Sourcing and Categories Content

Ask Spend Matters: Is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Right for Me?

A reader recently wrote in with a question about how to find group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or purchasing consortia. This individual is a U.S.-based sourcing manager at Heidelberg, a multinational company that provides equipment and services for the print media industry. The reader told us that his company is thinking about bidding out for copiers next year, and he became interested in looking into GPOs after hearing about them at a local ISM meeting. However, a casual internet search for GPOs yielded no shortage of results.

Is Strategic Sourcing the Best Route to Smarter Bunker Procurement?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gaurav Singh, consultant at GEP.

Since the internet became commercially popular in the early 2000s, companies have made attempts to change the way the market trades bunkers. We’ve come a long way since 2000. Now we’re used to conducting transactions online in our everyday lives and have seen the rise of the “digital ship.” But although shipping was expected to be among the first industries to embrace technology, it has ended up as the last one to adopt new ways of doing business.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 3)

The dramatically changing legal services industry discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series ultimately provides both challenges and exciting opportunities within legal services procurement. Alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), a main focus of this series, are just one component of these changes and still an emerging one in legal services procurement strategies and practice priorities. Growth in the corporate use of ALSPs, however, is expected.

Building Supply Market Intelligence: Which Data Sources are the Best?

Often, it’s all about how quickly one can digest something. No, I’m not talking about Joey Chestnut’s eating-champ prowess. I’m talking about market intelligence. In a procurement professional’s day-to-day, that sentiment has certainly become more widespread than ever. In fact, with time at a premium, the majority of procurement pros — from junior buyers all the way up to CPOs — are faced with this issue every day. However, it can pay dividends to approach supply market intelligence in a strategic way.

Centralized, Decentralized or Hybrid Sourcing Structure: How Do We Decide?

Today’s Ask Spend Matters question came from Piyush Shah, a PhD student of supply chain management at Arizona State University: “Centralized, decentralized or hybrid sourcing structure? How do we decide?” This is a classic question and one that has sparked decades of passionate debate. Proponents of centralization point to the potential for higher savings. Defenders of decentralization argue that regional procurement teams can bring about better supplier relationships.

The easy answer is “It depends” or “A hybrid of the two.” But what does a hybrid structure look like? And how do factors like purchasing category, industry and stakeholders play into the assessment?

State of Risk 2017: Procurement Needs to Be More Proactive About Supply Chain Risk Management

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That procurement is shedding its origins as a back-office function is old news. As organizations become more advanced, their role in the overall company is evolving into a more strategic one compared with its tactical past. And a crucial component of this strategic transformation is taking responsibility for mitigating supplier and supply chain risk. But how many procurement organizations actually have a comprehensive risk management strategy in place? RapidRatings and ProcureCon Indirect East teamed up to conduct a risk-focused benchmark survey of 88 procurement executives, the results of which are published in a report titled “The State of Risk.”

How Procurement and Sourcing Can Help Close the Gender Gap: UN Women Report

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Procurement functions can play a big role in supporting women-owned businesses, argues a new report produced by UN Women. The report points out that corporations are in a powerful position to help close the gender gap through their procurement and sourcing departments. Even though corporate spend accounts for trillions of dollars every year, only 1% of that sum goes to women-owned businesses.

Switzerland Again Tops FM Global’s 2017 Resilience Index, But Rankings Have Shuffled

Switzerland has again taken the top spot on the FM Global Resilience Index, which ranks 130 countries and territories according to their resilience to supply chain disruptions. This fourth annual report, released alongside an interactive graphic, cites cyber attacks, natural hazards and supply chain failure among businesses’ most urgent risks today. The no. 1 country may have stayed the same as 2016, but a bit of shuffling took place throughout the list.

Wednesday, May 31. Downtown Chicago. Sourcing, AI and Optimization.

I rarely pimp things I'm participating in, but I'm really excited to go back to my FreeMarkets roots tomorrow (May 31) at this breakfast and morning session in Chicago on the future of strategic sourcing and e-sourcing. The event is free, and it’s open to procurement practitioners and consultants.

Keelvar is hosting the event and the topic is about the massive transformation (thanks to artificial intelligence [AI], robotics, optimization and more) starting to take shape in strategic sourcing and e-sourcing. Alan Holland (Keelvar) and Josh Brogan (A.T. Kearney) are speaking as well.

Verisk Maplecroft Releases Latest Geopolitical Risk Outlook: Keep An Eye on Emerging Markets

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Emmanuel Macron’s win in the French presidential election was a temporary boon for geopolitical stability, as was Moon Jae-in’s election as the new president of South Korea. U.S. president Donald Trump, however, has managed to become even more of a wildcard. In addition to the above, many emerging markets are at risk of growing instability, according to global risk research firm Verisk Maplecroft, which recently released its 2017 Geopolitical Risk Outlook.

Conflict Minerals Update: Perspectives on the SEC’S Latest Move

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Last Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is scaling back the more costly parts of its conflict minerals rule. As indicated in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, companies are required to disclose whether their products contain tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) sourced from the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where large shares of mining profits go to various armed rebel groups.

Apple Achieves 100% Cobalt Supply Chain Mapping (Plus: Lessons for Supply Chain)

conflict minerals

Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts now include tracking cobalt as well as conflict minerals, according to the company’s 11th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report released Monday. Last year, Apple announced it had achieved 100% third-party auditing of conflict mineral suppliers. This year, Apple was able to publish a complete list of its cobalt smelters, all of which have participated in third-party auditing. In another milestone, Apple’s suppliers have also achieved 100% UL 2799 Zero Waste to Fill validation for all final assembly sites in China.