As we’ve seen and reported on Spend Matters over the past year, interest in easier-to-use, more efficient and organic B2B social collaboration platforms seems to be steadily growing. Once viewed as yet another source of risk, social media platforms, both external- and internal-facing ones, have finally proven they can help procurement folks do their jobs better.
The Industry News Category
Very recently — and rather quietly, overshadowed by talk of walls and deportations — the Mexican government made a major move that could upend North American supply chains for years to come. On Feb. 17, the Finance Secretariat announced that fuel prices in each of the country’s 90 regions would change on Saturday, Feb. 18, with daily price changes coming into place from that point forward, according to a report from Breakthrough Fuel, a global transportation energy management and advisory firm. This deregulatory move almost instantaneously introduced a new era of commodity price volatility concerns for multinational procurement organizations and their supply chains operating in or through Mexico.
Remember when Lead Forecasting Analyst Raul de Frutos warned that work stoppages at major mines Grasberg and Escondida could threaten copper supply and cause prices to rise higher? Guess what happened on Monday? The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.
Preparing for disruptive technologies and closing the talent gap are on many CPOs’ minds, as findings from Deloitte’s 2017 CPO Survey show. Among procurement executives, 75% of respondents in this year’s CPO Survey said that procurement’s role in delivering digital strategy will increase in the future. Talent shortages are also a big concern, with 60% of respondents saying that they do not think their teams have the skills necessary for their procurement strategy.
C-level executives, hiring managers, HR professionals, procurement directors and contingent workforce management practitioners at top-performing companies are recognizing that the way of engaging and leveraging talent is changing. They realize that ongoing high performance and competitive advantage require an entirely new approach to meeting their organization's needs for specialized, knowledge (i.e., business) talent — one that supersedes traditional work arrangements (e.g., “permanent” employment, stalwart consulting firms, staffing agencies) and organizational models.
In Part 1 of this three-part series, we address organizations’ changing requirements for how work is delivered, executed and managed in an increasingly digitized and networked business environment.
The Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement to allow construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline to restart this week. The 1,172-mile project would connect oil production areas in North Dakota to a crude oil terminal near Patoka, Ill. Most of it is done, but owner Energy Transfer Partners will now have to complete the last eight miles of the protested pipeline, with American-made steel a requirement. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.
Gartner recently came out with their 2017 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suite review. There was material movement from this year’s quadrant compared to the previous one that was published two years ago, and in this post we offer our commentary on it.
Without question, Gartner has some of the best minds in the technology research sector. But given the pace of technology providers’ innovation, our perspective is that the notion of publishing a report every two years is not terribly useful outside of the point-in-time snapshot — which may in fact be six months old by the time a report is published — that a comparative analysis provides. In the end, for better or worse, the Magic Quadrant becomes ubiquitous with IT professionals to shortlist vendors (and sometimes more) and often a CYA for procurement.
EcoVadis released its seventh and latest Sustainable Procurement Barometer on Tuesday, a joint study with HEC on supply chain sustainability that was first carried out over a decade ago. These studies measured sustainable procurement practices in global procurement organizations and aimed to provide a landscape view, including “sector and geographical differences, industry strengths, improvement areas [and] new frontiers for innovation.” In short, companies worldwide are now investing in sustainability practices across the supply chain, and sustainable procurement has become vital for revenue and costs, risk mitigation, brand reputation, and innovation and growth.
Spending the last 24 hours surrounded by design and cost engineers has taught me quite a bit about operations beyond procurement and supply chain management. Those in the buying and sourcing profession often spend a lot of time thinking about cost, and they sometimes get a bad rap for it. But based on my discussions with attendees, it’s clear to me that procurement is far from the only organizational unit worried about helping revenue get to the bottom line.
Yet procurement struggles with its image: it’s slow, it’s a roadblock to progress, it’s not knowledgeable enough to be valuable in new product development. The practitioners in attendance at Cost Insight, however, have worked doggedly to change perceptions such as these at their firms — to great success, in many cases. Here are three insights for procurement I’ve gleaned from various sessions.
Earlier today, SciQuest, a source-to-pay technology provider, announced it had rebranded itself as Jaggaer.
The new name is “a derivation of the German word for hunter, and reflects the company’s brand promise of delivering comprehensive, focused spend solutions for a broad range of businesses.”
For us, the name conjures up memories of sticky bar room floors from college.
The background music at this morning’s introductory session to aPriori’s Cost Insight conference said it all: “Never get fooled again.”
Manufacturers big and small waste time and money iterating on product designs, and the gap between “should cost” models and real total cost of ownership (TCO) is known to many procurement groups. But a growing openness to product cost management processes and tools, aPriori says, should end this confusion once and for all.
That’s not just the provider’s narrative either. With 65 companies in attendance this year at Cost Insight, the desire for better platforms for new product development, cost management and supplier collaboration is clear.
After President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Friday afternoon banning entry visas to citizens of the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the response was immediate and loud. Many praised Trump for keeping his campaign promises, and many others criticized the ban as xenophobic and illegal. And for businesses, the fallout has created some unintended consequences, both good and bad.