The Supply Chain Category

Beyond Greenwashing: How to Make CSR Clauses Truly Effective (Part 2)

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 in a two-part series covering EcoVadis’s recent study of CSR contractual practices among buyers and suppliers. Part 1 covered the limited effectiveness of today’s CSR clauses

Among buyers, inserting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) clause into their contracts with suppliers is a pretty common occurrence. According to EcoVadis’s 2018 study on CSR contractual practices, about 70% of buyers do so. The same study found, however, that more than 50% of suppliers say that they have come across CSR requirements that could not be met. But perhaps the greater problem is the fact that most CSR clauses are vague and ineffectual, providing for little enforceability and verifiability.

Commodities Roundup: Base Metals Hit a Downtrend, The Future of Iron Ore

direct materials procurement

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

Commodities Roundup: Zinc and Copper Prices Plunge, the Specter of Automotive Tariffs and Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel

Nissan

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scoured the landscape for what mattered this week.

2018 Trade Mania Roundup: Who Wins, Who Loses and Who Should Cut the Cheese

sustainability

Without a doubt, global trade in 2018 has seen the most fireworks since, arguably, the Great Recession — or even before. As much else in the world has for the last year and a half, the story begins with U.S. President Donald J. Trump and his administration’s actions on the trade front, namely how it has chosen to review the country’s approach with its existing trade partners. The search term “trade war” has likely seen thousand-percent spikes in the first half of this year compared with past years, going by the key events of 2018.

Canadian Tariffs: Ketchup Iffy, Bourbon and Whiskey Kinda Risky

amazon

In what is starting to look like a high stakes game show, Canada hit its trade war button Sunday, imposing 10% tariffs on a wide range of U.S. staples. Run through your grocery list of most things Kraft Heinz, add in a nice array of other foodstuffs found on adjacent aisles and, well, if events play out as usual, the affected companies will take disproportionate advantage of this latest opportunity to raise prices.

The Impact of Steel Tariffs on U.S. Jobs and the Squeeze on the Pockets of Consumers

trade

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Prince Fiifi Yawson, analyst at Mintec.

In June 2015, President Donald Trump announced in his candidacy for president, “We need a leader that can bring back our jobs, can bring back our manufacturing.” Fast-forward to June 2018 and the U.S. economic growth rate has risen, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.8%, its lowest level in 18 years. It goes without saying that Trump has brought back some jobs, but is this a continuing trend?

Commodities Roundup: U.S. Smelter Restarts, Copper Prices Plunge

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

‘Pull In’ Initiatives More Effective Than ‘Lean In’ for Retaining and Advancing Women in Supply Chain

women

While women only make up about 20% of supply chain vice presidents today, that share is expected to rise to roughly one in three by 2023, according to a new report from Gartner and AWESOME, a leadership organization focused on the advancement of women in supply chain. Now in its third year, the 2018 Women in Supply Chain Survey focused on supply chain organizations’ initiatives on the retention and advancement of women. It found that while the percentage of women holding executive-level supply chain positions has risen in recent years, the average percentage of women leaders at other levels has remained flat.

Auburn University’s Beth Davis-Sramek on How the Logistics Sector is Changing and Why the UPS Strike Was Unlikely

Late Thursday, the Teamsters Union and UPS reached agreement on a new five-year contract, averting what would have been the largest strike in the U.S. in decades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing UPS workers, had authorized a strike if the two sides do not come to an agreement before the current contract expires July 31. Before the two sides came to an agreement, Spend Matters talked to Beth Davis Sramek, associate professor of supply chain management at Auburn University, who made the prescient prediction that the strike would not go through. Read on for her thoughts on what the supply chain consequences would have been, potential contingency plans and what changes are in store for the logistics sector.

Fragile Antibiotic Supply Chains Are Leading to Frequent Shortages, Worsening Antimicrobial Resistance

locum tenens

Antibiotic supply chains are fragile and at risk of collapsing, warns a new white paper from the Amsterdam-based Access to Medicine Foundation. Shortages of specific antibiotics are causing price hikes, delayed treatment and the prescription of lower doses or alternative antibiotics — which worsens the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Similar to the situation that the U.S. Department of Defense is in with its munitions procurement, the primary culprit in the instability of antibiotic supply chains lies in a shortage of producers.

3 Essential Factors to Facilitating Supply Chain Finance Adoption With Suppliers

finance

As general awareness about dynamic discounting and supply chain finance grows among practitioners, procurement groups are increasingly pushing their technology providers to offer early payment capabilities. These organizations are primarily seeking to strengthen their supply base, relieving the DPO stretch that has plagued small suppliers as of late while also improving their own working capital.

But while enthusiasm for such programs has grown with buying organizations and their technology providers, suppliers have been the reluctant missing piece to the early payment puzzle. To encourage the full spectrum of suppliers to fully adopt early payment, the parties offering these programs must team up explain the benefits in the supplier’s language, providing a seamless, flexible and fast experience that creates win-win scenarios for everyone involved.

Why E-Commerce Trends Necessitate the Adoption of Automation and Analytics Tools in the Retail Industry

In November 2017, the popular online retailer ASOS introduced a new “try before you buy” service. The scheme, as the name suggests, allows customers to order multiple items — say, the same shirt in different sizes, or different items altogether — and try them on. Then customers can return the items they do not want, and ASOS charges only for the items they keep. This flexibility may be helping e-commerce businesses win market share, but for many retailers, the inevitable flood of returns make for a growing risk, a report from Brightpearl finds.