Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

More Business Travelers Turn to Home-Sharing Services: New Concur Report Identifies Trends in Corporate Travel Market


Business travelers are increasingly using home-sharing services like Airbnb for overnight business trips. Concur’s recent State of Business Travel report shows a 56% growth rate for home-sharing services among business travelers between the beginning of 2015 and beginning of 2016. The Concur business travel reports shares insights from the millions of end-users that turn to Concur’s business travel and expense management solutions — users who expensed $76 billion in 2015 through the provider’s software

Book Review: Legal Blacksmith — How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes


We are in the middle of a great period for procurement and supply chain books, with several very impressive examples being published over the last two years or so. (We’ve linked to our overview of some of those at the end of this article). Now, there is another impressive publication to add to the list. "Legal Blacksmith – How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes" has a different perspective to any book we have seen previously in our sector.

Is Your Supply Chain Ready for More Extreme Rainfall, Flooding?


Extreme weather events, including typhoons, heatwaves and wildfires, are becoming increasingly more common due to climate change. Such events could cause major disruptions to business and a company’s supply chain. One type of extreme weather event FM Global, a commercial property insurance provider, is calling attention to in a new report is heavy rainfall, which could lead to flooding and damage a company’s buildings and those of its suppliers.

Lack of Investment in Trade Compliance Training Troublesome

customs bill

Procurement organizations have faced a number of new trade compliance regulations this year. Take the new Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, as an example, which was signed into law in February. Or, the new Cuba trade agreements developing now that sanctions have been lifted. And now, with Brexit vote impacts looming over procurement and supply chain organizations, companies may have additional trade rules to consider in the near future. But a new survey shows multinational companies are not investing in trade compliance training for their employees, despite the risks of noncompliance.

Public Sector Procurement: 3 Strategies to Start the Incline

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Alvarez & Marsal by Julie Diehl, managing director, Jefferson Howell, director, and Erin Campbell, manager.

The transition from a procurement organization serving as a process facilitator to a true strategic business partner is a daunting task — structures that have evolved without formal design, limited communication, resource skill gaps and disparate data can often create barriers to progression. Though these challenges are not unique to the public sector, the regulatory and statutory constraints under which these agencies operate are. In this article, we will walk through three ways agencies overcome these challenges and begin to move up the maturity curve to provide real, strategic value.

Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen: Becoming an MRO Sensei

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Kevin Tacik, of GEP.

Internal and external environmental factors affect an organization’s maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spend and cause MR “Woe” each and every day. This comes in the form of exposing vulnerabilities in MRO reliability during manufacturing. Organizations often tend to find quick fixes, gamble on running production non-stop and approach MRO spending with the attitude of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This vision results in inefficiencies, and ultimately, the organization becomes uncompetitive, as the only way forward will seem to be passing the increasing costs down the value chain.

Interest in Robots, Automation Rises, but Barriers Still Exist


As automation, digitization and advanced technology permeates companies’ supply chains around the globe, some organizations are looking to robotic process automation (RPA) technology in the hopes of improving business processes. But concerns about job losses or a lack of understanding about the technology still act as barriers to adoption. The majority of shared services professionals plan to use RPA in their organizations within the next year, according to a results of recent survey of 100 professionals carried out by Redwood Software, an RPA provider.

Brexit: A ‘Huge Supply Chain Problem’


Much of the rhetoric around Brexit has been very political, but the global business community needs to become a bigger part of the conversation, according to Bindiya Vakil, founder and CEO of supply risk management and market intelligence solution provider Resilinc. Brexit is not a local or regional problem — it will impact companies around the world, she said, adding this is a “huge supply chain problem.”

The ‘Soft Side’ of Enterprise Software: How Human Emotion and Empathy Play into Software Design Today

procurement technology

Enterprise software design is no longer just about simplicity. Organizations expect software to be easy to use — it’s a must-have. What differentiates today’s enterprise software is user experience, according to Michele Sarko, chief design officer at SAP Ariba. “Enterprise software, to me, is transforming tremendously because there is really no excuse anymore for enterprise software to be hard,” Sarko said.

Prepping Your Supply Chain for Taiwan Typhoon Nepartak

supply chain disruption

The super typhoon Nepartak struck Taiwan earlier today, causing flooding, power disruptions and damage to homes and other structures. There are also reports of extensive damage to Taiwan’s agriculture industry, with initial losses topping $18 million. How exactly the storm will impact other industries as well as businesses that rely on suppliers in Taiwan has yet to be seen. However, supply chain and procurement organizations that work with partners in the country should take these five steps to prepare for, and potentially mitigate, the impacts of the supply chain disruption.

ISM Report: Procurement Execs Don’t Expect Major Financial Impact from Brexit, But Remain Cautious


The majority of procurement executives do not believe Britain's decision to leave the European Union will have a major financial impact on their organization, according to the Institute of Supply Management’s recent Brexit report. However, procurement professionals are still concerned how Brexit may impact currency fluctuations, the financial market and global growth. ISM surveyed manufacturing and nonmanufacturing firms to see how procurement executives expect business to be impacted through the end of the year.

Companies Around the Globe Need Supply Chain, Data Analytics Graduates


Recent graduates with a masters in supply chain management and data analytics are in demand across the globe. The latest Corporate Recruiters Survey from Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), conducted with partners EFMD and MBA Career Services Council, shows about a quarter of corporate recruiters around the world are actively seeking graduates in Master in Supply Chain Management and Master in Data Analytics programs.