Category Archives: Supply Chain

Quantifying the Savings: AGCO’s Approach to Global Supply Chain Risk Management

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After AGCO built the business case for investment and aligned its internal functions and processes to support the global effort, the stage was set to engage with risk in a new way that managed to span several areas including country, logistical, performance, supplier, supply and additional risk factors. AGCO's new approach, which integrates supply chain risk management (SCRM) and Supply Risk Network into its daily operations, is created by riskmethods, as detailed in the research paper A Case Study in Global Supply Chain Risk Management: How AGCO Implemented an SCRM Solution to Save Millions.

Charting Your Course from Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics

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Forget Google Maps. Apple Maps? Don’t make us laugh. Where we’re going we’ll need Spend Matters Maps or, more specifically, how to travel from tactical procurement analytics to strategic supply analytics. Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, will be your guide for this new, free research download: Navigating the Path from Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics. Get your copy today!

How Has a Supplier’s Cost Structure Changed Over the Past Decade?


Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and MetalMiner’s Lisa Reisman offer their perspectives on how a supplier’s cost structure has changed over the past decade. From regulatory impacts to labor productivity gains and volatile commodity environments, these shifts have dramatically impacted the notion of the “supplier’s cost structure.” Learn how these 2 experts consider several factors and chime in with your own questions to take the discussion further.

Are SMEs the Weakest Supply Chain Risk Link?

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Late last month, I took the same side as Stephen Allott, crown representative for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the UK Cabinet Office, in a pub debate in London, in which we argued for the motion that procurement is doomed for a variety of reasons, including the failure of many procurement organizations to effectively manage supply risk. Then, coincidentally, on the flight back to the US, I read an article in a UK publication reporting that a majority of SMEs are not prepared to manage supply risk. A curious coincidence? I’m not so sure.

Rough Seas Ahead for the Greek Shipping Industry

cargo ship

The financial crisis in Greece has taken a hit on the country’s shipping industry. Shippers are stuck at bay, unable to purchase fuel. Producers are finding it harder to fulfill purchase orders and to even access the cash needed to continue operating. Spend Matters has rounded up the latest news on the shipping industry and how the debt crisis has already taken its toll on the supply chain. And be sure to stay tuned to the Spend Matters Network for continued coverage on how the Greek debt crisis is impacting the larger industry.

The Biggest Gaps and Opportunities in Services Procurement


Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management have been hard at work surveying members and readers – along with the Society for Human Resource Management community – on the disconnect between the management of direct material supply chains and services supply chains, primarily centered on contingent labor. Today I’ll highlight some of the qualitative responses received from more than 450 participants, who offered their opinions on the biggest gaps and opportunities they perceived in managing services procurement today.

Creating a Sustainable Supply Chain – Best Practices and Business Drivers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Elizabeth Ichniowski from The Hackett Group. Many multi-billion dollar companies have been making headlines, announcing important and ambitious sustainability initiatives ultimately designed to reduce total carbon emissions. August saw Coca-Cola, a $46.9 billion company, announce an additional $5 billion investment in its Africa supply chain project. The investment will support new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production, as well as a program called "Source Africa," which will seek to secure more "consistent and sustainable" local ingredients and raw inputs for Coca-Cola from across Africa. Following Coca-Cola's announcement, Kellogg, a $14.8 billion company, announced a more comprehensive program to commit to a sustainable supply chain. Kellogg plans to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions and require its suppliers to do the same, promoting accountability and transparency throughout its own supply chain.

McDonald’s and Deforestation: Supply Chain Traceability vs. Visibility


We recently started to cover McDonald’s recently announced commitment to eliminating deforestation throughout its supply chain. The announcement pays more than lip service to the opportunity, in part because if will cascade across multiple tiers of suppliers rather than just tier-1 or direct suppliers to the fast food giant. There’s also a number of other rather curious elements to the program that warrant further analysis, one of which is contained within the Supporting Addendum McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation that explores the difference between how McDonald’s is defining traceability vs. visibility.

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.

VIVA Las Vegas: Kicking Off Coverage of the ‘VMSA Live 2015’ Contingent Workforce Management Conference

Nightfall at the Luxor Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 5.10.2013

In keeping with Spend Matters’ growing coverage of the services and contingent workforce management procurement category, I am heading to Las Vegas today, where I’ll be attending and reporting on VMSA Live, a unique conference designed for practitioners in all parts of the rapidly changing contingent workforce (CW) supply chain/ecosystem. I am looking forward to having this opportunity to get an up-to-date, direct read on current CW supply chain and management issues, as they are being discussed and thought about by a cross-section of top practitioners and thought leaders in the field.

Peeling the New Amazon Business Marketplace Onion: Part 1 – Selection, Pricing and Experience

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In our previous post on Amazon Business (an expansion of Amazon Supply), we discussed the basics of the new release and model in its current form. But, there’s much more to this story for procurement professionals – good and bad. After spending time with members of the Amazon team, and “reading through the tea leaves” from both these conversations and other sources, there are some critical factors to consider for buyers, sellers and technology partners when they “dance with the [Seattle] bear.” Some of these are specifically commercial, and others are more strategic (IP protection, for instance). We’ll also highlight some no-brainer short-term opportunities and some more strategic opportunities and issues. For example, Amazon Business is currently an e-marketplace and not an e-commerce platform that facilitates non-intermediated commerce. Yet that doesn’t mean Amazon couldn’t become a true “platform” intermediary leveraging the technical components of the IaaS and PaaS side of the company house. Such a scenario could be closer than many might think (e.g., consider Mechanical Turk in relation to emerging contingent work platforms or think about Amazon Home Services/TaskRabbit applied to fixed-fee B2B services). Anyway, I’m foreshadowing too much. Let’s get started and dive in. In the first part of this PRO research series, we’ll focus on selection, pricing and user experience as well as highlight 10 shortfalls (or “opportunities,” if you will) in the solution stack that warrant serious consideration.

In the Desert on a Horse with No Name – Reflections on the IQNsiders Conference, Talent Pools and the Shimmering Future of Contingent Workforce Management


IQNavigator’s recent client conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where Jason Busch and I saddled up earlier in the month, provided a perfect environment for attendees' further thinking about the changes, challenges and opportunities that are now emerging in the services procurement category of contingent workforce management. I share my top observations of the event and the current contingent workforce market.