Sourcing & Categories Content

The Road to Cognitive Procurement: LevaData Models a New Standard for Sourcing Maturity

Most procurement groups are coming around to the idea that they need digital transformation. Yet even with a convincing case for taking an AI-based “cognitive” procurement approach to processes like sourcing, excuses about bad data and poor backing from management inevitably stop organizations from taking the first step. LevaData, like other solution providers, is increasingly trying to help procurement not just take on technology but create the roadmap for organizational maturity that leads to better business outcomes.

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.

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.

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.

Global Companies Shift Gears to Stay Locally Relevant in the ‘Age of Multi-Localism’

supplier network

In the 1980s and ’90s, companies gained prestige by going global. Recently, globalization has come under fire from multiple fronts, causing the locally integrated business model to become the new goal for many companies. Pressure is coming from forces such as political rhetoric creating more trade barriers, consumers’ preference for personalized, local goods, and technological advances that change the dynamics of the basic business model, so companies must turn away from strategies that focus on globally integrated value chains and focus on thriving locally in each market that they serve, according to a study released in September by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

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

sustainable

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.

Tariffs: A Black Cloud Marring the 2019 Commodity Outlook

There was one word that loomed over the proceedings at The Right Place/Supply Chain Management Council's Commodity Trends 2019 Outlook event Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan: Tariffs. From the multiple expert presentations to numerous audience questions and comments on the topic, it didn’t take much to pinpoint the effects of tariffs as a recurring theme of the half-day conference, at which MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman presented our 2019 metals outlook. Indeed, the current onslaught of tariffs — including those implemented under Sections 201, 232 and 301 of U.S. trade law — seemed to be one of the primary concerns on everyone’s minds.

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Which IT Sourcing Best Practices Will Deliver the Most Value to Your Organization?

For those of us that live and breathe IT sourcing, we understand that it’s no longer just about cutting costs – it’s about getting the most value from every purchase and renewal, reducing risk and contributing to strategic business imperatives like digital transformation. In a recent webinar, Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and I discussed the challenges and the expectations of the rapidly changing IT sourcing landscape, and eight best practices that can help us tackle them.  All of these best practices are critical for keeping up with the pace of business.

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Back to the myConnXion Future: Connecting Buyers and Suppliers

digital business transformation

As disruptors in the supplier management space, our team set out with a simple task: understand the challenges suppliers face, so we can help them better collaborate with buyers in global supply chains. We started hearing from many small and diverse businesses that it was difficult to engage with large corporate buyers. As a small, minority-owned business, we’ve faced some challenges ourselves, but wanted to confirm our thoughts with general findings from other organizations. To gather these insights, our product innovation team conducted a focus group with buyers and suppliers and received some interesting feedback.

IT Sourcing in 2018: Best Practices That Companies Need to Know

VMS

Organizations will spend $3.7 trillion on IT in 2018, marking a 6.2% increase over last year’s spend. Moreover, IT buyers spend more than they need to on purchases and renewals in more than 75% of the time. Kim Addington, chief operating officer at NPI, provided these statistics as context during a webinar she co-hosted last Thursday with Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters. The webinar provided a look at today’s IT sourcing landscape, key challenges and how cutting-edge IT sourcing organizations are handling these challenges.

U.S. Apparel Industry Scrambles to Diversify Sourcing Strategy in Wake of Escalating U.S.-China Trade War

apparel

For many U.S. companies in the apparel industry, the old sourcing strategy of “made in China” is turning into “China plus Vietnam plus many,” with emphasis on the many. As Washington and Beijing continue to one-up each other’s tariff threats, the prospect of a looming trade war is driving U.S. apparel companies to further diversify their sourcing strategy and shift production away from China. While China remains the top sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel industry, the country now accounts for 11%–30% of companies’ total sourcing volume, compared to 30%–50% in the past.