The Procurement Category

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.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.

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.

Sponsored Article

A Good Spend Culture Is Not Just About Saving vs. Spending

procurement savings

At the Procurify office in Vancouver, #SpendCulture is a tongue-in-cheek phrase that sometimes gets tossed about when we see someone being particularly thrifty. It’s ironic that we’d assign that meaning to the phrase when our own spend culture is very much focused on investing in rapid growth and creating an agile environment where we prioritize keeping our team comfortable, motivated and well resourced for continual development. Our office in Vancouver is located in a prime downtown location. We have a kitchen well stocked with snacks (including cider on tap) and dedicated space for video games (including a VR station), among other perks. To some business leaders this seems like the opposite of a good spend culture. We would humbly disagree.

U.S. Soybeans Under Pressure Amid Tensions With China

GMO

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

U.S. soybean prices fell dramatically during July, reaching their lowest levels since 2009. At their lowermost point, prices had fallen 20% from the beginning of the month, as a combination of factors centered around improving crop prospects and concerns over reactionary Chinese tariffs weighed heavily on the market.

Commodities Roundup: LME Debuts New Pricing Functionality, India’s Coal Shortage

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.

Hospitals, Medical Marijuana and Procurement: A Few Obvious Questions

When patients using medical marijuana go to a hospital, all bets are off. Not only for them, but for a hospital that frankly has no option other than to confiscate their marijuana (or try to do so), assuming they know about it in the first place. Keep in mind, the patient may be legally authorized by the state to use medical marijuana, so the inconsistency here is loaded with potential legal problems. Despite all of this, when the talk of medical marijuana comes up, most all of the hospital officials I have spoken with readily admit that they haven’t even given the subject much thought.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 5 — Analytics Strategy) [PRO]

Procurement doesn’t just drive value through “steady state” sourcing activities that pop up in the enterprise. It helps lead the transformation of the extended value chain and also supports and improves enterprise-level transformation activities. In both cases, such transformational activities will require strong supply analytics that procurement organizations are increasingly supporting through procurement centers of excellence where analytics and market intelligence (especially for sourcing processes) occupy the top functions within a procurement CoE (see more on the topic of procurement CoEs).

Any experienced procurement professional knows that business alignment is critical. This alignment process inevitably leads to a set of enterprise-led (or procurement-led) programs that in turn require a set of analytics capabilities to support. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll share:

  • A DuPont-style enterprise value decomposition to nearly two dozen enterprise programs and support supply analytics areas
  • How to frame supply analytics within an overall close-loop performance improvement cycle — and examples within each step of the life cycle
  • A drill down into some of the top enterprise programs into the specific analytics required
  • A further drill down and set of examples in some of the most used analytics

Are CSR Clauses Truly Effective in Improving Supply Chain Sustainability? (Part 1)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) clauses are a common feature in contracts between buyers and suppliers. Yet the vague language of the majority of these clauses suggests limited effectiveness in actually bringing about sustainable practices, according to a recent study of more than 550 buyers and suppliers conducted by EcoVadis. Today, the adoption of CSR practices is quickly becoming the norm. According to the International Association of Contract and Commercial Managers (IACCM), nearly three-quarters of companies include a sustainability clause in their procurement contracts. Moreover, half also monitor their suppliers’ environmental and social performance.

Spend Management for Real World Complexities: Internal and External Perspectives

Spend management that delivers consistent, provable bottom-line value requires solutions that go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. As we explored in Part 1 of this series, few solutions providers can offer the breadth, depth, flexibility, domain experience and track record of success to fully address the complex finance and procurement challenges facing organizations living in change. To help confront these challenges, the right solution must be largely self-managing and intelligent, as well as easy to use, customize and scale.

What does this look like in practice? Below we outline what organizations should explore and review when evaluating vendors, both from an internal stakeholder and external supplier engagement perspective.