Category Archives: Supply Management

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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Supply Chain Risk: Challenges We’re Ignoring, Solutions We Don’t Know About

- December 8, 2014 10:16 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Management, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

broken-dangerous-lake-1087-849x550 There is no shortage of studies on supply chain risk (I co-authored my first one in the area roughly 12 years ago). But, it would appear that procurement and supply chain managers are not taking action based on what they read (or chose to ignore). A study by the faculty in the supply chain/operations program at the University of Tennessee, Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain, published earlier this summer, begins by highlighting what appears to be a lack of attention being paid to the overall supply chain risk equation, including all of the available solutions (such as insurance) that can mitigate risk.

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Providing Sustainable Supply Chain Guidance Upstream – Improving Both Price and CSR Impact at the Design Phase

- October 14, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Supply Management, Sustainability

One of the hallmarks of direct materials sourcing in discrete manufacturing is the typical percentage of spend that is “locked in” during the design process – it can be has high as 90-95%. In other words, the design decisions that engineers make are also the “cost decisions” that procurement and the business must live with. These include factors that span materials, tolerances, processes, dimensions, durability and many other requirements.

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Global Market and Future Goals: BravoSolution’s New CEO Speaks Out – The Spend Matters Interview (Part 3)

- October 9, 2014 2:49 AM | Categories: Spend Management, Supply Management, Technology

13900884393bkpr-1 Jim Wetekamp, BravoSolution’s recently appointed CEO, is no stranger to the depths of procurement solutions and technology. Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director, first got his taste of Jim’s handiwork when he was working for a competitor to FreeMarkets, Atlas Commerce, which was acquired by VerticalNet. Jim has since focused on a variety of solution and commercial areas as that original entity morphed into something that would have been difficult to imagine at the time of the original analyst research into the procurement market. In this three-part interview series, Jason and Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, delve into Jim’s and BravoSolution’s current focus in global markets and its future plans.

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Expanding Into Upstream Supply Management: BravoSolution’s New CEO Speaks Out – The Spend Matters Interview (Part 2)

- October 8, 2014 10:02 AM | Categories: Spend Management, Supply Management, Technology

1410735813pl8ep Jason Busch, founder and managing director of Spend Matters, has known BravoSolution’s new CEO Jim Wetekamp for nearly 15 years, meeting around the time when they both first entered the procurement market. In this three-part interview series, Jason, along with Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, quiz Jim on his background and discusses BravoSolution’s current position in the market and it’s ambitions. Also see Part 1 of the interview as well.   Spend Matters: What is the largest solutions-focused opportunity for BravoSolution today? Jim Wetekamp: This very much depends upon a market-by-market case since each region is different. However, […]

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BravoSolution’s New CEO Speaks Out – The Spend Matters Interview (Part 1)

- October 7, 2014 10:54 AM | Categories: Spend Management, Supply Management, Technology

file000489793623 Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch recently sat down with BravoSolution’s new CEO Jim Wetekamp at his office in Chicago. Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, was also part of the discussion via teleconference. In this three-part series, Jason and Peter asked Jim to provide some insight on his background for our readers, where he sees BravoSolution today and opportunities for the future. Enjoy!

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Does Increased DPO Actually Destroy Enterprise Value?

- September 4, 2014 2:28 AM | Categories: Best Practice, Suppliers, Supply Management

1404632621ye0k6 My old employer The Hackett Group sent me the results of their latest annual study on working capital performance (a downloadable version of the study can be found here). Hackett’s subsidiary REL Consultancy (or “REL” for short) annually extracts, adjusts, and reports on the working capital performance (and overall financial performance) of the top 1,000 publicly traded firms in the United States. For context, the average firm turnover is $11 billion in revenues and median turnover is $4 billion.

REL runs its business primarily based on a singular assumption and value proposition: Reduce your Days Working Capital (DWC) because less working capital is better for the business. Cash that is “liberated” from balance sheets can be used for stock buybacks, R&D, M&A, etc. Improving working capital is a no brainer, right? Unfortunately, this story is just that: a nice story.

