Author Archives: Taras Berezowsky



Survey: Many Law Firms’ Procurement Organizations Still Crawling Toward Maturity, While Some Have Begun Walking

forced labor

HBR Consulting held its third-annual Law Procurement Roundtable last October, where law firm procurement leaders can break bread, talk strategy and do some peer benchmarking of their firms’ performance. The event also both drives and supplements the firm’s Law Firm Procurement Survey, the high-level results of which the firm released just before the new year. Spoiler alert: many of the same issues that we spoke about with HBR’s Managing Director Lee Garbowitz in the past have cropped up again.

As Sessions Tries to Kill the High, Cannabis Industry’s Domestic — and Global — Aspirations Continue Speeding Up

The new year began with a bang — especially for those in the U.S. Pacific Time Zone. That’s because the entire contiguous western seaboard has now officially legalized and instituted recreational marijuana sales and consumption, with California joining Oregon and Washington on Jan. 1 as the latest state to open dispensary doors for rec sales. Many in the pot press were quick to point out that with more than 50 million people, California represents the single-biggest individual market for recreational cannabis as the world’s sixth-largest economy. Various analysts estimate the state’s total value of the pot market will eclipse that of all other U.S. states with recreational markets combined in just a few years or less. But everything that goes up (in smoke), must come down (from its high).

It’s 2018: Do You Know Where Your Aluminum Products Are (Coming From)?

With the Section 232 investigation serving as a prompt, you definitely should know. If your organization sources aluminum or aluminum products: time to pay attention. Our sister site MetalMiner shines a light on the aluminum industry in the latest episode of their podcast series, "Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential." Guest Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, gives listeners a sense of what matters to the aluminum industry — and what could be at stake for aluminum buyers in 2018.

5 Key Lessons Given and Learned: How Procurement and IT Can Work Together to Transform the Business

IT

Before taking part in a webinar with Rimini Street on how procurement and IT can more effectively work together to shift focus from maintaining existing systems to investing in innovation, our intrepid founder Jason Busch wrote, “I’ll be learning as much about this topic during the event as I’ll be contributing to it.” Hopefully I’m not alone in wondering what Jason’s lessons learned indeed were during the ensuing discussion. Banking on that, we caught up with Jason on his takeaways from the event.

A New Way of Ranking Procurement Technology Solution Providers in 2017: Best of Spend Matters SolutionMap

It has been quite a big year at Spend Matters. And no, not in terms of racking up the greatest number of avian species sightings (even though I am a birder). Within this big year, Spend Matters analyst and extended teams launched what we hope to be the primary tool for procurement solution providers to highlight their capabilities to the broader market — and most important, for procurement practitioners to use as their technology selection guide. In this year-end Best of Spend Matters piece, we present a short history of SolutionMap in 2017.

What Boeing, SAP Ariba and Cannabis Have in Common: Spend Matters Best of Direct Materials in 2017

As always, the direct materials supply chain was a hotbed of activity over the past year, and Spend Matters held the front lines on much of it for what matters to procurement practitioners and their technology options. In this year-end wrap up, we present the best of our direct materials coverage from 2017, including news about direct materials-centric technology providers, commodity-specific updates and a budding new supply category.

What Amazon Business Has Learned About Managing Tail Spend

“Amazon, like any other organization, is not immune to the challenges you all are having with tail spend.” That was Jeff Oar, head of customer success, enterprise, at Amazon Business, speaking on a recent webinar held by Spend Matters (and co-hosted by our own Pierre Mitchell). If one of the 800-pound gorillas has a tail spend problem — and we say that as politely as possible, given the fact that Spend Matters and Amazon Business joined forces on the indirect spend research study underpinning this report and the webinar — chances are, your organization is, too.

Former Boeing VP John Byrne on How the OEM Optimized its Direct Materials Supply Chain Visibility

MRO

If you’re a direct materials procurement professional, what would force you to change the way you do business? For John Byrne, former vice president of aircraft materials/structures at Boeing, it was nothing short of a supply chain emergency. “The situation we faced at Boeing was initially borne out of a situation driven by a crisis,” Byrne said in the recent webinar “Supercharge Your Approach: Managing Direct Materials Across Global Supply Chains,” hosted by our sister site, MetalMiner.

What One of Canada’s Richest Men Really Cares About When It Comes to Global Trade

Barry Zekelman's story sounds like the typical American dream — a tale of how he and his brothers were thrust into their father’s fledgling business after his sudden passing. Zekelman left college to help save the steel pipe manufacturer. He and his brothers innovated to help transform the firm from a $2 million company with five employees and no profits into a $1.2 billion behemoth by 2006. But, to hear him tell it, he cares more about how his company can help build a lasting community than profit margin.

ICYMI: “Alexa, How Much of What I Just Bought on Amazon Will Be Subject to New Trade Tariffs, Quotas in 2018?”

Luckily, as a consumer mainly buying Echos or pairs of Christmas socks, the answer is not much. (Or at least, the passalong effects should be negligible.)

However, if you're a U.S. buying organization with a domestic manufacturing footprint, international supplier base, and significant steel or aluminum spend, the answer might indeed surprise you — depending what happens in the trade policy arena over the next several months.