Category Archives: Supply Chain

Sourcing Event Complexity – Thinking Through Event Size Limits (Part 2)

- October 23, 2014 6:31 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain

SONY DSC Earlier this month, I commented on Michael Lamoreux’s recent post in which he suggested that we should all “go big” when it comes to including as much coverage and complexity as possible in single sourcing events by leveraging sourcing optimization technology. His post is fabulous – but as I said earlier, Michael is channeling positive thoughts about most companies ability to even take advantage of the basics around sourcing event complexity (most aren’t even 10% of the way there to being able to push the limits of technology).

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Thinking Through Event Size Limits – Courtesy of a Sourcing Optimization Guru (Part 1)

- October 22, 2014 6:48 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Technology

1368590906514fn When I worked at FreeMarkets in the early days before the advent of self-service sourcing tools, we used to think events with over 500 line items (grouped into half a dozen or so lots) were large. The items and the groups we lotted them into were generally part of the same category or families. At the time (15 years ago), we were using sourcing technology that was incredibly rudimentary compared with the power of tools that are available today that leverage the ability to conflict different bids from suppliers based on flexible submission capability. Moreover, bids can now cascade across different supply chain elements including raw material costs/requirements, transportation costs, value added steps, etc., and we can bring them together in a common event. It raises the question: How big is too big for an event?

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Supply Ecosystems: Creating Value For Shareholders and Members

- October 21, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

14012721461s5gf The notion of collaborative “supply ecosystems” is one that puts the notion of traditional competitive supply chains on its head. For those who are curious, this paradigm is being posited by Penn State’s Christopher Craighead, Auburn University’s David Ketchum and the University of Tennessee’s Russell Crook in a forthcoming journal article in which they suggest that one of the elements that members of supply ecosystems will have to follow are balancing the “dual goals of creating value for themselves as well as other ecosystem members.”

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Supply Ecosystems: Leveraging Skills and Knowledge

file0002120440786 One element behind the concept of “supply ecosystems,” a new supply chain paradigm argued by Penn State’s Christopher Craighead, Auburn University’s David Ketchum and the University of Tennessee’s Russell Crook, is very much alive today, albeit at the early adopter stage. This point is that within supply ecosystems, “each organization’s knowledge and skills must be leveraged across the entire ecosystem.”

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Ebola – The Deadly Butterfly Fluttering Through The Supply Chain

butterfly Unfortunately, as we all know, Ebola has rapidly gone from being an obscure illness to becoming the headline of the day. At Spend Matters we have followed this as well. While not ignoring the suffering of those afflicted, we wonder how this is changing supply chains around the world. So let’s take a renewed look based on what has happened lately. Currently primarily Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and secondarily, Senegal and Nigeria are affected – but the supply chain effects go further, far further.

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Supply Ecosystems: The Next Big Thing?

- October 15, 2014 10:24 AM | Categories: P2P, supplier networks, Suppliers, Supply Chain

13663925237kcpz-leaf Thanks to the rise of purchase-to-pay (P2P) software, we hear quite often about “supplier networks” and “business networks” as the next big thing that will link buyers with vendors. But what about the concept of a “supply ecosystem” that goes further? This is the premise in a forthcoming Journal of Business Logistics article authored by Penn State’s Christopher Craighead, Auburn University’s David Ketchum and the University of Tennessee’s Russell Crook. Based on the author’s definition, these new supply ecosystems appear to more closely resemble giant industrial conglomerates or trading firms, but without necessarily having corporate parent/child ties between members (think Toyota, Mitsubishi, Samsung and to a lesser degree Siemens and GE).

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Providing Sustainable Supply Chain Guidance Upstream – Improving Both Price and CSR Impact at the Design Phase

- October 14, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Supply Management, Sustainability

One of the hallmarks of direct materials sourcing in discrete manufacturing is the typical percentage of spend that is “locked in” during the design process – it can be has high as 90-95%. In other words, the design decisions that engineers make are also the “cost decisions” that procurement and the business must live with. These include factors that span materials, tolerances, processes, dimensions, durability and many other requirements.

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Lean Manufacturing: How Many Workers Should I Have? – Manufactura Esbelta: Cuantos Deben Ser?

- October 9, 2014 2:29 PM | Categories: Learning / Research, Supply Chain

This is the third chapter of Guillermo Perez conversation with a friend and client. Guillermo is a guest contributor for our Spend Matters Mexico and Latin America site to be launched this month. During this chapter of the conversation, Guillermo talks with Bruno, his friend and client, about how many workers should he have to continue with the ongoing progress of lean manufacturing?

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Is Ebola Infecting Your Supply Chain? Spend Matters’ Continued Coverage of the Outbreak

- October 7, 2014 8:12 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Industry News, Procurement, Supply Chain, Supply Risk

It seems for the last week Americans have been waking up to hear more grim news about Ebola. What was once a deadly disease outbreak taking place thousands of miles away is now creeping up to our doorsteps. Spend Matters has been covering the Ebola epidemic in recent months, and we will continue to discuss this topic on our site in the coming week. Check out our latest Ebola coverage and stay tuned this week for more!

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Important and Invaluable: Architecture and its real costs – Importante e Invaluable: la Arquitectura y sus verdaderos costos

- October 2, 2014 2:02 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supply Chain

Spend Matters welcomes this Spanish guest post from Architect Ricardo de la Puente, who illustrates the evolution of architecture in economic terms while inviting us to reflect. Don´t miss the second part of this article.

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Supplier Performance Assessment – A “Good to Have” or a “Must Have” Process?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Meghana Rajamane of GEP. Once you have a competent supplier on board is the job of procurement done? Most companies today are tending toward complex supply chain ecosystems with an increased dependence on key supplier relationships to satisfy and delight their customers. Given this environment, it is imperative for an enterprise to be able to assess supplier performance. A supplier evaluation process is a must today for maintaining compliance, increasing competitiveness, identifying inefficiencies and driving improvement measures that impact the process.

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Party Like the ‘90s – When is May 2000 Coming?

- September 24, 2014 10:36 AM | Categories: Analysis, Conferences, Supply Chain

Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson, business and economics professor at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote presentation at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, the other week. The key question: when is the new May 2000 coming (i.e., major economic reversal)? Let me be clear that Dr. Tyson didn’t come across as bullish. In fact, she raised several points of concern. Here are my notes from her speech, with my own thoughts added, spanning topics from Europe to China to Japan -- as well as interest rates, supply chain risk and other macroeconomic variables. Ultimately, our supply chains (and top line) are only as strong as the weakest links.

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