Category Archives: Supply Chain

Report: Seasonal Demand Management Wreaks Havoc on the Supply Chain

demand management

It’s officially fall, which means we can expect to see the color orange and “pumpkin spiced” everything on grocery store shelves. Starbucks may make a killing with its successful pumpkin spiced seasonal latte each year, but the coffee giant could be the exception. A new retail industry report shows it’s often not profitable for companies to invest in creating new or seasonal products each year. Such products bring new supply chain management challenges to procurement, including the difficulty of predicting what the demand will be for a new item.

Target Supply Chain Woes Get Serious


Target is now taking its supply chain problems seriously. The major retailer has been struggling with running out of stock and even having empty shelves in stores. But last week, John Mulligan, the newly appointed chief operating officer, called the company’s woes “unacceptable.” Target’s online ordering and in-store pickup options have reportedly magnified the retailer’s supply chain problems. The growth in online ordering could have more widespread impacts in the retail sector, where other companies’ supply chains might not be up to the task.

Localized Supply Chains: How Not to Reduce Supply Chain Risk

supply risk

In a recent Industry Week column, Paul Ericksen, a consultant, makes a number of arguments about the importance of considering the extended supply chain when setting up new facilities or onboarding new suppliers. Chasing tax incentives for new facilities or swapping out suppliers/facilities is a bit like chasing low cost labor. It’s a near-term arbitrage that can actually increase overall risk, as well as potential direct, everyday costs of logistics costs increase.

Identifying the Major Changes in the Supply Chain Finance Space

Finance concept

Back in early 2014, Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin noticed some major changes in the supply chain finance space. Banking and financing firms were increasingly partnering with various supplier B2B networks at a rapid pace. He pointed to this growing trend in one of our popular Ask the Expert webinars, which originally aired in April 2014, titled, Ask the Expert: B2B Commerce Networks Enter the Supply Chain Finance Space. You can check out the full recording of the webinar in this post and learn the difference between trade credit and trade finance and what exactly supplier networks are, how they operate and more.

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

risk management

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

stock prices

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?

risk management

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.