The Industry News Category

Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff on Sourcing Alternatives to Plastic Drinking Straws, Regulations and Consumer Sentiment

The year 2018 seems to be the beginning of the end of the plastic straw, and sourcing data from Thomasnet.com indicate that procurement professionals are scrambling to identify alternatives. One of the top marine polluters, plastic straws have been banned in various countries, cities and royal estates around the world, including Scotland, Taiwan, Vancouver and Buckingham Palace. Data from supplier discovery platform Thomasnet.com shows that sourcing activity for drinking straws and paper bags has increased significantly compared with the historical average. Spend Matters recently spoke with Tony Uphoff, president and chief executive at Thomas, to learn more about the industries behind this spike, the roles played by regulations and consumer sentiment, and those iconic red-and-yellow straws.

Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey: Industry 4.0, Employer Loyalty and Business Ethics

millennial

Young professionals across the globe are unsure about their ability to adapt to Industry 4.0 technologies and increasingly critical of business ethics, Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey finds. For its seventh annual report on the millennial generation in the workplace, Deloitte researchers surveyed 10,455 college-educated professionals from 36 countries who were born between 1983 and 1994. The researchers also surveyed 1,844 respondents born between 1995 and 1999, who fall into Generation Z.

Commodities Roundup: Base Metals Hit a Downtrend, The Future of Iron Ore

direct materials procurement

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

MBO Partners’ 8th Annual State of Independence Report: What’s In It For Contingent Workforce Managers?

Coworks

MBO Partners has released its latest State of Independence in America report, which examines the size, trends, demographics and other information about the population of U.S. workers that, in effect, “work on their own” and earn income outside of traditional employment. The report, which was first published in 2011, provides a broad range of data and insights pertaining to this population that MBO estimates at nearly 42 million workers.

Outdated Procurement Software a Top Threat to Talent Retention, Study Finds

computer

Workers at “technology laggard” businesses are much more likely to be frustrated or quit, putting procurement organizations’ talent management strategies at risk, according to a report by Unisys Corporation. Titled “The New Digital Workplace Divide,” the research illustrates how a company’s technology maturity plays a significant role in employee satisfaction  — perhaps the key role. Workers at organizations whose tech lags behind the industry standard report frustration at a rate of 51%, compared with only 6% for those who work for tech leaders. Productivity is thus stifled when workers are frustrated by their laggard IT systems, procurement software included.

Is the Contingent Workforce Growing? Interpreting the Latest Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

services procurement

Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the 2017 Contingent Workforce Supplement, its first since 2005. The report estimates that in May 2017, 3.8% of the U.S. workforce, or 5.9 million workers, held contingent jobs. In the supplement, the BLS defines contingent workers as those who “do not have an implicit or explicit contract for ongoing employment.” Self-employed and independent contractors are included in this figure as long as they have been employed for under a year and expect their employment to last no more than one additional year.

Commodities Roundup: Zinc and Copper Prices Plunge, the Specter of Automotive Tariffs and Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel

Nissan

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scoured the landscape for what mattered this week.

2018 Trade Mania Roundup: Who Wins, Who Loses and Who Should Cut the Cheese

sustainability

Without a doubt, global trade in 2018 has seen the most fireworks since, arguably, the Great Recession — or even before. As much else in the world has for the last year and a half, the story begins with U.S. President Donald J. Trump and his administration’s actions on the trade front, namely how it has chosen to review the country’s approach with its existing trade partners. The search term “trade war” has likely seen thousand-percent spikes in the first half of this year compared with past years, going by the key events of 2018.

Spend Matters Fireworks: Top Posts From the First Half of 2018

Each year brings new procurement trends and surprises, and 2018 has been no exception. As we celebrate the halfway point of the year this Fourth of July, we’re taking a look back at the 10 most popular articles on Spend Matters during the last six months — call them our “firework” posts of the year. Below, we count down to the No. 1 most-read article of the year, leaving the best for last, just like the finale of the typical July 4th fireworks show.

You Ask, We Answer: Procurement’s Burning Questions From the First Half of 2018

We kicked off Ask Spend Matters last July, and throughout the course of this past year, our readers — you! — have sent us dozens upon dozens of fascinating questions on topics ranging from big data to tail spend to group purchasing organizations to services procurement. Answering your questions has been both illuminating and fun, and we only hope that you have learned as much as we have. Today, we look back at the Ask Spend Matters articles that we published in the first half of this year. You asked about professional development needs, spend management vs. e-procurement, high-volume, low-dollar spend and more — and we answered.

Canadian Tariffs: Ketchup Iffy, Bourbon and Whiskey Kinda Risky

amazon

In what is starting to look like a high stakes game show, Canada hit its trade war button Sunday, imposing 10% tariffs on a wide range of U.S. staples. Run through your grocery list of most things Kraft Heinz, add in a nice array of other foodstuffs found on adjacent aisles and, well, if events play out as usual, the affected companies will take disproportionate advantage of this latest opportunity to raise prices.

The Impact of Steel Tariffs on U.S. Jobs and the Squeeze on the Pockets of Consumers

trade

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Prince Fiifi Yawson, analyst at Mintec.

In June 2015, President Donald Trump announced in his candidacy for president, “We need a leader that can bring back our jobs, can bring back our manufacturing.” Fast-forward to June 2018 and the U.S. economic growth rate has risen, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.8%, its lowest level in 18 years. It goes without saying that Trump has brought back some jobs, but is this a continuing trend?