Category Archives: Industry News

CSR is Practice – Chipotle Runs Out of Suppliers With Capacity

As is common in many "sustainable" and "diverse" areas in procurement (they are often grouped together and managed by the same director), it is hard to find suppliers with capacity. This is an evergreen topic among all supplier diversity professionals – how to get small and diverse firms to scale. Suppliers need capacity if they want to work with Fortune 500 firms looking to maintain a consistent customer experience nationwide. Chipotle has already found this out with its beef. And now, Chipotle has pulled pork from the menu at 600 of its restaurants across the country – not because of trichinosis outbreaks, but because of supplier practices.

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Commodity Watch: Oil Prices Hit New Low This Week As Supplies Continue to Grow

- January 13, 2015 10:16 AM | Categories: Commodities, Industry News

Last week oil prices fell to a near 5-year low. But this week, they have slid even further, reaching 6-year lows. As of Monday, benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 4% to $46.46 a barrel, and Brent crude hit $48.12. West Texas crude prices have plummeted 57% since last June. Gasoline prices, too, are down considerably from last year. Regular grade gasoline now averages $2.13 a gallon. In January 2014, prices averaged $3.31. What does this mean for procurement? Read on...

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China’s Freight System Future: Is a High-Speed Rail Possible?

- January 8, 2015 10:05 AM | Categories: China, Industry News, Supply Chain, Technology, UK/Europe

path-railroad-rails-1425-525x350 Next month, the Chinese will be celebrating its new year with Spanish wine, olive oil and ham, sent to China from Madrid on the world’s now longest rail route. The Eurasia rail link stretches more than 8,100 miles from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu to Madrid, Spain. The route, which is longer than the Trans-Siberian railway and the Orient Express, also has stops in various European and Asian countries including Poland, Germany and Russia along the way. The rail line has been dubbed China’s “New Silk Road,” and one source called it “the project of the new century” and “the greatest trade story” the world will see for the next 10 years. But, China may be setting it sights even higher, aiming for a high-speed freight train in the future.

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Oil Prices Continue to Slide in 2015 – Procurement Should be Ready

- January 6, 2015 10:06 AM | Categories: Commodities, Industry News, Supply Chain

Oil Pumps Oil prices had a tough 2014, and the start of the New Year is turning out to be even worse. Oil prices have sunk lower than any other commodity. The US oil index fell below $50 a barrel this week, representing a more than 50% drop since June and a level not seen since April 2009. What does this mean for procurement?

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You’re Invited! 2015 Procurement Predictions Webinar Series (Part 1)

- January 6, 2015 9:39 AM | Categories: Ask the Expert, Best Practice, Industry News, Procurement

Throughout January and February, all of our Ask the Expert webinars will be exclusively focused on our collective 2015 Procurement Predictions, put together by the entire Spend Matters analyst team. Best of all? This series is open to ALL Plus/PRO members AND procurement practitioners. Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell will be kicking off the series this Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, from 10-10:30 a.m. Central, so don't miss it! Click here to register.

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Spend Matters Portfolio – a 2014 Round-up (Part 2)

- December 30, 2014 2:52 AM | Categories: Industry Analysts, Industry News, Vendor Snapshots

Yesterday, in Part 1, we looked at the individual firms whose shares we included in our Spend Matters 2014 stock portfolio. The portfolio is headed for a pretty flat performance over the year in terms of valuation, but that includes some big variations between firms. Note that our comments here purely relate to what you might call the “corporate events” of the year, and major factors that have affected the share price. It has only a limited reflection, for instance, on the products and services that procurement people might actually use (although obviously if a firm’s share price collapses, there is usually a reason). Anyway, here is the second batch of firms – in alphabetical order – from our portfolio.

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Spend Matters Portfolio – A 2014 Round-Up

- December 29, 2014 2:53 AM | Categories: Analysis, Industry News

With 2014 almost over, we give you the latest on the Spend Matters Portfolio and how our stocks performed over the year. We will report again at the start of the year and cover the final results of 2014 in terms of overall performance and any big moves in December. We will also see if there was a miracle recovery in December for the portfolio selected by Jason Busch, which was running well behind my selection at the end of November.

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One Company’s Woes of the West Coast Port Slowdown

- December 23, 2014 8:07 AM | Categories: Industry News, Sourcing, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

As negotiations for West Coast port workers drag on, and productivity at those ports continues at a crawl, companies are being forced to use alternative, and costly, shipping methods. Ensuring holiday orders are delivered? Forget about it. One company we spoke to recently - Wahoo Fitness - gave up hope it would be able to fulfill all orders by Christmas.

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What Re-establishing Diplomatic Relationships With Cuba Means For the Supply Chain

- December 19, 2014 2:29 PM | Categories: Analysis, Industry News, Supply Chain

We are still far from making any comparison with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, however, this is big news for Cubans in particular and it can be a good economic opportunity for the US, too - and not just cigar aficionados. Let's set aside concerns over the oppressive leadership in Cuba and just look at the good news. While there is still a lot to figure out, this is one step toward Cuba's globalization, but not necessarily toward democratization. At Spend Matters, we try to go beyond the political implications and also analyze the potential implications for, or opportunities to, American and Cuban businesses and their supply chains.

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J.P. Morgan Loses Its CPO

- December 18, 2014 6:29 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Industry News

J.P. Morgan is without a chief procurement officer. Richard Buccarelli, who served as CPO and had been with the bank since 2009, left the company several weeks ago. Why Buccarelli left was not made clear, and it's unclear what his next move may be.

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Falling Oil Prices Reduce Oil Company Spending – and Procurement Costs

- December 11, 2014 6:48 AM | Categories: Commodities, Industry News, Procurement

On Monday, crude oil prices hit a 5-year low, with the American oil benchmark trading around $63 per barrel. Oil prices had dropped 40 percent since the summer and hit a level not seen since July 2009. The impacts of these plummeting oil prices are being seen throughout the industry – from major oil companies slashing 2015 spending and production outlooks, to others cutting jobs and some considering whether or not to continue developing major projects. But there are also benefits for procurement organizations (outside of oil and gas firms).

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West Coast Port Contract Negotiations Resume, But is it Too Late to Help Holiday Shipments?

- December 4, 2014 10:02 AM | Categories: Industry News, Supply Chain

Contract talks between West Coast port union workers and terminal operators were set to resume earlier this week, following a nearly month-long slowdown in port activity in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere in the region. Read on to see how these stalled contract negotiations are impacting the holiday season and the supply chain.

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