Category Archives: Supply Chain Visibility

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

clock-pointers-fashion-hands-of-a-clock-1252-525x350 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.

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

- December 10, 2014 10:16 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Chain Visibility, Sustainability

1361750980b4swc 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.

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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.

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Anti-Dumping Effort Gains Attention (and Spend Matters Network Weighs In)

Rep. Billy Long is pushing federal authorities to take a closer look at the goods global suppliers are shipping to the US. And, the world’s largest bedspring supplier, Leggett & Platt, is throwing its weight behind the effort – going as far as to hire a lobbying firm to convince lawmakers this is an important issue that needs to be addressed.

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Ask the Expert: Should You Be Worried About Ebola and Your Supply Chain?

Should you be worried about Ebola? What can you do about this issue, and similar illnesses that might disrupt your supply chain and/or put your employees and suppliers at risk? On this week's Ask the Expert webinar, on Thursday 8/14 from 10-10:30am Central, Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase will provide an overview of the issue and possible ways to improve your understanding of the level of exposure – as well as ways to better alert employees and third parties when needed. We’re also pleased to have a special guest joining Thomas: Heiko Schwarz, Managing Director of riskmethods. riskmethods is a German firm focused on global supply basic risk visibility and mitigation. Spend Matters Plus and PRO members, click on through to register for this special event!

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Accelerate This! A Case for “Buy/Sell” Models in Automotive Supply Chain

The recent case of counterfeit parts in the Aston Martin supply chain (tied to non-DuPont resin that a lower-tier Chinese supplier illegally substituted) highlights the need for OEM and tier-one manufacturers to do more in assuring continuity of contracted supply in global supply chains. But what can be done in such a situation where Chinese suppliers will knowingly cut every corner possible to maximize margins if they know they’re not being carefully monitored?

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Did Ariba Cause the Target Credit Card Breach? No.

Over the past few days, the security and IT world has been abuzz with theories regarding exactly how the hackers who breached Target’s point-of-sale wall were able to steal credit card numbers from unsuspected shoppers. The latest provider with a finger pointed at it in speculative discussions is SAP / Ariba (Ariba, specifically). On his highly detailed blog, Brian Krebs reports the following based on what appears to be a phishing scheme that led to the Target breach: “…[It] appears to have begun with a malware-laced email phishing attack sent to employees at an HVAC firm that did business with the nationwide retailer, according to sources close to the investigation … investigators believe the source of the Target intrusion traces back to network credentials that Target had issued to Fazio Mechanical, a heating, air conditioning and refrigeration firm in Sharpsburg, Pa. Multiple sources close to the investigation now tell this reporter that those credentials were stolen in an email malware attack at Fazio…" But is Ariba at fault? We argue no.

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Supply Chain Data – How Many Puzzle Pieces Are You Missing?

- October 23, 2013 3:13 PM | Categories: Analytics, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Visibility

As an analyst I see good, better, and sometimes best practices. I actually don’t see the bad practices that often, but I still try to keep them in sight, figuratively. It’s really important to stay current with not just the cutting edge but also where most buyers actually are today. One of the more substantial elephants in the room is data quality around suppliers – providers keep dancing around this issue, with partial glimpses of the truth. We'll walk you through all the areas where data can hide, and give some solid advice around all the challenges associated with getting it squeaky clean.

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Sustainability in Procurement: Why Do Sweatshop Scandals Occur?

How can sustainability break out of its “niche” category in procurement? Is it even possible? The WSJ’s recent article “Why Retailers Don't Know Who Sews Their Clothing” touches on the issues with a broader aspect of sustainability. Survivability, to be precise. To summarize, the article points out possible consequences with procurement in verticals that rely on multiple tiers – particularly those with a heavy labor component in the value-add at the lowest levels. The labor aspect means that sourcing from low cost countries inevitably is brought into play. Textiles is one vertical; other industries that also rely heavily on inexpensive labor include small electronics (cell phones, tablets, laptops) assembly, low price point consumer goods (stuffed animals, toys) etc.

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LockPath – Taking a Hybrid GRC and SPM Approach to Conflict Minerals (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series looking at the LockPath approach to Conflict Minerals compliance, we considered the context of the intersection of GRC and supplier management efforts, as well as some of the approaches LockPath takes with their toolset. Continuing, we now move to an overview and analysis of LockPath’s capabilities, exploring how the solution lets companies address high-risk suppliers separately from others.

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LockPath – A Hybrid GRC and SPM Approach to Conflict Minerals (Part 1)

- July 10, 2013 10:25 AM | Categories: Supply Chain Visibility, Supply Risk Management, Technology

Spend Matters recently spoke with LockPath co-founder and CEO Chris Caldwell about his perspective on GRC in general, and in particular LockPath’s recent foray into Conflict Minerals. LockPath, a technology solutions provider, presents a slightly different approach to dealing with the Conflict Minerals (CM) disclosure requirements, which are rapidly breathing down the necks of publicly traded (on US exchanges) companies as well as their suppliers, given the cascading requirements of the legislation.

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Logistics Supply Chain Risk: Are 3PLs Taking on Risk Management for Shippers?

In the procurement sector, most business process outsourcing (BPO) firms aren’t doing very much in the area of supply risk (or broader supply chain risk) compared to more typical indirect procurement management, category management, tactical buying, and related initiatives focused almost entirely on operational and transactional efficiency and/or purchase cost reduction. Granted, supplier management BPO specialists such as Achilles are absolutely working in this space in outsourcing. But for the most part, supply risk is not something that most procurement and supply chain organizations have opted to outsource.

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