Category Archives: Supply Chain Visibility

Google Shopping Insights: New Supply Chain Management Tool for Retailers

Google search

Google recently launched a new tool to help retailers better understand what consumers want and where they want it. Google’s Shopping Insights specifically shows what products consumers are searching for online in what cities, at what time and on what sort of device. By giving retailers more insight into what consumers are looking for online, Google has provided a tool allowing retailers to respond to local demands better, stocking inventories at local stores.

RFID and the Supply Chain: How the Technology Is Increasingly Being Used By Procurement

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jeff Freedman, CTO at ESM Solutions. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one of the major technologies that will become ubiquitous in the supply chain and is poised to have a dramatic impact. RFID technology has actually been around since the 1970s, but it has only started to have a real effect on the supply chain within the past few years, and its use is expected to increase as a means of tracking goods and assets.

You Say You Want a Revolution, Industrial Supply Chains?


The future is now. The industrial supply chain is yearning for a revolutionary take on mass integration of big data, analytics, smart sensors, mobile, cloud computing and more. In the new, FREE research download, Supplier Catalogs for Maintenance: The Internet of [Getting] Things by Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, you will learn how: 1) Smart catalogs can enable MRO process participants to meet their objectives, 2) They can efficiently find what they need to accomplish the task at hand and 3) To maximize productivity, uptime, reliability, profits and return on assets. Download this research paper today!

Examining Current and Future Supply Chain Capacity – 10 Services Procurement Secrets (No. 7)


When Ford pursued a light-weighting program on its popular F-150 line of trucks, it had to understand both the existing and potential supply chain and capacity of the supply market (and different alternatives) years in advance of actual production. Yet when it comes to how companies consume and use third-party services, including contingent workforce management, few organizations formally translate and compare these forward-looking requirements to existing "supply." 

Segmenting Your Services Procurement Spend – Contingent Workforce and Beyond


Within procurement, it goes without saying that you can’t control what you can’t see. In modern supply chains, firms gain visibility into their spending and internal processes based on the process of segmenting spend and suppliers – and then influence each specific spending area with the appropriate management techniques and tools. This is true of both direct and indirect goods (and related services, of course).

You Too Can Prevent Factory Fires: Last Chance for This Free Research Download


Spendy the Bear (Smokey’s distant, procurement-minded cousin) is urging you to do your part – Sustainability in Procurement: Prevent the Next Bangladesh Factory Fire From Happening Again from Jason and Thomas, is now available for free download. Get your copy today, as after Feb. 10, it will go back behind the paywall.

CSR is Practice – Chipotle Runs Out of Suppliers With Capacity

As is common in many "sustainable" and "diverse" areas in procurement (they are often grouped together and managed by the same director), it is hard to find suppliers with capacity. This is an evergreen topic among all supplier diversity professionals – how to get small and diverse firms to scale. Suppliers need capacity if they want to work with Fortune 500 firms looking to maintain a consistent customer experience nationwide. Chipotle has already found this out with its beef. And now, Chipotle has pulled pork from the menu at 600 of its restaurants across the country – not because of trichinosis outbreaks, but because of supplier practices.

Recalls, Big and Small, Impact Food Waste (Waste Matters! Part 7)


No matter how large a food recall is – whether it is localized and involving a limited amount of product or a nationwide recall affecting millions of units – it has an impact on how much food goes to waste in the US. And, I’m not talking about just the food involved in the recall. Recalls lead to food waste due to a matter of consumer perception as well.

“Eating the Cost” of Wasted Food – And Sometimes, That’s OK (Waste Matters Part 6)


Food is wasted at grocery stores. This is a fact of the food supply chain. We have talked about this in previous posts in this series, sharing expert insight from Kevin Brooks, senior vice president of marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry, who explained many reasons how and why food gets thrown out. Today, we continue this conversation, with Kevin pointing to the importance of quality produce for grocers. In the end, quality is often more important to retailers than (an overabundance of) quantity.

The (Extreme) Complexity of the Food Supply Chain (Waste Matters! Part 5)


The food supply chain isn’t like other supply chains – it is far more complex. This point became increasingly clear during my recent conversation with Kevin Brooks, senior vice president of Marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry. Kevin told me that in other industries, product orders remain fairly stable – not so in the food supply chain. The clock is ticking, and suppliers need to deliver perishable foods fast, but changes to POs and other issues make that task difficult.

Lack of Visibility and Other Challenges of the Food Supply Chain – (Waste Matters! Part 4)


I recently had the chance to talk to Kevin Brooks, who serves as senior vice president of marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry. Kevin has years of experience working with companies in the food and beverage supply chain, and he told me about the many challenges facing the industry that leads to wasted food. Today, I will begin to share my takeaways from this conversation, focusing first on visibility in the food supply chain.

The West Coast Port Problem and How It’s Disrupting the Supply Chain

The labor negotiations (or lack thereof) and, consequently, the slowdowns in productivity at ports along the West Coast continue to have an impact on the region and beyond. They have already disrupted the supply chain in the US, and some businesses and retailers have expressed fears of those disruptions proving detrimental during the holiday season.