Category Archives: Supply Chain

One Company’s Woes of the West Coast Port Slowdown

- December 23, 2014 8:07 AM | Categories: Industry News, Sourcing, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

As negotiations for West Coast port workers drag on, and productivity at those ports continues at a crawl, companies are being forced to use alternative, and costly, shipping methods. Ensuring holiday orders are delivered? Forget about it. One company we spoke to recently - Wahoo Fitness - gave up hope it would be able to fulfill all orders by Christmas.

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What Re-establishing Diplomatic Relationships With Cuba Means For the Supply Chain

- December 19, 2014 2:29 PM | Categories: Analysis, Industry News, Supply Chain

We are still far from making any comparison with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, however, this is big news for Cubans in particular and it can be a good economic opportunity for the US, too - and not just cigar aficionados. Let's set aside concerns over the oppressive leadership in Cuba and just look at the good news. While there is still a lot to figure out, this is one step toward Cuba's globalization, but not necessarily toward democratization. At Spend Matters, we try to go beyond the political implications and also analyze the potential implications for, or opportunities to, American and Cuban businesses and their supply chains.

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Should Middle Market Companies Consider Supply Chain Finance?

- December 18, 2014 2:12 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supply Chain, Trade Financing

Approved trade payable finance/reverse factoring programs – otherwise known as supply chain finance – have been the domain of the investment-grade or near-investment corporations. But as many bankers compete on price for these programs and the market becomes saturated with solutions (i.e., most big credit quality companies have probably heard 10 or more bank pitches), the question becomes what about the middle market? Can programs work with this segment? Check out this article at our sister site, Trade Financing Matters.

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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 Comparative Immaturity of Services Procurement – Is the Tech and Services Ecosystem Coming Up Short?

- December 9, 2014 2:37 AM | Categories: Procurement, Supply Chain

In the next 2 weeks, Spend Matters will release a survey report examining differences between how companies manage services procurement and supply chain efforts (with a focus on contingent labor) relative to indirect and direct materials. We are looking at the study, which is based on a sample size of 144, as the first major effort that has been made toward covering the services procurement market the way in which it needs to be covered, compared to the silo-based approach that we (and others) have taken in the past. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, offers a preview of some areas of our research findings and begins to point the finger at the existing solution provider ecosystem for coming up short in delivering comparable procurement solutions to direct and indirect spend.

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West Coast Port Contract Negotiations Resume, But is it Too Late to Help Holiday Shipments?

- December 4, 2014 10:02 AM | Categories: Industry News, Supply Chain

Contract talks between West Coast port union workers and terminal operators were set to resume earlier this week, following a nearly month-long slowdown in port activity in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere in the region. Read on to see how these stalled contract negotiations are impacting the holiday season and the supply chain.

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Supply Chain Localization Rarely a Priority: Our Continued Analysis of DHL’s Global Connectedness Index (Part 3)

- December 4, 2014 6:49 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

file0001110809384 One of the somewhat surprising trends in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index is that “Advanced economies have not kept up with the big shift of economic activity to emerging economies.” This might seem surprising on the surface – increasingly larger companies are mobilizing localized supply chains to serve regional global markets. Yet the question remains: Are we doing it enough?

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DHL’s Global Connectedness Index – A Must Read For Supply Chain and Procurement Professionals

While some of the more advanced procurement organizations that we know and work with have reached the “devolution” phase of maturity – i.e., centralized support and enablement but with localized, decentralized execution and capability – the general linkages of global supply chains is a trend that is likely not to reverse itself. Even as companies localize supply chains rather than center global sourcing efforts from an export perspective, interconnectivity between countries and organizations is rising, not falling. For companies that are increasingly “sourcing locally,” the underlying sources of supply for lower-tier materials, semi-finished goods and ingredients are becoming more reliant on global sources. With this in mind, DHL’s academic, yet outstanding Global Connectedness Index should be required reading for those with any sort of global orientation or interest within supply chain and procurement.

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The Forgotten Food: What Gets Left on Supermarket Shelves – The Stats (Waste Matters! Part 3)

- December 1, 2014 10:14 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

file000682460637 Grocery stores and restaurants are major sources of wasted food. These businesses either buy too much food they don’t end up selling, or it goes bad before a customer purchases it. In the last week, Spend Matters has published Part 1 and Part 2 of our food waste series. In our previous posts, we introduced the issue of food waste and talked about how much food consumers throw out. We also talked about those folks who “dive” in dumpsters for discarded but still “eatable” food items. Today, we look at how much businesses spend and waste on food.

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Suppliers Strain to Meet Demand For Protective Medical Suits as Ebola Epidemic Continues

1414562738yamt4 Demand for full medical protective suits is high as the Ebola epidemic spreads in Africa and threatens to reach other parts of the globe. As a consequence, supplies of the suits are struggling to keep up. To make the situation even more difficult, there are only a small number of companies that actually manufacture the types of protective suits involved. These suppliers are increasing production (some by as much as three times normal levels), but meeting the actual demand is still proving to be difficult.

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What We Spend on Thanksgiving – And Other Holiday Facts

- November 27, 2014 10:12 AM | Categories: Price Forecast, Procurement Commentary, Supply Chain

1385192565jql7k Happy Thanksgiving from the Spend Matters Family! In honor of the holiday, we feature a special news roundup T-Day edition – focusing on spending and the supply chain (of course). How much do Americans spend on the holiday? Have you heard of a supposed “turkey shortage?” We clear that up and offer some other fun or lesser-known Thanksgiving Day facts.

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