The Supply Chain Management 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.

The Amazon Prime Effect: Rising Expectations for E-Commerce Delivery and Fulfillment

If the 100 million-plus shoppers who pay $119 a year for fast shipping via Amazon Prime are any indication, a smooth and expedient delivery and fulfillment process is crucial to e-commerce success. And expectations are rising. According to a recent survey of 3,000 online shoppers from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., younger generations are particularly critical, with less than half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 saying that they receive their orders on time and in perfect condition. These findings are published in a new report from Radial, “The Everyday Essentials of Successful E-Commerce Fulfillment.”

Risk of Slavery, Trafficking and Labor Abuse in Supply Chains Expected to Increase

As manufacturing becomes increasingly automated, the risk of slavery, human trafficking and labor abuse in supply chains is also expected to rise, according to Verisk Maplecroft’s 2018 Human Rights Outlook. The report presents five issues that will pose “significant challenges to the reputations, operations and supply chains of multinational companies.” Automation tops the list, with an estimated 56% of jobs in Southeast Asia’s key manufacturing hubs potentially affected. Compliance, certification, threats to human rights defenders, and investor expectation for businesses to take up social responsibility round out the list.

Building the Business Case for Managing Suppliers With Technology: 7 ROI Levers (Part 2 — Supply Risk Management) [PRO]

risk

Thus far in this series we have examined six levers procurement organizations can pull, both at the front-end of the supplier lifecycle and those in the active phase of supplier management, to build a business case for managing suppliers with technology. In the case of the former, we focused on business case components for supplier search and discovery, supplier onboarding, and supplier enablement. In the latter, we examined contract compliance and enforcement, compliance and credentialing, and supplier performance management.

All of these areas can form core components of a supplier management business case. But on a standalone basis, thousands of global companies have already invested in data sources, specialized software or a combination of the two to monitor at least certain elements of supplier risk outside of these other supplier management areas. Indeed, of the seven levers organizations can pull in building a business case for managing suppliers through technology, supplier risk management — and broader supply risk management — is the one that is often most put to use.

In today’s installment, we zero in on the seventh supplier management business case lever, introducing business case and enabling technology considerations for supplier risk management. We discuss select solution components within this area, as well as high-level ROI considerations. Later in the series, we will provide more detailed ROI model inputs and ranges procurement teams can use in building a business case in each of these areas.

Spend Matters PRO clients can also contact their client services representative for an interactive Excel-based ROI model that can serve as the basis for building supplier management business cases.

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.

Auburn University’s Beth Davis-Sramek on How the Logistics Sector is Changing and Why the UPS Strike Was Unlikely

Late Thursday, the Teamsters Union and UPS reached agreement on a new five-year contract, averting what would have been the largest strike in the U.S. in decades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing UPS workers, had authorized a strike if the two sides do not come to an agreement before the current contract expires July 31. Before the two sides came to an agreement, Spend Matters talked to Beth Davis Sramek, associate professor of supply chain management at Auburn University, who made the prescient prediction that the strike would not go through. Read on for her thoughts on what the supply chain consequences would have been, potential contingency plans and what changes are in store for the logistics sector.

Fragile Antibiotic Supply Chains Are Leading to Frequent Shortages, Worsening Antimicrobial Resistance

locum tenens

Antibiotic supply chains are fragile and at risk of collapsing, warns a new white paper from the Amsterdam-based Access to Medicine Foundation. Shortages of specific antibiotics are causing price hikes, delayed treatment and the prescription of lower doses or alternative antibiotics — which worsens the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Similar to the situation that the U.S. Department of Defense is in with its munitions procurement, the primary culprit in the instability of antibiotic supply chains lies in a shortage of producers.

Cyber, Political Resilience Rankings Shuffle in Latest FM Global Resilience Index

MBO Partners

FM Global released Wednesday its 2018 Resilience Index. While overall resilience rankings have remained largely unchanged from 2017, cyber and political resilience rankings have shifted. The Global Resilience Index is an annual ranking of 130 countries and regions according to 12 economic, risk and supply chain factors, which include supply chain visibility, supplier quality and rate of urbanization, in addition to the aforementioned cyber and political risk.

Is Cultural Resistance Holding Supply Chain Organizations Back from Digital Transformation?

A substantial gap separates digitally innovative companies from those that still rely on traditional approaches to supply chain and logistics. Yet while most supply chain and logistics professionals believe that their organizations are average or below average in digital maturity, only about half are actually implementing new technologies. These insights come from a new Janeiro Digital report, “The Modernization Gap: Digital Innovation and Transformation in Supply Chain and Logistics.” The software firm surveyed 98 middle and senior-level managers in supply chain on their organizations’ progress and attitudes towards digital transformation. 

30 Under 30 Supply Chain Star Jordan Haller on Leading ExxonMobil’s Preparatory Procurement Efforts for Hurricane Irma

oil

Jordan Haller knows a thing or two about safety. In 2015, the procurement supervisor at ExxonMobil was named to the National Safety Council’s list of 40 safety leaders under the age of 40 for leading a near loss campaign for his company. And last summer, Haller led ExxonMobil’s preparatory procurement efforts for Hurricane Irma. In the meantime, Haller, who has a bachelor’s degree in supply chain and information systems from Penn State University, also managed to complete an MBA at Louisiana State University. Today, Spend Matters chats with Haller on supply chain disruptions, prioritizing safety and why he expects the internet of things to push supply chain optimization to the next level.

Haven’t Experienced a Significant Supply Chain Disruption in the Past Year? You’re Among the Lucky Few

supply chain disruption

Riskmethods recently commissioned a survey of more than 250 senior procurement executives around the world to see what strategies they’re using to manage risk in their supply chains, and the results were published in a white paper, Procuring Risk: The State of Risk Management and Mitigation in Today’s Global Supply Chain. The report found that avoiding significant supply disruptions is a top priority for senior procurement executives. These events are also not uncommon occurrences, as the vast majority of the survey respondents reported that they experienced at least one supply chain incident in the past 12 months that led to a significant disruption.