roundup: The Iron Ore-Steel Disconnect, Gold Prospects and M&A Activity

Chinese demand

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

Penn State’s Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Again Tops Gartner’s 2018 Rankings

Michigan State University

Pennsylvania State University’s supply chain program has once again taken the top spot in Gartner’s 2018 rankings of the top 25 undergraduate supply chain programs in North America. But other rankings have seen some shuffling. Rutgers University and Auburn University were ranked second and third this year, while Michigan State University’s supply chain program, previously ranked second, has fallen to the fourth spot.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List: August 2018 [Plus+]

Welcome to the August edition of Spend Matters’ monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to Plus and PRO subscribers.

While the months of May and June were on the cool side, we saw a return to hot technology and innovation temperatures in July. Perhaps it’s extreme weather patterns? CW/S climate change?

Indeed, new hotspots could be found across the entire space, from the established core of traditional suppliers and intermediaries to new solutions that either complement or challenge the core (or both). While there has been friction and overheating on the demand side, developments on the supply side have also been heating up, with the mercury rising in places across the globe.

Now that our warmup is complete, let’s begin our first routine.