Category Archives: Suppliers

VMSA Live 2015 Pulls Up Stakes in Vegas, Contingent Workforce Suppliers Brace For Demanding Supply Chain Environment

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Bucking up the supplier side was a clear focus on the final half-day of VMSA Live last week. The 2 and a half day conference is designed to bring together practioners from all parts of the staffing supply chain (including enterprise contingent workforce programs, MSPs, VMSs, staffing suppliers of various kinds, and other supporting service and solution provides). While the prior 2 days of the conference modulated actual interaction and information exchange between the supplier and the enterprise sides of the staffing supply chain, Friday’s sessions aimed to provide undivided attention and a “thumbs-up” to the upstream businesses that do the bulk of the work to supply enterprises with their contingent workforce (temps and contractors) and talent-based project services (SOWs).

McDonald’s CSR Commitments Go Multi-tier – But is the Fast Food Giant Ready?


McDonald’s recently announced an important commitment to sustainability by moving to eliminate suppliers that engage in any potential deforestation practices in its supply chain. For quick background reading on the topic, see McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation pledge. On the surface, the pronouncement would seem to have corporate social responsibility teeth. I share some of the main points the fast food company has made in its new commitment.

Apple Watch Production Takes a Time Out After Supplier Parts Found Defective


There has been a huge amount of hype for the new Apple Watch – with some 1 in 4 people eyeing the flashy device. Yet already Apple has run into a snag in its supply chain with the rollout of its latest product: a critical part from one of its suppliers was “found to be defective.” Specifically, some “taptic” engines (which have ability to deliver tactile feedback) produced for the watches by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. are breaking, forcing Apple to trash the watches with the faulty parts. While it doesn’t seem that Apple has sold any of the defective watches to customers and doesn’t have to deal with a product recall, it still will slow production of the in-demand device, causing an even bigger headache for the tech giant already suffering from supply and demand issues with the watch. Thomas Kase, Spend Matters vice president of research, shared his thoughts on the news, calling the dilemma “cultural issues at work.”

Intesource’s New Supplier Relationship Management Solution: Why it Should Be on Your Short List of Vendor Considerations


This is Part 2 of our in-depth look at Intesource and it new SRM solution release. You can check out Part 1 here. So what is the new supplier relationship management solution like? Gabe Gabaldon, Intesource's CTO, shared some details around the latest update to its sourcing solution. In this PRO research brief, I provide some of the highlights Gabe pointed out, such as its emphasis on enterprise-wide rollout, enhanced customer support and cleaner supplier data. I also offer my input on the solution and add key takeaways.

Lessons in Maximizing Supplier Enrollment from Tungsten Insights 2015


In between presenting this morning at Tungsten Insights 2015, and facilitating a panel discussion later today with suppliers on supplier networks and e-procurement solutions (or marketplaces), I sat in for a breakout session led by Selina Yankson, head of campaign management for Tungsten. Selina shared a number of items in her “secret sauce” to maximizing supplier enrollment. She also talked about new approaches Tungsten is taking, as well as enrollment components of Tungsten’s next generation supplier portal. We’ll leave the details of the portal for future analysis as well as some of the key lessons learned over the years in scaling global programs. But here are a few of Selina’s quick tips that jumped out from her talk.

Pin Down Supplier Diversity in Your Procurement Organization


Supplier diversity – do procurement organizations really know what all it entails and how to tackle or implement such a business program? Thomas Kase discussed this issue and shared insights he gleaned from the recent ISM summit on the topic, on Spend Matters PRO earlier today. The article, How Should Procurement Tackle Supplier Diversity? Lessons from the ISM Summit, offers information on what procurement's role is in supplier diversity, what it means and provides recommendations on how to successfully run a supplier diversity program. He also provides lessons learned from the ISM Supply Chain Diversity Summit in Atlanta in February.

Spend Matters Asks the Financial Supply Chain Expert: Taulia’s New CEO Answers our Questions


Today we conclude our Q&A series with Taulia’s new CEO Cedric Bru. Spend Matters recently had the chance to ask Cedric some questions about his new role at the Saas financial technology vendor, the company as a whole and his take on the market. (You can check out Part 1 and Part 2, as well.) To wrap up our discussion, we ask Cedric for some of his expert advice.

Why Do We Need Procurement?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Mike Robertson, managing director at POD Procurement. What is the function of procurement? It's an emotive question that generates a plethora of answers. Fundamentally, let us assume, “Procurement is responsible for spending the profits of the organization in procuring goods and services to address the business requirements.” What is the value of procurement? Again, it's hard to quantify depending on who is answering the question, but let us assume it is to “maximize the value of what the business procures,” or to it simply “to spend wisely and save as much as possible.”

Pushing Early Pay Opportunities To All Suppliers


Regardless if the US government's SupplierPay initiative is successful or not, many Global 2000 corporations have developed a menu of early pay solutions. Buy-side techniques are centered around payable finance methods. Purchase-to-pay, e-procurement, e-invoicing and supplier network propositions are becoming more established together with early pay finance techniques. Large global corporations that use these networks to manage suppliers will enable their suppliers to receive early payment.

Why Collect Supplier Information?

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Beyond core P2P enablement and related areas, companies focus on supplier enablement for a variety of reasons. For one, such programs are increasingly driven by regulatory compliance or related sets of laws or industry constructs and expectations. Read on to see why, on an overall basis, the majority of supplier enablement programs center on the sourcing and management of supplier information.

Not-Quite-One-Year Update: The SupplierPay Initiative


July will mark one year since The White House introduced the SupplierPay initiative, which aims to benefit small businesses in not only getting paid faster but also in receiving access to lower cost outlets of working capital when working with larger corporations. Where are we now with this initiative? Which direction is it trending? Join David Gustin (Trade Financing Matters) and Eyal Rosenberg (Nipendo) for the webinar, The White House, SupplierPay, Early Payment Opportunities, and You on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. CST. Register here.

L.L. Bean Customer Service Gets It Right on Second Try


My new L.L. Bean wool, insulated coat was going to be great. Or so I thought. At nearly $230, I expected a quality item. What I got was a broken zipper, a $45 tab for replacing it and a less-than-helpful customer service representative. Eventually, they got it right, reimbursing me for the replacement zipper. But the whole experience has turned me off to the brand. And who knew a zipper - such as low cost component - could have such an impact?