Author Archives: Alex Behrens



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

sustainable

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

healthcare

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.

5G and IoT Offer Big Opportunities for Communication Service Providers (CSPs): Ericsson

telecommunications

A handful of the first 5G enabled smartphones are being released this year, signaling the start of a new era of faster data speeds, more reliable connections and significantly lower latency for many electronic devices. The impact of 5G will be felt across a wide-reaching group of businesses and industries, creating entirely new sources of data and allowing it to be transmitted and analyzed with speed, accuracy and completeness that was simply not possible using previous generations of wireless communications technology.

The Swedish multinational telecom Ericsson has worked closely with many of the world’s leading communication service providers (CSPs) and recently released its “Realizing IoT Strategies” study, drawing on its planning, operational and strategic experience to examine the traditional strengths and weaknesses of CSPs and highlight how they are working to position themselves for the enormous opportunity that 5G technology represents.

2019’s global hurricane season to be active, DHL Resilience360 reports about supply chain risks and safeguards

supply chain disruption

Severe weather poses one of the greatest threats and the least predictable risks to global supply chains within our modern globalized economy. The summer hurricane season is a particularly problematic time because nearly half the planet, and a majority of the production capacity for many industries, are located in areas routinely struck by catastrophic weather — East Asia, the Northern Indian Ocean, and the Southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States.

DHL Resilience360 recently released Stormy Weather Ahead: A Global Outlook on the 2019 Season to compile information about the impacts that even small storms can have and discuss the short- and long-term implications of these systems on existing supply chains. And learn ways to mitigate that risk.

Workers’ Digital Skills Gap a Key Challenge for Businesses, The Hackett Group Says

Digital transformation has and will continue to have far-reaching consequences in manufacturing, purchasing, compliance, advertising and just about every other function in the business world. Another function to add to the list, according to the April 2019 Hackett Group study, will be hiring and training of existing and incoming employees.

The Next-Generation Talent Profile: How Will You Fill the Digital Skills Gap focuses on how the procurement function in particular will need to train and improve their existing workforce, because the demand for skills and knowledge like strategic thinking, smart automation, social media, creativity and innovation, and process excellence will far exceed supply over the next three to four years. The Hackett Group notes that research by the World Economic Forum indicates that more than 50% of existing workers will need to be reskilled or upskilled by 2022.

Norway tops annual FM Global Resilience Index of 130 nations’ business climates

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

The mutual insurance firm FM Global this week released its 2019 Resilience Index, examining economic indicators, risk factors and supply chain issues in 130 countries around the world — ranking the nations by the resilience of their business environments. The index is meant to be a tool for senior executives to conduct “vulnerability assessments and build their companies’ resilience around the world,” according to FM Global, which focuses on property loss issues. Norway topped the list, and Haiti came in last. Read on to find out about the U.S., China and Russia.

Certify’s SpendSmart Report Sees Uber Slip, Lyft Gain — and Air Travel Be More Competitive Than Ever

travel

Uber and Lyft continue to capture an increasing share of employee travel and expense costs as measured by the Q1 2019 SpendSmart Report from Certify. In addition to continuing to decimate taxi services in all but a few protected markets, both services have continued to increase their prices since the first quarter of 2018, with Lyft experiencing double digit growth in some key markets.

How to Get Independent Professionals into Your Company’s Contingent Workforce Plan

In a look at the contingent workforce, MBO Partners' “Client of Choice Report 2019” explores the changing needs and expectations of the independent professionals and what corporations are doing to attract and retain the best talent in this emerging labor market.

Third-Party Market Intelligence Can Supercharge Procurement

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Timely, accurate data has become more important than ever across every part of the business, and purchasing departments are no different.

When making procurement decisions, however, it can be especially difficult to source data that is often heavily related to factors external to the business, including the state and quality of suppliers and sub-suppliers and prices for materials that can change in response to competitors negotiating new contracts, geopolitical factors, and even natural or manmade disasters. But what’s the best way for your department to get in front of these challenges and opportunities while increasing credibility and buy-in from internal and external stakeholders alike?

A recent report from ProcurementIQ offers some insights on third-party market intelligence.