Afternoon Coffee: CIPS Nabs a Gates Foundation Grant; Auto Supplier Update; Apple Details Supplier Responsibility

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) a grant to improve the procurement of medical supplies across Africa, according to an announcement on the CIPS site.

The grant will be used to develop the CIPS African Healthcare Procurement Community Programme, a learning network that aims to “build a sustainable public procurement community in healthcare supply chains and to introduce globally-recognised standards to the wider procurement community in Africa,” according to the statement.

Malcolm Harrison, group CEO of CIPS, noted in the statement that every procurement professional must not only know where their supplier are, but also need “to win the hearts and minds of all the people in the suppliers they work with.”

Regional Automotive Supplier Symposium Explores Various Risks to Industry

At the 2019 West Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium in Grand Rapids, Mich., this morning, speakers and experts from manufacturers and intelligence firms shared their thoughts on the risks posed to the auto industry — both regionally and globally.

Organizational transformation took center stage. The keynote, delivered by GHSP Corporation N.A. President Dave Jerovsek and CTO Marc Smeyers, noted their firm’s transition from traditional stamping operation to manufacturing electronic components for auto OEMs, the latter now representing 90% of their manufactured product content. Phoebe O’Berski, director of corporate HR at Gentex Corp., stressed the ways to ensure future workforce talent: defining your targets (college-bound, non-college bound, etc.); adapting your company culture to attract them; and customizing that culture to retain them.

Of course, commodity market volatility remains front of mind for this audience. Our own Lisa Reisman made the case that Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum did their part to lift prices, but were not the cause of price increases — longer-term pricing uptrends for steel, aluminum and broader commodities began months before Section 232 hit.

“We’re seeing a lot of shifting and looking [at alternative sourcing] due to the uncertainty in the market,” Reisman said, “because companies are much more aggressively managing their category spend — reconfiguring their supply chains, it’s definitely happening.”

As far as the broader outlook for the automotive industry, Mike Wall, executive director of automotive analysis for IHS Markit, stressed vehicle electrification trends as well as the potential of exponential growth in the autonomous vehicle market between now and 2040. But there are other roadblocks to industry growth in the short term.

“We still have to get USMCA through,” Wall said, referring to the pending ratification of the new trade deal replacing NAFTA — which, Mexico recently said, will be contingent upon the U.S. ending Section 232 tariffs.

Apple Releases Annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report

The main takeaway?

“As of 2018, 17.3 million supplier employees have been trained on workplace rights, and 3.6 million have received advanced education and skills training,” according to the press release.

Also, “all final assembly sites for iPhone, iPad” and a variety of other products “are now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, while conserving billions of gallons of water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Read more, including the report in full, right here.

Check out our source-to-pay analysis series of vendors using Spend Matters’ SolutionMap benchmarking data: 

Read the latest comparative S2P analysis on Coupa here.

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