Author Archives: Sydney Lazarus



About Sydney Lazarus

Editor-at-Large - Spend Matters | Sydney is editor-at-large at Spend Matters, where she writes on a variety of supply chain and procurement-related topics. Her reporting interests include labor conditions, corporate social responsibility, and women and millennials in supply chain. Like most of her editorial colleagues, Sydney is an alum of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and a couple places where she chose to be published anonymously.


A Revamped Operating Model is Key to Alleviating Retail’s Sourcing Woes, Report Suggests

As countries continuously replace one another on the list of new, promising apparel sourcing destinations, a report from Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, suggests that this is but a short-term fix. The report, “From Cost-Cutting to True Value Creation — On the Road to Analytical Sourcing and Supply Chain,” proposes a smarter long-term strategy that would require retail to adapt its operating model.

Hiring Trends, Regulations and Technology: What Will 2018 Bring?

2017 saw the surprising prediction that, based on current growth rates, freelancers are due to overtake non-freelancers in the U.S. workforce by 2027. While there are nine more years to wait before that prediction can be proven correct or incorrect, we were eager to talk to Arun Srinivasan, senior VP of strategy and customer operations at SAP Fieldglass, to see what hiring and workforce-related trends are afoot in the shorter term. Read on, and let us know in the comments what your thoughts are on what this year will bring.

It’s 2018: What New Questions Do You Have About Procurement?

As Spend Matters analysts, editors and readers went on much-deserved vacations over the winter holidays, Ask Spend Matters went on a short hiatus, too. But as everyone settles back into their offices, hopefully more relaxed and refreshed, we at Spend Matters are eager to see where Ask Spend Matters goes this year. And so consider this our 2018 call for reader questions: What have you always wondered about procurement or supply chain but have been afraid to ask? What do you want to know more about?

Trends in Cybersecurity Risks: Will 2018 See More Indirect Supply Chain Attacks?

cyber attack

2018 may be the year we see more indirect supply chain attacks and compromised industrial control systems, according to a new report from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton on trends in cybersecurity risks. In “Foresights 2018,” the report authors outlined nine predictions on what may happen in the world of cybersecurity this year, from outsourced hacking to supply chain infiltration and cryptocurrency theft. We’ll look at a few of these predictions in this post.

As Industrial Supply Chains Undergo Digital Transformation, Talent Gaps Persist

The digital transformation of supply chains is well underway, but finding the right talent to drive this transformation remains a challenge for many industrial companies. According to a survey of senior executives from the industrial manufacturing sector conducted by Korn Ferry, talent is viewed as the “secret to sustainable success” when it comes to digital transformation, regardless of whether a company is in the beginning stages of digitization or well along in the process.

GDPR: Basic Facts, Company Preparedness and Gaining a Competitive Advantage

May 25 will be one of the most significant dates this year for many companies, for that is when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicks in. Any organization that holds or uses personal data on a EU citizen, regardless of where the organization itself is based, should have a plan of action. But a number of reports and surveys from the past few months have shown that few companies consider themselves ready for GDPR, and some do not think they will be ready by the May deadline.

Is Three a Trend? UK Supermarket Giants Reveal Antibiotic Use in Food Supply Chains

Marks and Spencer (M&S) recently released data on the quantities of antibiotics used by their meat and dairy suppliers, and fellow leading U.K. supermarket chains Waitrose and Asda have done the same. In all three cases, antibiotic use was below industry averages or targets. The fact that antibiotic resistance is a growing health crisis is old news, and health organizations and activists have long been calling for a drastic reduction in the use of antibiotics on farm animals, a key cause of antibiotic resistance.

Hurricanes, Geopolitics, Cyberattacks and More: Top Risk Posts of 2017

As far as risk goes, if 2016 was characterized by political turbulence, then 2017 was all about disasters, natural and manmade. This past May saw a worldwide ransomware attack that hit more tha 300,000 computers in 150 countries, disrupted hospitals and manufacturing plants, and caused economic losses that are estimated to be in the billions. Then there were the Harvey and Irma hurricanes of late summer and the ongoing California wildfires. And we haven’t even mentioned geopolitics, commodities, finances and all of the other risks out there that need to be on procurement’s radar these days. As part of Spend Matters’ year in review, here are the top risk posts from 2017 that you don’t want to miss.

Workforce Trends, Millennials and Your Burning Questions: 2017’s Best Practitioner-Centric Articles

Psst, Reader, want to eavesdrop for a moment on a typical Spend Matters editorial meeting? We spend a lot of time talking about you, the procurement practitioner. “What do they truly want to read?” we ask each other. “How do they want to read it? What topics interest them? Do they like their articles long or short, with or without graphics? Are we writing too much about blockchain?” And so on and so forth. Ultimately, we figured that speculation wouldn’t be as fruitful as, say, just asking readers directly, and so this past summer Ask Spend Matters was born.

Supplier Retention Seen as Increasingly Important to Businesses, But What About Screening?

suppliers

For today’s executives, achieving supplier retention is increasingly seen as vital to the business. When the payables automation provider Tipalti surveyed executives on issues related to supplier payment, 68% of respondents said that maintaining long-term business relationships with their payees is critically important.

51% of C-Suite Executives are Dissatisfied with Their Procurement Operating Model

There is a lot of hype in the procurement world around digital technology and talent, but a report from consultancy Ayming put the focus on something more elemental: the procurement operating model. Ayming’s survey of C-suite executives from across the globe revealed a mixed picture. More than half of respondents said that they do not consider their procurement operating model to be effective.