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The Perfect Storm for NHS Procurement

As one of the top five largest employers in the world and an average annual expenditure of £130 billion, the National Health Service (NHS) and how it spends its budget is a widely debated topic. Moreover, harsh restrictions on the public purse mean that healthcare procurement professionals are tasked with providing the best value for every pound spent while still protecting the quality of frontline care. And while we often see pressure on resources and cost of care making the media headlines, procurement professionals in this sector face a host of other challenges too.

Apple Expands Supplier Audit, Publishes Results in Latest Annual Progress Report

hidden workers

For 12 years, Apple has published reports on its supplier audits, and the 2018 Progress Report was released earlier this month. In 2017, Apple conducted audits of 756 suppliers in 30 countries, including 197 suppliers that were audited for the first time. The expanded audit unearthed 48 “core” violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct, double the number from the year before. However, the good news is that the overall trend is toward greater compliance.

Product Quality Top Concern Among Europe’s Sourcing Professionals in Recent Survey

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Concerns over product quality are top of mind for European companies that source abroad, according to Amber Road’s recently released 2018 E.U. Sourcing Survey Report. The complexity of international trade compliance is a close second. This insight comes from a survey Amber Road conducted of more than 150 respondents from companies based in the European Union. Sixty-four percent of the respondents represent companies that source from more than 10 countries, and 54% have at least 100 suppliers across their sourcing regions.

Applying Strategic Sourcing to Talent Management: What You Need to Know

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By 2020, more than half of the U.S. workforce will be involved in contingent work. Companies are rethinking their talent management strategies accordingly, and those that are familiar with strategic sourcing may already be a couple steps ahead. How strategic sourcing can be applied to talent management was the topic of a webinar that Spend Matters analysts Jason Busch and Andrew Karpie presented last month with NextSource’s chief executive, Catherine Candland, and senior program director, Jim Gallagher. NextSource has been in the contingent workforce business for the past two decades.

3 Things to Consider After Trump Makes Tariffs Official: Jobs, NAFTA and Beer

Our sister site MetalMiner has had its most heart-stopping week and a half arguably since that site was founded, covering the Trump administration’s announcement and subsequent signing of a proclamation imposing broad-reaching steel and import tariffs. In the time since my colleague and MetalMiner editor Fouad Egbaria gave us a rundown on the market effects, reactions and procurement implications, President Trump’s announcement (which, until last Thursday, was “just that — an announcement — until the formal policy is hammered out and put to paper,” as Egbaria wrote), was finally, well, put to paper, in a way.

North American Staffing Sector Optimistic on 2018 Revenue, Concerned by Skills Shortages

North American staffing and recruiting professionals are overall optimistic on revenue, according to Bullhorn’s 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report, although challenges such as skills shortages remain salient. In a survey of 1,442 staffing and recruiting professionals, three-quarters anticipated an increase in 2018 revenue as compared to 2017 revenue. Twenty percent of the respondents predicted revenue to increase by more than 25%. Small firms were more optimistic than their larger counterparts.

Trump Tariff Mania: Reactions and Implications for Procurement

The Department of Commerce’s Section 232 process regarding steel and aluminum imports took a big step forward Thursday when President Trump announced his administration planned to implement tariffs of 25% and 10% for steel and aluminum, respectively. Obviously this is a big deal for the steel and aluminum sectors, domestically and internationally. Trump’s announced figures are actually higher than the recommendations proposed in Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ report to Trump, which called for 7.7% tariffs for aluminum in one option. Even so, MetalMiner published a detailed analysis of the Section 232 proceedings last week, outlining what could happen in every scenario.

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds

mining

For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

The Medical Device Reprocessing Industry: Will the Third Time be the Charm?

Alfred Hitchcock provided a great definition of the difference between surprise and suspense. It goes like this: If a bunch of guys are playing poker and a bomb goes off under the table, that’s a surprise. If, however, we know that the bomb is there and we watch the timer tick down while the men play on, that’s suspense. When Warren Buffett said that the ballooning costs of healthcare “act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” the financial markets acted like a bomb went off and the media covered the story like none of us knew it was there. Let me save you the suspense: egregious profiteering in the medical-industrial complex is the head of the tapeworm that Buffett spoke about.

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Why Marketing Contributes to a Terrible Spend Culture

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Notwithstanding the obvious differences in personality, the mutual look of incomprehension when the CMO and CFO try to explain to each other what they actually do, marketing and finance have never been particularly pally. It’s not just the stark difference in their background, it’s not even the daunting task of proving ROI on an ingenious marketing campaign to a number-crunching CFO, or the danger in committing company funds to some radical idea based on a marketer’s sudden, Steve Jobsian flash of insight into the minds of customers. The things that can cause an ugly spat between marketing and finance are actually much more prosaic.

Beyond Logistics: 6 Non-Traditional Categories Where Companies Should Apply Sourcing Optimization

What exactly is sourcing optimization, and where can it be applied, besides the obvious areas? Earlier this month, Spend Matters analysts Michael Lamoureux and Tom Finn teamed up with Garry Mansell, sourcing optimization general manager at Coupa, on a webinar on this very topic, “Sourcing Optimization in New Categories: A ‘How-To’ Guide.” As the webinar title suggests, this isn’t about logistics or MRO, but rather some more non-traditional categories — six to be exact — where sourcing optimization can bring significant savings.

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What is Market Intelligence, and is it Relevant to Procurement?

Torchlite

As procurement takes on increased strategic importance within companies, purchasing professionals are being asked to do even more with their limited time. This is especially true when sourcing direct materials, which requires keen attention to many changing economic factors outside of the organization. To make the best decisions possible without falling behind, procurement must ensure it has access to and effectively uses supply market intelligence. To help practitioners understand why, this three-part series first outlines the key pillars of market intelligence, explaining why companies seek out this capability. It then explores why market intelligence matters to procurement, and concludes with an analysis of why businesses should seek help from a third-party provider to build out a market intelligence program.