supply chain Content

Beyond Bird Flu 2.0 – Inoculate Your Supply Base Against Supply Chain Risk [PRO]

The bigger story is that even after all the repeated adverse events in the supply chain, companies still seem to struggle with how to reduce supply risk and increase supply resiliency/integrity with limited budgets. It’s not easy. But even though risks continue to proliferate within our increasingly global, interconnected, digitized, and outsourced supply chains, I wonder whether the media fatigue surrounding these events de-sensitize management to the risks.

HICX Solutions: Supplier Management Meets Master Data (Part 2) [PRO]

Supplier onboarding and registration isn’t always as simple as it seems. Companies can take several routes based on open and closed registration processes. In this area, we were pleased to see that HICX has adopted the open funnel approach – meaning that vendors can self-register (aka walk-in or cold-call) or be invited, and then follow the path toward providing more and more detailed information about themselves. The process has dynamic aspects (cascading questions with decision logic) and category code specific questions sets (a la RFI) that are automatically provided to suppliers that flag themselves as capable in any given area. These may seem like small features perhaps, but when a solution is aimed at all your suppliers and not just meant to manage the core strategic subset, they can make all the difference between a system that is a compromise versus not.

Iasta: Innovating in the Procurement, Finance, and Supply Chain Analytics Market [Plus+]

In strategy and footprint, Iasta appears closest to BravoSolution, a provider that has also prioritized a combination of organic solution development, high-touch customer sales and account management, and surrounding sourcing and procurement transformation services under its solutions umbrella. Yet Iasta is anything but copying from another singer’s songbook, despite the logical comparisons. Rather, Iasta is pursuing a strategy with different elements intersecting in various ways to point them down a somewhat unique path. Before exploring these, though, let’s step back for a minute and review Iasta’s capabilities and background.

Of Supplier Management…and Horsemeat [Plus+]

The horsemeat scandal in the UK has been occupying a lot of media attention and, I’m sure, much time and effort amongst procurement and supply chain managers in the food industry and elsewhere. It raises so many questions for our profession, and there are very obvious issues here around supplier management in the broadest sense – including questions around quality assurance regimes, supplier information, verification, understanding multi-tier supply chains, systems and technology for managing supplier information and performance... it’s a long list.

Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Law: Headaches for Metal Supply Chains [PRO]

As the old adage goes, “the devil lies in the details” – and that aptly describes the challenge many diversified US manufacturers find in meeting the new conflict-free minerals compliance requirements under the Dodd-Frank legislation. What seems straightforward enough – avoiding the 3Ts (tin, tungsten and tantalum) – actually becomes more challenging when one considers the wide array of semi-finished materials companies purchase.

CPO Corner: Focus, Focus, Focus – Learning from Sainsbury’s [PRO]

The disappointment in the resulting press articles and the comments from City analysts was palpable. That was it? Not exactly a revolutionary strategic vision: stock on the shelf, keen prices and motivated staff. How could such basic factors possibly turn around the fortunes of the firm? But that was exactly what King achieved, remarkably quickly. The recovery started within months, market share started growing again, and while Sainsbury's have never recovered the number one slot, they're a strong, healthy company. Arguably, it is Tesco whose strategy is under question from the investor community right now.

Apple, the Global Market Monster: Supply Chain Voodoo [PRO]

For one company to make up such a tangible part of the entire world's capital markets is beyond staggering. Apple's impact is so distorting it’s no wonder financial analysts have started to track AAPL as separate from the financial markets. In fact, I doubt we will ever see anything like this again – ever. This is not meant to say that Apple is destined to fall from its lofty heights, just that the world’s financial markets are likely to diversify and more assets will become securitized – increasing the total pool that is tracked and traded so that a single firm is not likely to attain such a sizeable slice ever again.

Exploring E2open — Digging Into the (Next Likely) Public Procurement/Supply Chain Vendor (Part 2) [Plus+]

E2open provides its collaborative execution capability through a cloud delivery model that enables business-to-business integration, procurement, forecasting, planning, execution, supply and logistics planning, order and inventory management. As mentioned in the first part of this series, even though E2open provides integration behind the scenes, this plumbing is core to the value proposition and the business application and visibility capability built on top of it.

The Supply Chain Black Box: Fantasy or Future? [PRO]

Some time ago, Professor Richard Lamming, one of the most eminent and influential procurement and supply chain academics of our time, first wrote about a somewhat provoking idea of his. In the future, he said, most of the work by procurement functions would be carried out by computers. Lamming talked about "a black box, a man, and a dog." The black box would carry out all the routine procurement work – establishing internal requirements and specifications from internal stakeholders, talking to suppliers’ black boxes to agree pricing, delivery schedules, managing the purchase to pay process and so on. The man (or woman - let's not be sexist) would be there to turn on the black box every morning. And the dog was there to attack the man if he tried to turn off the black box when he shouldn’t! Lamming also explained that there would be a role for globetrotting deal-makers who would identify new sources of supply and manage key relationships. But the vast majority of work would be automated, and supply chain relationships would be largely black box to black box.

Exploring E2open – Digging Into the (Next Likely) Public Procurement/Supply Chain Vendor (Part 1) [Plus+]

E2open is getting closer and closer to becoming a public company. It recently filed its amended S1 document (a critical step in the path to an initial public offering). But more important for Spend Matters readers is what E2open actually does. In our view, the vendor provides a critical linkage between procurement organizations and suppliers (including vendors at multiple tiers of the supply chain) and delivers in many ways the type of connectivity and visibility for the direct supply chain that Ariba provides for the indirect.