The Supply Chain Category

What are Companies’ Biggest Risk Misconceptions? A Conversation with Coupa Economist Ahmad Sadeddin (Part 2)

As a senior economist and risk expert at Coupa, Ahmad Sadeddin is in a good position to see what companies do well and not so well in terms of risk management. Unfortunately, companies are being put to the test more frequently these days, as risks become more numerous and unpredictable. In this second half of our pre-webinar interview with Sadeddin, the risk expert discusses common risk-related misconceptions, challenges that Coupa’s clients have faced and one recent risk success story that impressed him.

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Driving Sustainability and Compliance (Part 2): The Power of Social Media Voices in the Supply Chain

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This post is the second in a three-part series. Click here to read Part 1.

Social media gives voice to anyone looking for a platform: consumers and corporates, individuals and organizations. By enabling the democratization of instant worldwide communications, services such as Facebook and Twitter have created an overwhelming volume of unstructured data in a short period of time. While the development of social media voices is dynamic and continues to evolve without pause, businesses have yet to tap into its true power. What happens to these spontaneously created bits of data? Who is listening? Is there actionable value in the voices?

Does the Supply Chain Hiring Process Need Revamping? ISM’s M.L. Peck Discusses Talent Gaps and the “30 Under 30” Competition

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The nomination period has opened again for the “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” program, which recognizes some of the most talented young supply chain professionals. (A public service announcement: If you’re interested in nominating someone, you have until Dec. 3!) Organized by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Thomasnet.com, “30 Under 30” is now in its fourth year and just as ambitious as ever in its aim to attract young people to the supply chain field and tackle that notorious talent gap.

Back in Coastal Georgia with the Evacuation Blues Again

Hurricane Matthew and Irma. Two evacuations in one year have proven more than enough for me (and I’m hearing there may be yet another one on the way). In both cases I lost more than a week of my life. Whether holed-up with friends hooked on reality TV or moving between cheap motels with my ill-mannered pets, it doesn’t make much difference: it’s a totally depressing scene that has moved me to action. I ain’t going nowhere next time, no how.

Q&A With Graham Wright, IBM’s VP of Global Procurement: It’s Not the 80s Anymore

When the term “global” is in your title, chances are you’re going to be a jet-setter. That’s indeed the case for IBM’s Vice President of Global Procurement and IBM Procurement Services Graham Wright, who is based in the U.K. and has been ping-ponging around the planet on behalf of the Global 100 giant for the last several years. Between meeting with clients and presenting at conferences, Wright made some time to catch up with Spend Matters about how he and IBM see the state of procurement technology within our increasingly digitalized business ecosystem.

How Well Are Your Peers Doing in Supply Chain CSR? EcoVadis Releases New Report

If you’re a small or medium-sized construction company, congratulations. Chances are you’re doing pretty well in your supply chain corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Likewise if you’re a large company in the financial, legal, consulting and advertising markets. On Tuesday, EcoVadis released its first annual Global CSR Risk and Performance Index, which evaluated 20,400 companies according to 21 criteria related to the environment, labor practices and human rights, fair business ethics and sustainable procurement.

Terrorist Attacks Pose Growing Problem for Supply Chains Worldwide

Terrorist attacks on supply chains are on the upswing, according to a recent report from BSI, a provider of supply chain intelligence. The number of such attacks have increased 8.5% from last year, and the year-over-year increase in the proportion of terrorist attacks on supply chains versus all attacks has also risen, by 19%.

Assessing the Near- and Long-Term Supply Chain Effects from Hurricane Harvey

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Procurement professionals have their work cut out for them as rains from Hurricane Harvey finally recede. While the personal and human costs of the disaster are only beginning to be tallied, supply chain and logistics pictures appear even murkier. Here are the top supply chain areas Harvey has disrupted, as well as the near- and long-term consequences procurement organizations will face responding to the storm.

Post-Hurricane Harvey, 3 Supply Chain Risk Mitigation Strategies to Keep in Mind

It’s a simple yet excruciating irony that in a natural disaster that dumps more than 50 inches of rain on a single region, water becomes widely unavailable for consumption — for either people to drink or factories to function — even as it floods scores of neighborhoods. So it’s no surprise that water, and the havoc it continues to wreak in Houston and other areas, is central to the issue of supply chain risk management in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Spend Matters has been covering the hurricane (see related stories below), which had been downgraded to a tropical storm soon after, and the disaster spurred a recent webinar presented by Resilinc, a supply chain resiliency solutions provider.

There’s a Reason Your Supply Chain is Making You Nauseous: You Don’t Know all of the Risks that Dwell Within It

Something about your supply chain is making you feel like your lunch is about to come back up, and you don’t know why. Sure, you’ve heeded the commodity forecasts and hedged your purchases for the rest of the year. Maybe you even dual sourced a critical component of your product to ensure the first tier of your supply chain is always reliable. But then you start to wonder about the suppliers of the suppliers to those suppliers and how exactly they extracted those raw materials. Or you remember the most recent ransomeware attack and how it shut down that auto manufacturer’s supply chain for several days. And then the nausea sets in.

Blockchain is the Future of X (Insert Anything from Visa Applications to Real Estate)

If you can’t think of a good headline for your blockchain article, there’s always this trusty formula: “Blockchain is the future of ______.” And you can fill in the blank with whatever the article’s about, whether it’s seafood supply chains or cannabis, as chances are your article is extolling blockchain technology and how it will transform some particular field. But where is blockchain — basically an open, distributed ledger that has been likened to Google Docs — actually being implemented? Despite what it may seem like, blockchain isn’t all hype. Here is a roundup of real-life cases where blockchain is being implemented or under serious consideration, starting with the U.S. federal government.

Supply Dynamics: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

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Direct materials procurement is similar in some respects to indirect procurement: you want to see your spend, aggregate demand and find opportunities to reshape your value chain to unlock value. But that’s where the similarities end. Analyzing direct spend (especially across multiple tiers of supply) is sometimes like seeing a cloud of smoke coming out of your tailpipe — you know there’s something wrong but don’t know the cause. For indirect spend, you basically change the oil, replace the air filter and hope for the best. But for direct spend, you need specific engine diagnostics to figure out what’s driving performance and how much you could potentially improve. And unfortunately, in many cases, the manufacturers of those engines parts don’t want you poking around under the hood.

Whether it’s for plastics, resins, hydrocarbon feedstocks, agricultural commodities, standard catalogue parts, electronic components or metals, you must translate your demand for parts into the raw materials that go into them. And you must understand the demand volumes, supply chain capacities and processing capabilities that drive that pricing — especially if you want to tap into aggregated buying channels beyond the stuff you buy to support your own internal factory requirements.

This intersection of supply chain modeling, demand forecasting, demand-supply reconciliation, demand aggregation and commodity price forecasting is where Supply Dynamics plays. The idea originated with one of North America’s largest privately owned metals distributors where the opportunity to roll up demand information across OEM customers and their outside contract manufacturers gave it a unique opportunity to build out specific analytics that would help it size up opportunities for its customers and itself. But last year that technology was liberated from its previous owners and is now a commercial offering for any manufacturer or distributor that wants to optimize its own extended supply chain.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like Supply Dynamics to expand their analytics initiatives into previously unchartered materials and supply chain components. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Supply Dynamics. The rest of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.