Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts now include tracking cobalt as well as conflict minerals, according to the company’s 11th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report released Monday. Last year, Apple announced it had achieved 100% third-party auditing of conflict mineral suppliers. This year, Apple was able to publish a complete list of its cobalt smelters, all of which have participated in third-party auditing. In another milestone, Apple’s suppliers have also achieved 100% UL 2799 Zero Waste to Fill validation for all final assembly sites in China.
The Industry News Category
Since mid-2016, we’ve only heard a few reports about work platform business Lystable, and there has been almost no news about Lystable in the press to date. That is, of course, until the company announced recently that it had completed a $10 million Series A round, bringing total funding to $21 million and doubling the company’s valuation since June of last year. To get a sense of what Lystable was up to, we arranged a call with founder and CEO Peter Johnston to obtain his insights.
On Becoming a CPO and Procurement Transformation at SAP: An Interview with Dr. Marcell Vollmer (Part 1)
At SAP Ariba LIVE last week, I had the chance to catch up with Dr. Marcell Vollmer, who, despite his degree, comes off as anything but an academic. The discussion quickly turned into an interview because I was most curious about his past role as an almost “accidental CPO” at SAP before he became the chief digital officer for SAP Ariba. I’ll share my notes and commentary from the interview below in this three-part series, and also invite others (including Marcell) to chime in with anything else to add in the comments section — or if I missed anything important to note.
At SAP Ariba LIVE Wednesday, the main stage presentation featured an overview of the 2017 Ariba Network roadmap, during which the SAP Ariba team surveyed multiple areas it is investing in that will be delivered throughout 2017. Certainly more so than before, the Ariba Network really is at the core of SAP Ariba’s functional and enablement strategy going forward, including applications and partner apps that will eventually begin to blur the line with functionally-oriented modules that SAP Ariba also sells.
The future of the Ariba Network is arguably the future of SAP Ariba. As more content, intelligence and capability shifts into not just the cloud but the space between companies, network and platform-based connectivity will become increasingly important for procurement and suppliers alike. Connectivity is even now forming the basis of competition in the procure-to-pay market, with SAP Ariba competitors like Tradeshift making the argument to potential customers that the platform matters as much — or more — than application capability alone. In a series of posts this week, we’ll tackle the past, present and future of the Ariba Network, as well as the SAP Ariba platform.
SAP Ariba and ConnXus announced a new partnership Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE. ConnXus is one of the last remaining independent supplier diversity vendors with any scale, although still a small firm itself. There are only a few hundred people in the procurement industry who have tracked the market for supplier diversity databases and software solutions over the years and know it well. Those familiar with this area know that the road to tapping supplier innovation and managing diversity spend through these tools has been paved with the great intentions of vendors that somehow got sidetracked along the way.
SAP Ariba and Mercado Libre announced Tuesday a partnership in support of regional tail spend and spot buying initiatives for corporate procurement organizations. The coming together of the two providers might seem odd at first glance but makes sense for several reasons.
The VMSA Live conference will be kicking off in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 4 — and I am definitely here beating the drum as a big supporter. This will be my third year attending, and this time I will be a lead contributor in two sessions. Over those three years, I’ve seen number of attendees grow rapidly to an expected 400 this year, and I have seen the unique character of the event shape and solidify. In fact, I’d hesitate to call the event a conference — it’s more like a tribal gathering with many powwows where contingent workforce managers, technology and service providers and workforce suppliers can exchange practical knowledge and experience and learn from one another.
Earlier Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE, Dr. Matthias Dohrn, CPO at BASF, outlined his organization’s approach to supplier management using SAP Ariba. He began his talk by sharing one of the best equations we’ve ever heard to refute the notion that technology alone benefits procurement: PP + NT = EPP. Specifically, poor processes (PP) + new tech (NT) = expensive poor processes (EPP)! Dohrn noted during his talk that BASF partnered with SAP Ariba to develop a supplier management capability suited to its needs and processes — which, you guessed it, came before the technology.
SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger and a number of colleagues took to the main stage at SAP Ariba LIVE Tuesday morning to present an update on SAP Ariba’s operations, products and strategy. The discussions were interspersed with customer stories from procurement executives at Johnson & Johnson, BASF and Nielsen. Also, Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vakil made a brief appearance to talk about her firm and the evolution of supply risk management.
At the analyst session that marked the start of SAP Ariba LIVE Monday, SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger kicked things off by sharing a few numbers and observations on what’s trending within SAP Ariba and its customer base. Here are some of the points in his talk.
SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: SAP’s Procurement Transformation, Ariba AI, Direct Procurement, FreeMarkets Alumni and More
Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and I arrived in Las Vegas Monday for the start of SAP Ariba LIVE. We’ll be bringing you both live and more detailed coverage from the event in the coming days and weeks, including a deeper look of where SAP Ariba is headed on Spend Matters PRO. After landing yesterday, I rushed into a number of end-of-day activities. The first stop was an interview with Marcell Vollmer, SAP’s former CPO. Marcell shared his history at SAP and the story of his firm’s own procurement transformation.