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Supply chain financing -- why more companies should do it -- One of the well known evils of a deep downturn, though less immediately dramatic than horrors like unemployment, lost homes and blighted lives, is the way so many large companies improve their cash flow by choking their suppliers. Pushing payment terms out further and further passes the misery down the chain so that one person's meat truly is another person's poison.

Apparently nobody is satisfied with government procurement.

Political Innovation: The politics of buying things -- Well, you wouldn't still be reading had I called it the politics of procurement now would you? (no, stop - don't go!). No-one who engages with government procurement comes away impressed with it. It's a process that wastes £billions and rewards process over outcomes.

Yet we all know that, deep down, it's a symptom of a political problem. It is a system set up to manage risk in retrospect and trace blame for failure, rather than create a partnership between supplier and customer that allows us to prototype, innovate, and on occasion, fail (well). Because it's a top-down process, the top are primarily concerned to shield themselves from criticism rather than to be the parents of success.

This seems ironic for Texas...

FTA finds Houston Metro violated 'Buy America' requirements -- The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (Metro) "violated both federal procurement law and the Buy America requirements" during the procurement and award of two light-rail vehicle contracts to Spanish rail-car manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials recently ruled. The findings, announced yesterday, were the culmination of a four-month FTA investigation into Metro's procurement practices.

Safety or not, sandblasted jeans should have been on the outs in the 90's.

Levi Strauss to stop selling sandblasted goods -- "We've implemented rigorous standards for sandblasting in our own supply chain but we decided that the best way to help ensure no worker -- in any garment factory -- faces the risks associated with exposure to crystalline silica is to move to end sandblasting industrywide," said David Love, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer at Levi Strauss & Co.

Good. Riddance.

Sheena Moore

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