Spend Matters Friday Latte

Up and up.
Global supply chain management software market reached $7.7bn in 2011: Gartner -- The global supply chain management (SCM) software market increased by 12.3% to $7.7bn in 2011 over last year, according to Gartner. The figures mark the second year of double-digit growth for the SCM software market, driven by an increasing number of supply chain investments, which have kept their priority status and moved forward, despite caution from IT budget decision makers, the research firm revealed. Gartner research vice president Chad Eschinger said despite ongoing economic uncertainty, the market for supply chain applications showed itself to be pretty resilient in 2011 with most SCM providers continuing to expand their footprints.

Here's a list of the worst cell phones out there!
The Worst Phones You Can Buy -- A buffet of horrendous hardware, redundant mediocrity, and straight ugliness. Phones that are both bad and not free. Dumbphones that pretend to be Android. Thing thing. Why do they exist? Presumably, because people are buying them--but why are there so many? Why sell ten flavors of ass soup? We don't know, but here's the menu.

Making CSR plans match the actions.
Study finds workers in N.J. supply chain warehouses experience wage theft, discriminatory hiring -- Harvard student Jason Rowe worked with New Labor, a group that represents more than 2,000 immigrant workers statewide, and interviewed 291 people who worked at these distribution centers from November 2011 to February 2012. They found that 61 percent work full-time hours after being hired as temporary employees through staffing agencies. Those surveyed make an average of $8.26 per hour. Agency workers reported earning an average of $1 less than their direct-hire counterparts. The report said workers at facilities that ship products to Walmart stores make less money than their peers, creating a "Walmart Wage Effect" that has driven down wages.

Greenpeace fights Brazilian slave labor.
Is Slavery Still Part of America's Automotive Steel Supply Chain? -- This week Greenpeace has been amplifying the public relations volume against General Motors, Ford, BMW, Nissan, and other U.S. based automakers in a repeat of allegations that Brazilian slave labor is tainting their respective steel product supply chains. Allegations also are that illegal logging and related fraud continue largely unabated in Brazil despite automakers having previously acknowledged said issues, and having shown themselves to have taken steps to remove slave-supplied labor from any tier of their raw materials supply. Specifically, certain Brazilian pig iron suppliers are said to have not changed their ways in using forced labor in the processing of the this material needed to make steel for which the U.S. is the largest consumer, and automakers wind up using in manufactured vehicles.

- Sheena Moore

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