Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

This week's post from Danny Ertel at Vantage Partners.
Selection criteria that are "fit for purpose" -- As I mentioned in my last post, I had the opportunity to facilitate a working session on legal process outsourcing (LPO) at the ACC Annual Meeting in Denver. The discussion was a lively one, with those more experienced sharing some lessons learned, and those newer to, or on the verge of, outsourcing pushing back and asking lots of questions. In that post I described a part of the session, which included a case study and a vigorous audience discussion around the possible reasons to outsource legal processes and the kinds of value to be gained from doing so. In this post, I want to move forward to our discussion about how to select an appropriate provider.

And so it continues...
'Occupy' Protesters Say They Will Continue Port Blockades, Protests -- Heady with their successful attempts to block trucks and curb business at busy ports up and down the West Coast, some Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to continue their blockades and keep staging similar protests despite requests to stop because they're hurting wage earners. Thousands of demonstrators forced shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt parts of their operations Monday.

Your holiday travel: Imaged by millions of Americans.
America's Holiday Travels, Mapped -- Americans are a mobile people. Instead of making a life where we were raised, we often pick up and move far from our families, hoping to make our fortunes elsewhere. But because we left our hometowns with no shame or malice, when the holidays come around we all--as consistently as birds heading south--brave the crowds at various transportation hubs and slowly shuffle back home. A new map created from check-ins on Foursquare paints a picture of this holiday travel and how Americans get from one place to another in different parts of the country.

Perhaps we're the ones causing natural disasters?
Add Quakes to Rumblings Over Gas Rush -- Nine quakes in eight months in a seismically inactive area is unusual. But Ohio seismologists found another surprise when they plotted the quakes' epicenters: most coincided with the location of a 9,000-foot well in an industrial lot along the Mahoning River, just down the hill from Mr. Moritz's neighborhood and two miles from downtown Youngstown. At the well, a local company has been disposing of brine and other liquids from natural gas wells across the border in Pennsylvania -- millions of gallons of waste from the process called hydraulic fracturing that is used to unlock the gas from shale rock.

The global supply chain: So very fragile -- The twin tragedies in Asia have shone a spotlight on the often anonymous but incredibly important niche companies whose products and parts go into every MacBook or Prius. Invented by Toyota Motor Corp., (TM) and perfected in the era of globalization, the lean supply chain completely decentralized manufacturing: Big manufacturers developed a multinational network of specialists to supply them with parts and to make sure those components arrived at assembly plants at the moment they were needed. When things go as planned, the system benefits everyone in the chain: The assembly plant is more efficient (no pesky inventories to manage), suppliers keep the cost of parts down by locating in regions with cheap labor, and consumers enjoy lower prices. But natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami reveal just how fragile this carefully crafted ecosystem can be. As Bob Ferrari, a leading supply-chain consultant, puts it: "You never want to hear about the guys who run the supply chains for multinational companies. When you do, usually it means something really bad has happened."

Sheena Moore

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