As curious human beings with varying levels of self-doubt, we’re all a bit taken with “expert” advice. If I see an article about losing weight or getting rich, I’m reading it. Now, I may not qualify as an expert, but fellow procurement and sourcing professionals often ask me for advice on moving from the corporate world to freelancing. Looking back, I can admit that my thought process was probably not as thorough as it could have been. So, in the same vein as lists of what doctors tell their own friends about common ailments, here are three things to know as you determine whether freelancing is for you.
The Procurement Category
We are nearing the end of our series of Q&As with the winners of this year’s ISM/Thomasnet.com 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program. Today’s Q&A is with Subhash Segireddy, who works on supply chain network design at Cisco. Segireddy started his career at Tata Motors in India, managing electrical commodity suppliers. This piqued his interest in supply chain, and two years later he enrolled in the master’s program in supply chain engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to review the H-1B visa program, which brings 85,000 highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S. every year. The executive order was long coming. Critics of the current program argue that since workers under the H-1B visa cannot leave for another employer without starting the visa process over again, employers can give them lower wages than what American workers would receive. But what about the robots?
It’s spring, and ‘tis the season for sustainability and corporate social responsibility reports. As there’s been a glut of them out lately, with the majority running dangerously close to novella-length, Spend Matters read them so that you don’t have to. Here’s a roundup of the latest reports, plus the best, fanciest chart they had to offer.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.
So, you’re ready for an executive role in a company’s procurement function and getting ready to razzle dazzle your future leadership, including the CPO. Yet you also notice that the CFO is one of the interviewers, and you’re eager to get the nod from this important executive and stakeholder. The savvy procurement practitioner will be cognizant of the difference between indirect and direct spend responsibilities and prepare accordingly.
The median salary of supply chain managers/directors dropped to $117,000 from $129,000 last year, according to Logistics Management’s latest annual survey of logistics and supply chain salaries. The survey results are based on 687 qualified respondents, 55 of which were supply chain managers/directors. Median salaries for employees whose primary job function is supply chain management fell to $110,000 from $120,000 in 2016.
A good technology user experience is not like pornography: One can actually define it without seeing it, or at least attempt to do so.
As you may have noticed, the “Vendor Snapshot” deep dive reports that Spend Matters has been doing for the past year on technology providers have included a section on user experience (UI). In this section, we have rated UI on a number of factors. While it may seem that the first five ratings are subjective, they were all based on a comparison of the platform to other platforms, with a generalized baseline against a set of criteria for “good” user experience that the Spend Matters Analyst team has been developing for over a year.
But now that Spend Matters has released its first SolutionMap℠ — with many more to come — we decided it was time to put down a standard set of more specific definitions, across specific procurement technology modules, about what makes for a good user experience based on the criteria we ourselves use to evaluate UIs across the source-to-pay workflow.
Today, we’ll start our discussion by defining what general characteristics make for a good UI, and an effective user experience (UIX), primarily by sharing examples (without naming vendor names) and different use case scenarios that separate out a base-level UX from an advanced one.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Alex Atzberger, president of SAP Ariba.
Not long ago, the terms business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) described two different worlds. The brand names in the B2B space were nearly entirely unknown in the B2C market. The customer base, innovation cycles and revenue models differed. Few companies tried to play in both areas, as few had the financial means to do so. But this is clearly changing.
Today’s spotlight is on Kiara Conde, a transformation analyst at Shell who started as an intern at the company in 2012. Five years later, Conde is a campus ambassador to her alma mater, the University of Houston, and the co-founder of an internship program. What helped her nomination stand out in this year’s “30 Under 30” competition, however, was when she took advantage of historically low oil prices to deliver millions of dollars in bottom-line savings for Shell. Conde shared her thoughts with Spend Matters on having a work-life balance, millennials in the workforce and — attention, interns — three pieces of work advice for young professionals who want to stand out from the crowd.
With a heightened awareness over how a supplier ecosystem affects a company’s balance sheet, implementing working capital programs is increasingly part of the procurement and supply chain organizations' responsibilities, in addition to the traditional worlds of treasury and finance. The ever constant pressure to find “cash” in an organization is now commonplace as the days of cash-rich businesses having excess cash or access to cheap bank sources of funding are all but over.
Combine that with technology and macroeconomic trends that have affected many business processes, including supply chain flows — and more so than ever, companies must find ways to work out supply chain finance programs between departments and outside the organization.
Procurement scandals haven’t been a priority coverage area on Spend Matters, but that may change soon. Monday's Afternoon Coffee column covered the news, broken by the New York Post, that the chief procurement officer for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been fired for allegedly soliciting bribes from a contractor. There is of course a “lady friend” involved in this saga too, but I’ve gotten ahead of myself. But this got us wondering: How does this compare with other procurement-centered crimes? Here is a roundup of recent scandals, some more salacious than others.
ISM/ThomasNet “30 Under 30” Winner Michaela Romanias on the Importance of Resilience and Taking Initiative
This month, we are running Q&As with a few of the winners of this year’s ISM/Thomasnet.com 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program, which puts the spotlight on the some of the most talented young people working in supply chain. Today’s Q&A is with Michaela Romanias, an asset scheduler at DuPont who graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2012 with a degree in supply chain and information systems. In between juggling big responsibilities at work and planning for her early April wedding, Romanias managed to find time to talk to us about how a school assignment led her to study supply chain, what she wishes she knew at the beginning of her career, and the millennial question.