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Ask the Expert: Should You Be Worried About Ebola and Your Supply Chain?

Should you be worried about Ebola? What can you do about this issue, and similar illnesses that might disrupt your supply chain and/or put your employees and suppliers at risk? On this week's Ask the Expert webinar, on Thursday 8/14 from 10-10:30am Central, Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase will provide an overview of the issue and possible ways to improve your understanding of the level of exposure – as well as ways to better alert employees and third parties when needed. We’re also pleased to have a special guest joining Thomas: Heiko Schwarz, Managing Director of riskmethods. riskmethods is a German firm focused on global supply basic risk visibility and mitigation. Spend Matters Plus and PRO members, click on through to register for this special event!

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LeanLinking Brings Social Media Principles to Procurement and Supply Management

We've been talking for some time on the different Spend Matters sites about how social media principles and approaches will inevitably make their way into the business and procurement world, yet progress has in reality been pretty slow. The innovative Rollstream has been assimilated into GXS, now itself part of OpenText, and seems pretty low-profile these days. However, there are signs that things are changing. Sourcemap is a more recently established firm that has an interesting approach, including some aspects of supply chain collaboration with a social media slant. Mark Perera, one of the founders of Procurement Leaders, is involved in Old Street Labs, whose new Vizibl platform is in its testing phase (we'll feature it as soon as you're ready, Mark). The platform looks to use some of the core social media principles in a business environment. And now we have LeanLinking starting to make a splash. This Spend Matters Plus research brief, by Peter Smith (managing editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe), looks at what LeanLinking has to offer and which organizations would benefit from the technology.

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Who Put The Supply In Supply Chain Management, and Why?

- July 14, 2014 2:27 AM | Categories: Commentary, Supply Management, Supply Networks

Spend Matters recently brought attention to that very question: Who put supply in supply chain networks? The question is a fair one, and yet it may lead to the follow-up question of how it is that this attention suddenly becomes necessary. Look, it is wonderful that the sourcing and procurement employees from the supply tent are peeking through the flaps of the supply chain management tent. The relationship between the two worlds has been reminiscent of members of Congress linking arms to sing “We Shall Overcome.”

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Announcing a New 2-Part Research Series on Supply Networks

For manufacturers, the CEO agenda is about innovation and global growth. Companies that innovate and compete on customization to markets and customers will increase revenue and market share. For the CFO, this profitable growth agenda must also be predictable – and efficient. The head of supply chain must then align with these strategic priorities for reducing cost and risk, while supporting growth and customer satisfaction.

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Settling the “SCORe” with “Supply” at the Core: It’s time for Supply Management 2.0

- June 3, 2014 3:33 PM | Categories: Supply Management

As supply networks are becoming more complex, componentized, outsourced, and global (as well as faster, riskier, and more regulated), the capability of managing supply (i.e., “Supply Management” to manage a network of supply) is promoted from a siloed set of functional process to an integrated strategic one. So, if you want to “orchestrate” it, whether you provide products, services (including information services), or both, you need to collaborate fluidly in a multi-tier and multi-level fashion that orchestrates both the process silos and the information silos. For lack of a better term, think of this as Supply Management 2.0. It basically expands the vision from a traditional procurement-led sourcing process, typically managed via ERP and/or stand-alone procurement applications, to a cross-functional and cross-enterprise “platform” for orchestration of all critical supply resources in the supply network (materials, capacity, logistics, capital, etc.) across the supply tiers. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell argues that it’s time to flip the traditional paradigm of supply management from not just a new faceplate on the traditional purchasing function, but also from the sourcing component of the “sourcing and procurement” moniker that many practitioners use. Having strategic procurement be merely about sourcing as a serial step in an end-to-end lifecycle is a mistake. Not a Spend Matters PRO subscriber yet? Contact us to ask about a 30-day free trial.

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