The Procurement Category

Apple Achieves 100% Cobalt Supply Chain Mapping (Plus: Lessons for Supply Chain)

conflict minerals

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.

SAP’s Procurement Transformation and Next Steps for a CPO on a Mission: An Interview with Dr. Marcell Vollmer (Part 3)

After the three-month Ariba e-procurement implementation, Marcell and his team would transition the rest of his global organization entirely onto Ariba for source-to-pay (S2P) by 2014, using the entire suite: Purchase Order and Invoice Automation, Discount Pro, Spend Visibility, E-Sourcing and E-Auctions, Contract Management, Supplier Management and Ariba Catalogs and Spot Buy. The same year would also see the implementation of Fieldglass to support temporary labor and statement of work (SOW) procurement. And in 2015, Marcell’s organization implemented Concur for travel booking and reimbursement.

Scarfing Down Your Own E-Procurement Dog Food: Going Live Globally With SAP Ariba in 3 Months — An Interview with Dr. Marcell Vollmer (Part 2)

dog food

After taking over as CPO within SAP, Marcell quickly moved to address the e-procurement issue, owing to his previous laptop shopping experience. In 2011, he started an upgrade process to leverage SAP SRM 7. This upgrade initiative would ultimately become sidetracked (although 7.02 workflows into SAP ERP on HANA for vendor invoice management would be deployed) with the acquisition of Ariba. At the same time of this initial technology initiative, Marcell would also begin to put in place a combination of global category frameworks (and support) with local buying centers designed to optimize strategic program elements (e.g., sourcing/negotiation) and minimize transactional costs.

Procurement is from Mars and Finance is from Jupiter: How to Align Planets [Plus+]

finance

Mars might be the god of war and mighty in its own right – ready to battle any time with a combative supplier or recalcitrant internal stakeholder. But Jupiter is the king of gods: large, distant, cold, foreboding. (There is no Venus here...that's a Plus brief — nay, multipart series — for another day on working with Marketing). These gods might seem similar, and in the business world, Procurement and Finance should in theory be highly aligned and focused on cost management, risk mitigation, quantitative analysis, and other areas. For example:

  • Enterprise risk management requirements (e.g., fraud, regulatory compliance, etc.) should extend seamlessly into the supply base.
  • Working capital should be optimized alongside cost reduction and compliance.
  • The Source-to-Settle process should have an embedded P2P process that aligns purchasing and AP to each other and to broader spend category requirements.
There are many things that keep the two groups from singing Kumbaya. In this Spend Matters Plus brief, we list five important ones and give practitioners some suggestions on how to align and conquer (no lightning bolts or Holst necessary).

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.

Should There be a Chief Procurement Information Officer (CPIO) or Chief Supply Chain Information Officer (CSCIO)?

If you do an exact web search on the terms in the title, you will get zero results. Zero. If you do a similar exact search on “chief medical information officer” (CMIO), however, you will get more than 100,000 results. The need for such a person in procurement and supply chain, however, is clear. Since procurement and supply chain organizations are becoming “procurement as a service” (PRaaS) providers that need some level of autonomy to construct the world-class services that support the business, there needs to be an effective operating model between IT and procurement — and someone leading that effort.

Procurement as a Blind Beginner

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conor Weir, graduate team member at eir, and Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir.

At eir we have an exciting two-year graduate program with two defined business streams: one stream for graduates of all disciplines who are looking to build a career in business, and a second stream for finance/accounting graduates looking to complete a relevant finance or accounting qualification and pursue a career in finance. Graduates are funneled through procurement, with most of them having only a vague idea of what procurement does. The procurement team at eir has developed a tactical buyer quick stream approach to indoctrinating the graduates into a meaningful procurement role. The following story is from a recently successful participant with very impressive quantifiable contributions delivered. This is a compelling story that not only validates the eir graduate program but also provides a glimpse into the interesting and challenging world of procurement.

On Expense Management, Mileage Fraud and GPS: An Interview with Runzheimer’s Mike Bassi

receipt

Recently I talked to Mike Bassi, director of partnerships at Runzheimer, a provider of mobile workforce solutions that works with more than 1,300 companies. One of Runzheimer’s areas of expertise is mileage spend, and I was curious to hear about technological advances in expense management from a provider’s point of view — as well as ask about how common low-level expense fraud is.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Buyer/Supplier Match!

Matchmaking is an age-old practice. And as Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava will tell you, it’s a tough world out there when it comes to traditional matchmaking. The same goes for buyers and suppliers in the marketplace. Just as matchmakers once met with mothers and fathers to match their daughters to prospective husbands, businesses used to pound the pavement trying to find prospective clients, buyers, suppliers and anyone who would take a business card and put it in their pocket full of loose change and car keys.

Where to Find Sustainably and Ethically Made Apparel? Ask Project JUST

retail

Last month, I came across an article on Medium about Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and a group of six researchers’ attempt to unravel the supply chain behind the apparel. Sure, the fact that she is the daughter of President Donald Trump may have given the matter its newsworthiness — after all, plenty of celebrities lend their names to clothing lines — but I was curious whether Ivanka’s “women who work” platform extended to employees farther down the supply chain. Do women’s rights to, say, maternity leave, apply to the female factory worker sewing dresses in China or Indonesia — or just to the women buying those dresses?

The Week in Metals: Yes, The Mexican Border Wall is Happening

Not only is the Trump administration asking for bids for its promised southern border wall, but the Department of Homeland Security has also added specifications to its request for proposals. The Dakota Access Pipeline can continue construction of the final eight miles of the project underneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota, a federal judge ruled this week. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

Spend Matters Book Club: Must-Read Books for Procurement Professionals

A recent good read on how data, algorithms and internal biases affect our lives caused me to wonder: what other books, while not nominally related to procurement, have pertinent takeaways? To find out, I asked around. Responses ranged from the rare oddity to the classics of the business canon, with suggestions from the Spend Matters team and practitioners alike. Welcome to the first meeting of the Spend Matters Book Club.