Author Archives: Kaitlyn McAvoy

How Mature is Your Procurement Organization? Use This Tool to Find Out


What technology solutions does your procurement organization use? Procure-to-pay? E-invoicing? Are supply chain practices connected to your company’s accounts payable processes via a cloud-based network solution? Or, is your organization still relying largely manual processes and paper invoices? The answers to these questions can shine a light on the maturity level of your procurement organization.

How Manufacturers are Applying New Technology to Improve Operations


The manufacturing industry may have a long way to go in applying advanced technologies and analytics to improve supply chain management. UPS and IDC recently surveyed more than 100 manufacturing operations professionals to determine technology maturity levels throughout the industry — specifically if and how companies were applying the internet of things, big data and other technologies to enhance manufacturing processes. Applying these technologies is creating a new approach to manufacturing operations, what UPS and IDC called “smart operations."

Prepping for a Procurement Job Interview? Be Ready to Answer These Questions


If you’re on the market for a new procurement job, you may be prepping for an upcoming interview. Maybe you have even Googled “procurement interview questions” to make sure you come ready with the best answers for your potential future boss. We reached out to MRA Global Sourcing, a supply chain management and procurement recruiting firm, to hear what questions they ask procurement job candidates and what the candidate’s answers reveal about their skills and capabilities.

Gartner Names Penn State as Top Supply Chain Undergraduate Program

Gartner recently announced its list for top supply chain undergraduate programs in North America. At the top sits Pennsylvania State University, followed by Michigan State University — supply chain programs that have received top nods in various rankings in recent years. The two schools also tied for first place the last time Gartner released its Top 25 list back in 2014.

Afternoon Coffee: Uber Acquires Self-Driving Tech Company Otto, VW Supplier Dispute Continues

Uber is acquiring self-driving truck technology start-up Otto. The start-up’s co-founder Anthony Levandowski will lead Uber’s self-driving division. And, Volkswagen AG is in the midst of a parts shortage and supplier dispute, leading the automaker to reduce working hours for employees at multiple German plants. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

What Traditional Retailers Can Learn From Amazon About Inventory Management and Technology Adoption

Many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are not using updated technology solutions for inventory management and other back-office processes despite growing demand to do so. Consumers are becoming more savvy, using technology and mobile devices and demanding omnichannel experiences. For example, they want a higher level of product information and are checking a retailer’s website to determine if a specific item is available at a nearby store. Yet a new report from AGC Partners that identifies top trends as well as disruptors in the retail industry shows traditional retailers are falling behind in consumer demand and may be able to learn a thing or two from specialty online retailers and online marketplaces like Amazon that appeal more to customers’ shopping habits.

Procurement Waste: Why it Matters in Light of Brexit

Procurement organizations are reportedly wasting billions each year due to inefficient practices. U.K. companies, specifically, are losing $79.5 billion a year, according to research from blur Group, a cloud software and managed services solution provider. That’s nearly $218 million wasted each day due to what blur Group called procurement fraud, unmanaged contracts, maverick spending and inefficient internal management and delivery processes.

Afternoon Coffee: Logistics Will Need to Fill 1.4 Million Jobs, California Wildfire Blocks Trade Route

The U.S. logistics industry will have 1.4 million jobs to fill by 2018. That’s about 270,000 jobs per year the industry will need to fill. And, a raging wildfire in San Bernardino County, California has temporarily shut down northbound traffic on Interstate 15, a major trade corridor between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Majority of Procurement Organizations are at a Basic Level of Maturity, And Why That Needs to Change

When it comes to the maturity of procurement organizations, it’s Spend Matters' belief the majority are at the foundational, or basic level. It’s not a bad place to be, at least when it comes to starting a true procurement transformation, as Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and head of strategy, points out in the research paper “Reframing Maturity Models: Empirical Perspectives On Radically Improving Procurement Performance.” Yet these procurement organizations should aim to reach other industry peers that are fully integrating source-to-pay processes with the supply chain, accounts payable, finance and other departments and leveraging advanced technology suites, platforms and networks.

Restaurants & Retailers Clean Up Supply Chains, Remove Antibiotics and Harmful Chemicals

cage-free eggs

McDonald’s has officially removed chickens raised with antibiotics from its U.S. supply chain, joining a list of restaurants, food companies and retailers that have banned specific drugs or other potentially harmful ingredients in their products. Companies have taken steps this year to rid supply chains of potentially harmful additives or ingredients, as consumer demand for cleaner and more natural products grows.

Afternoon Coffee: New Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks, Agile to Acquire Ajilus

The Obama administration has issued new emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks, calling for as much as a 25% reduction in carbon emissions for big tractor-trailers over the next decade. The rules also call for smaller emission reductions for delivery trucks, school buses and other large vehicles. And, Agile Network, a transportation and shipping logistic management company, will acquire Seattle-based supply chain software consultancy Ajilus. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Shippers Not Likely to Adopt Procurement Technology

The freight transportation industry seems to be lacking in procurement technology adoption. In fact, the recent American Shipper Transportation Procurement Benchmark report shows shippers relied more on manual processes for transportation procurement in 2016 than in 2015. Many in the industry also do not have immediate plans to adopt technology or change their manual processes in the near future.