Category Archives: Supply Management

New Research: Supply Chain Risk Management – Managing the Unimaginable

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Even with the an airtight risk management strategy in place, situations that may be out of your control (political unrest, natural disasters, labor violations, corruptions and more) can hinder even the most prepared organization. What is one to do? Download Proactive Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) in an Uncertain World, and find out.

The Fundamental Problem With Contingent Workforce Management Today

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In today’s global economy, firms like Amazon, Apple, GE, P&G and Walmart all compete on how well they manage their extended supply chains and associated spending on critical goods and materials. But, in an increasingly services-based economy where nearly everything is becoming a "service" (including all the non-production elements associated with creating a product), applying the same rigor in managing external services spending should also be important. Yet, Spend Matters has found that relevant best practices and principals in managing materials spending are not well applied to services spending – particularly in the area of contingent labor.

Supplier Enablement For Trade Financing: Initial Steps

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When it comes to trade financing (receivables financing and payables financing), there are numerous elements involved in onboarding and enabling suppliers. These efforts go beyond what we might typically consider for standard procurement and A/P-centric on-boarding processes. As we noted in the last installment in this series here, onboarding often begins with the implementation of a plan “to tier the supply based into logical tranches for targeting – by size, willingness to take a discount, APR rate, risk, geography, industry, diversity status, etc.”

Recalls, Big and Small, Impact Food Waste (Waste Matters! Part 7)

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No matter how large a food recall is – whether it is localized and involving a limited amount of product or a nationwide recall affecting millions of units – it has an impact on how much food goes to waste in the US. And, I’m not talking about just the food involved in the recall. Recalls lead to food waste due to a matter of consumer perception as well.

“Eating the Cost” of Wasted Food – And Sometimes, That’s OK (Waste Matters Part 6)

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Food is wasted at grocery stores. This is a fact of the food supply chain. We have talked about this in previous posts in this series, sharing expert insight from Kevin Brooks, senior vice president of marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry, who explained many reasons how and why food gets thrown out. Today, we continue this conversation, with Kevin pointing to the importance of quality produce for grocers. In the end, quality is often more important to retailers than (an overabundance of) quantity.

The (Extreme) Complexity of the Food Supply Chain (Waste Matters! Part 5)

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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.

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

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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.

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

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.

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

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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.

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

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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, […]

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

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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!

Does Increased DPO Actually Destroy Enterprise Value?

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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.