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Want to Know Your Industry’s Risks? CSR Index from EcoVadis Takes Deep Look

risk

As customers and businesses seek better environmental practices and fair labor standards, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting has taken on greater importance for executives who could face questions about why they use conflict minerals or buy products created by forced labor. To help take a deeper look at the issues, EcoVadis has assessed the CSR reporting of more than 33,000 companies around the world. The Paris-based company is a provider of business sustainability ratings, intelligence and performance-improvement tools for global supply chains.

Commodities Roundup: Mining in Goa, Aluminum Price Volatile, and Copper’s Recovery

conflict mineral

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 about particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters this week.

APICS Becoming ASCM: CEO Abe Eshkenazi Details the New Direction

marketing procurement

APICS announced recently it was launching a new supply chain organization that would push the industry association out of its niche for talent development and into corporate transformation strategy. Called the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the new organization seeks to create a fully encompassing group for all professionals who touch the supply chain. More than a rebrand, the creation of ASCM signals a shift in strategy at APICS as well as within the businesses of the customers that the association serves, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi told Spend Matters in a recent interview at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago.

Creative Supplier Governance: Key Points From a Sourcing Leaders’ Lunch & Learn

SciQuest

At a recent Chicago Sourcing Leaders Lunch & Learn, one theme was clear: The sourcing department includes the “cool kids” of the enterprise. Hosted by solutions provider Scout RFP and Zebra Technologies, pioneers of barcode scanning technology, the Lunch & Learn featured a sampling of the Zebra product line and a practical presentation from Dawn Tiura, president and CEO of the Sourcing Industry Group, or SIG. She described the qualities of the “cool kids” and shared her insight on the importance of having a formal supplier governance program.

South America’s Gold Supply Chain Poses Big Risks for Procurement, Report Says

If your company sources and buys gold, then the message from some recent research is loud and clear: Watch your step in South America. The market there and its role in the global gold supply chain is a tremendous cause for corporate concern, according to a Thomson Reuters white paper. Evidently, the promise of huge profits based on higher gold prices — and fueled by rampant corruption — have created a vast supply chain problem on the continent.

Key to Supply Chain Innovation? Early Adopters of Technology Do Well, Study Says

SciQuest

With disruption upending every segment of business over the past decade, it may not be surprising that new research ties technological innovation to high supply chain performance. A 2018 web survey by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions found that over 80% of companies that identified as “innovators” or “early adopters” of new technologies also ranked their organization’s performance as slightly or significantly above average.

Commodities Roundup: Zinc, Rising Architecture Billings, Higher Oil Prices

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, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: zinc, China pollution, oil prices rising.

With USMCA Done, Supply Chain Professionals Can Get Down to Work

sustainability

Procurement and supply chain professionals reacted to the new USMCA trade deal this week with relief that they now know what to focus on in a post-NAFTA landscape — and that they can begin figuring out how the pact fits with ongoing tariff disputes with China. Trade negotiators on Sunday finalized the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a new pact that will replace NAFTA. After about two years of turmoil, the deal was welcome news for supply chain professionals because it removed uncertainty from their planning processes.

On CSR Reporting, Smaller Firms Outscore Larger Ones in Global Study

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Small and medium-sized businesses outscored larger companies in managing their corporate social responsibility reports — but all sizes of firms could improve CSR management and remove more risk for their companies, according to EcoVadis’ second annual study of more than 33,000 businesses around the world. Out of 100 points, small and medium-sized companies (26-999 employees) scored 42.4, and large ones (more than 1,000 employees) scored 39.6, the study said. Results below 45 indicate “an unstructured approach” to CSR management — with a medium to high risk for a business on the EcoVadis scoring scale, and the study said large companies have much further to go in improving their CSR practices.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

How Can Procurement Find Savings When Commodity Prices Are Going Up, Up, Up?

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

While going through questions that our readers have sent us, we came across one regarding how and where procurement practitioners can find savings when commodity prices are going up. The reader, a senior procurement manager, had noted that procurement’s primary task of finding savings is becoming difficult. This is an ever-relevant topic, and we enlisted the expertise of Stuart Burns, editor-at-large at MetalMiner, in coming up with some concrete tips for other procurement professionals facing this challenge. Read on!

Highlights from ADP Analyst Day: It’s Not All Permanent, It’s Also Contingent

Eved

Spend Matters attended ADP Analyst Day last week, held at the ADP Innovation Lab in New York City. At more than $13 billion in annual revenue, ADP is the largest provider of payroll services and one of the largest providers of human capital management (HCM) solutions in the world. Over the past six decades, ADP built its business on the basis of the permanent W2 employee workforce. But as we all know, nothing is permanent — particularly in workforce, where for businesses and workers things are becoming increasingly contingent. And ADP, which acquired WorkMarket earlier this year, is clearly rising to meet the changes in the market, on both the business and worker side. As you might expect, this is not a casual undertaking for ADP but a studied, strategic initiative now moving into gear.