Author Archives: Alex Behrens

Coronavirus disruption spurred North American manufacturers to rethink supply chains in Asia, Thomas Industrial survey finds

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

A snapshot of the manufacturing sector about a month ago gives a view of how much disruption the coronavirus outbreak has caused and how much more is to come, according to the March 2020 report from the Thomas Industrial Survey. And in any other time, dire news about the price of oil would be driving more economic concern.

To get the most out of digital procurement technology, Hackett recommends cycle of continuous improvement

In order to realize the full range of productivity advantages from digital transformation, procurement organizations will need to embrace a cycle of continuous improvement that generates value throughout the entire lifecycle of automated processes, according to The Hackett Group’s "Digital Continuous Improvement" Point of View paper.

How procurement leaders get results: Kearney report has insights

The procurement function at leading companies is having a bigger impact than ever on the bottom line and in guiding business processes — with 90% of those CFOs saying that procurement professionals now have an active role at the executive table, and two-thirds say they have a good understanding of procurement performance, according to the recent A.T. Kearney Realizing the Power of Procurement report.

The report says that procurement executives still “must show stakeholders that they understand internal business requirements. And they must communicate that state-of-the-art procurement is more than cost savings.”

Accenture cybersecurity report sees risks from hacker groups and vulnerabilities in supply chains, the cloud

As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly crucial priority for businesses and individual employees, financially motivated criminal groups are increasingly targeting third-party partners and suppliers to gain access to otherwise secure systems, according to Accenture’s most recent Cyber Threatscape Report, which tracks emerging threats and trends in the cybersecurity realm. "To help reduce business risks, organizations need to make a security pivot of their own,” the report states.

Cyber risks and the future of AI on procurement are highlighted in Dun & Bradstreet Sentiment Report

Concerns about cyber issues and how to get artificial intelligence into procurement have grown, and confidence is fluctuating over the effectiveness of compliance and procurement functions among U.S. and U.K. businesses, according to the annual Dun & Bradstreet Compliance and Procurement Sentiment report. Cyber-risk topped the list of concerns, rising above internal regulatory training and customer and vendor due diligence priorities from the past four quarters. A majority of compliance and procurement professionals now also agree that AI will play a part in enhancing efficiency and generating insights within their business functions.

A.T. Kearney: The best use of analytics boosted profits by 83%

Advanced analytics are an indispensable part of doing business in the 21st century, but few businesses are leveraging the full potential of their existing analytics capabilities, with just a fraction achieving the substantial cost savings and profitability improvements that digital transformation and advanced analytics have to offer, according to A.T. Kearney’s “Value of Analytics in 2019” study.

It revealed that just 6% of businesses surveyed have adopted the methods and mindset required to be an analytics leader, including C-suite commitment to an analytics strategy aligned with the broader business strategy, real-time data availability, and an entrenched culture of data-driven decision making. Those organizations saw an increased profitability of up to 83% relative to counterparts who made minimal use of their data and had yet to integrate analytics into their company culture, the study said.

EcoVadis CSR Index sees progress on labor and human rights, but procurement sustainability falls short


Sustainable practices are slowly being embraced by companies around the globe, but performance has actually fallen in some key areas, according to EcoVadis’ newly released Global CSR Risk and Performance Index 2019.

The greatest increase was recorded in human rights and labor rights activities where aggregate scores for performance rose from 45.4% in 2017 to 46.7% in 2018, said the report from EcoVadis, a provider of  ratings for CSR, sustainability risk and performance for companies that fuel global supply chains.

EcoVadis attributed much of the gain to increased awareness and scrutiny of modern slavery as well as diversity issues in the workplace, with many governments introducing legislation requiring enhanced due diligence and reporting on these issues

Hackett finds stark differences in typical digital procurement use vs. world-class digital transformation

Digital transformation is impacting businesses all around the globe, with procurement functions in particular feeling the pressure to redefine their role within organizations. While some procurement professionals are still working to increase their percentage of spend under management and generate savings at a tactical level, the recently released World-Class Procurement: Redefining Performance in a Digital Era report from The Hackett Group highlights significant gaps between how a sample peer group of procurement departments operate and perform versus the top performing departments, or world-class procurement operations.

How AI in healthcare supply chain management (SCM) can cut costs


Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the healthcare industry in monumental ways. Far from having computers make decisions about diagnosis or treatment options, however, many advancements on the horizon deal with the more mundane aspects of managing healthcare facilities and professionals that impact one of the biggest challenges in modern medicine — cost control.

Syft, a provider of healthcare-focused solutions that changed its name this year from Management Health Solutions, researched the potential benefits of modernizing healthcare supply chain management (SCM) in its recent report.

Blockchain, AI offer big savings in transportation and logistics, PwC survey finds

Blockchain and artificial intelligence are bringing rapid change to the normally slow moving transportation and logistics industry, according to PwC in its recently released Transportation and Logistics Trends 2019 report, which is part of its annual CEO survey. The pressure to offer new and better service is on for transportation and logistics (T&L) executives, who reported confidence in revenue growth for their organization over the next 12 months at a five-year low — with just 29% saying they were confident that revenue would grow during that time, said the report, which included 143 CEO respondents in the T&L industry. PwC sees blockchain technology as a potential source of relief from logistics bottlenecks. Read to find out more.

Blockchain Update: Its Use Accelerates in Food Traceability, Auto Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Global Shipping

Since we ran our first blockchain update article in January, key areas of supply chain and logistics operations in multiple industries have continued to implement successful blockchain trials and projects. The open traceability of a blockchain system has proven especially popular in the food security marketplace, where it is being used both to fight infectious outbreaks of bacteria like E. coli and drive revenue in French supermarkets by giving customers access to sourcing data on dozens of fresh products. In markets like automotive, pharmaceuticals, coffee, and global shipping, blockchain innovations continue to make headlines in a growing array of industry supply chains and applications.