The Procurement Strategy & Planning 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.

5 Reasons Supply Base Rationalization Can Be the Enemy of Effective Procurement Spend Management

category management

Traditionally, procurement organizations have been advised to consolidate their supplier base (with the handful of suppliers with the greatest percentage of purchases), negotiate strong contractual discounts and encourage their employees to purchase from these preferred vendors at the prenegotiated pricing. On the surface, rationalizing an organization’s supply base can seem like an effective way to improve procurement performance. By rationalizing the number of suppliers that enterprises work with, procurement leaders can reduce costs, improve quality and save the time of procurement teams who are too often lost in the arduous process of managing indirect tail spend. However, due to the rise of more advanced B2B e-commerce platforms and highly volatile pricing fluctuations for products, the supplier consolidation strategy is quickly becoming outdated.

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.”

The 5 Key Benefits of Effective Buying

A wealth of worthwhile benefits can be gained through adopting an effective buying approach. By making just small changes in our approach to buying, we can expect to see significant value and benefits as a direct result. You might ask why you should do anything differently at all when individuals and organizations already manage to buy well without any kind of intervention. But to truly appreciate why we should consider a new buying approach, we must first recognize the size of the prize that can be obtained.

A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 3) [Plus+]

We wrote in the last article about the standardised nature of category management process and practice, and the dangers inherent in approaching different categories via that standard approach. Now let’s consider another failing of much “traditional” category management methodology and philosophy. We might define this as an overly procurement-centric approach to the whole task in hand. The buyer is placed in an almost deity-like position, controlling the whole process and with other participants fitting into their scheme and doing what they are told to by the all powerful category manager.

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5 Reasons to Make Procurement Matter Now

Today’s cloud-based procurement software platforms offer many advantages for companies seeking to gain greater visibility into — and control over — spend. This is just one reason why the market for e-procurement software is expected to grow from $1.35 billion in 2016 to $2.75 billion in 2021. Senior decision-makers at organizations contemplating the adoption of an e-procurement solution will find plenty of information about the advantages of doing procurement better through process automation. What’s missing from most of the available literature, however, are insights into how a modern procurement infrastructure can help companies accomplish specific business objectives.

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.

The Rise of the Social Enterprise (Part 3): Are Humans and Robots Smarter Together?

Robots are not our overlords (yet), but they will be our colleagues — if they aren’t already. According to Deloitte’s survey of 11,070 business and HR professionals around the world, the findings of which are published in the colossal 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report, 47% say that their organizations are already undertaking automation projects. Twenty-four percent are using artificial intelligence and robotics to perform routine tasks, 16% are using automation to augment human skills, and 7% are restructuring work altogether.

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Procurement Begins with Sourcing: The myConnXion Story

To understand procurement and sourcing as a buyer, we must start with the supplier. Small and diverse businesses are often cited as being more nimble, innovative and cost effective, but are often most strained in resources. Suppliers have to register their profiles with many different buyers (sometimes paying to do so, for buyers who adopt the pay-to-play model) and may not even get a contract as a result of their efforts. On the other side, many buyers end up with outdated supplier information and expired diversity certifications, contaminating their supplier database with inaccurate data. Sourcing with unreliable information hampers the abilities of procurement professionals and negatively impacts bottom line.

The Rise of the Social Enterprise: Working Toward a Symphonic C-Suite (Part 1)

marketing procurement

As the concepts of the workforce and the workplace shift, the concept of the business itself may be changing as well, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report suggests, giving rise to what the report’s authors call “social enterprises.” A social enterprise is an organization “whose mission combines revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network,” the authors write. “Today, successful businesses must incorporate external trends, perspectives and voices by maintaining positive relationships, not just with customers and employees, but also with local communities, regulators and a variety of stakeholders.”

A Critical Look at Category Management [Plus+]

category management

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on category management, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. 

CatMan’s main impact was in the indirect spending area. Procurement in a manufacturing environment was run on what we might call a category management basis for many years, even if we didn’t call it that, probably since the beginnings of the function. I was the “Raw Materials (EU controlled materials)” buyer for Mars in my first functional role, then Head of Packaging Buying. We would now see those as first a fairly junior then a more senior CatMan role, but that was well before the days of consultants such as Kearney and McKinsey popularising the approach and the associated terminology.