Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

- April 27, 2012 9:30 AM
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I’ve got something perfect for you to stay in and read on a Friday Night!

New Research: Supplier Information Management Technology Fundamentals (For Newbies AND Pros) — Spend Matters continues to cover the supplier management market with greater frequency, depth and enthusiasm than all of the other analyst and media outlets combined. For some, supplier management (including supplier diversity, supplier enablement, supplier performance management and supply chain risk management) is just a secondary consideration behind programs focused on strategic sourcing and purchase-to-pay enablement. But we believe supplier management — and supplier information management (SIM) platforms — should be core to procurement’s focus (not to mention AP, legal and other functional parts of the business). Today, we’re excited to announce our latest Compass research paper covering the topic: Supplier Information Management Technology Fundamentals — Part 2.

Huge news: AmazonSupply poised for giant market disruption?

Amazon Supply Launches — New Competition for Industrial Distributors, Ariba, SciQuest and Others — Yesterday, Amazon announced it launched Amazon Supply (or AmazonSupply, depending on which branding is used), a new B2B marketplace clearinghouse for industrial and MRO parts and related SKUs. The announcement describes Amazon Supply as “a new website dedicated to offering a broad selection of parts and supplies to business, industrial, scientific and commercial customers at competitive prices.” According to the press release, Amazon Supply “currently offers more than 500,000 items from leading brands” across a range of categories, including: lab & scientific, test, measure & inspect, occupational health & safety, janitorial & sanitation, office, fleet & vehicle maintenance, power & hand tools, cutting tools, abrasives & finishing, materials handling, materials (e.g., metals), hydraulics pneumatics & plumbing, fasteners and power transmission. (Further coverage, including competitive implications: here and here.)

Thomas Kase takes a look at the US Government’s propensity toward regulation.

Can the Government be Fixed? Well, its Procurement Habits at Least…? (Part 1) — In early 2011, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) engaged federal suppliers around benefits and challenges associated with completing GHG assessments. Like many large organizations, the federal government has yet to fully understand their own supply chain, so the CEQ was surprised to discover that their suppliers, especially their top 100 suppliers, were already completing Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions inventories for their own operations, actually reaching into their Tier 1 set of suppliers to complete GHG assessments satisfying Scope 3 assessments. The CEQ also found that many of the top 100 suppliers track many other environmental aspects of their supply chains. According to the GSA, identifying and reducing GHG emissions provides cost savings and increases a company’s international competitiveness — although at Spend Matters we suspect this is mainly from a penalty avoidance perspective. Additionally, you could probably get the top 100 suppliers to count and measure the doorknobs in their facilities if that’s what is needed to get contract renewals; meaning that merely because something is being done, it doesn’t follow that is an effective or even worthwhile activity. (Part 2 here).

Getting out of China

The Global State of Trade: Sourcing Away From China, Re-Shoring, and Beyond (Part 1) — Panjiva recently teamed with the Global Sourcing Council to carry out a survey (you can read the summary findings in the press release here) exploring trends in trade and global sourcing. On a recent flight, I digested some of the findings from the entire report (which doesn’t take much longer than the press release to scan through). If you’re curious, it’s worth a download and quick read (navigate to Panjiva’s site to find it). The survey is based on the responses of 271 individuals “involved in global trade who were members of either Panjiva or the Global Sourcing Council who responded. Of these, the majority came from the buy-side (138) while 71 were suppliers. According to Panjiva, the remaining 58 either worked on both sides of the supply chain, or worked in a finance/research capacity. On the buy-side, roughly 50% came from the US (the sample size appeared skewed too small and middle market companies rather than Fortune 500 based on revenues reported). (Part 2 here).

New album I can’t stop listening to on repeat: Grimes – “Visions”

I wouldn’t normally think I’d be one for baby-voice whisper lisp singing, but she’s so catchy!

- Sheena Moore

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