The Supply Chain Category

Blame the Supplier: A Roundup of Recent Supply Chain Scandals

Makeup for tweens is controversial enough on its own, but when asbestos is involved, national news headlines follow. ABC11 reported this week that asbestos was found to be present in the “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” sold at Justice, a national retailer of girls’ apparel. Asbestos fibers, once inhaled, remain in the lungs permanently. As Sean Fitzgerald, the director of research at the lab where the investigation was conducted, told ABC11, children “could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product.”

Healthcare Needs More Mud: A Supply Chain Perspective

If ever a layman’s view of the holy war over healthcare reform had a chance to be heard, well, as a guy who’s covered the space for the better part of a decade, here goes nothing. (My disclaimer: I hold both political parties in equal contempt.) From a supply chain management perspective, there’s more fat on the healthcare bone than Arby’s latest pork belly sandwich. Origins of that old adage “doctors don’t make good businessmen” have roots in many places. But their collective decision to fully outsource their procurement and supply chain management needs (in fact, to establish healthcare’s group purchasing organization oligarchy) may be the quintessential example.

A Look at Industrial Buyer Trends: E-Marketplaces, Mobile Apps and Supplier Selection

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Traditional distributors still command the biggest percentage of industrial buyer spending, but competition is firing up, according to a recent UPS study of industrial products buyers and their behaviors and preferences. The study found more that industrial buyers than before are spending their money with non-traditional suppliers by buying through an e-marketplace or straight from the manufacturer.

The Hyper-Personalized Supply Chain is Coming: Are You Ready?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jim Wetekamp, chief executive officer of BravoSolution .

The concept of the demand-driven supply chain has been around for a decade or more. For supply chain organizations in consumer-centric markets, the model requires the ability to ramp production up and down based on demand fluctuations in short cycles. Think that change was a roller coaster ride? Well, fasten your seat belts.

“Buy Online, Pick Up in Store” Services Increasingly Popular Among Consumers

JDA Software Inc. released Monday its 2017 survey on U.S. consumer attitudes toward in-store shopping and e-commerce. With no one batting an eye over free two-day shipping anymore and drone deliveries on the horizon, it’s no wonder that only 54% of the 1,000 consumers JDA surveyed said they prefer to shop in a physical store. In other words, nearly half of shoppers prefer to make purchases online or through a retailer’s mobile app. Interestingly, this pattern was consistent across age groups.

Eaze: On-Demand Cannabis Delivery to Your Home

In the past month or so, Spend Matters has featured a number of articles about the fast-growing cannabis industry and supply chain. It’s complex, but the cannabis industry is not what it used to be. While the earlier articles have focused on procurement and supply chain processes and technology, there is another area of the business that was not covered: on-demand home delivery. Over the past two years, a number of startups have emerged to provide the platform/app-based service — think of it as a Grubhub or DoorDash for pot, instead of food. The list includes companies like Nugg, Speed Weed and grasp.it, but perhaps the most recognized — and most well funded — is Eaze.

Announcing “Ask Spend Matters!”

What have you always wondered about procurement — but were afraid to ask? The editors at Spend Matters have never stopped wondering about what procurement means for all of us and how it is defined as a profession — but going down rabbit holes is only fun until you run out of air. Enter Ask Spend Matters, a new series where you, the reader, tell us what to investigate and report about procurement. How do you submit your question? The process is simple.

A Sneak Peek at UT-Knoxville’s Inaugural Supply Chain Summer Program for Female High Schoolers

Michigan State University

What would a supply chain summer program for female high school students look like? The summer of 2017 may not even be halfway over, but a group of administrators and professors at the University of Tennessee — Knoxville are already working out the details of a weeklong supply chain summit to be held on campus in July 2018, aimed at female students from the state of Tennessee who will be rising high school juniors.

Procurement is within Supply Chain, but is the Supply Chain within Procurement?

Procurement helps a firm feed the supply chain. And it may even call itself “supply chain.” But does it really live the supply chain? In other words, does it embody the principles and practices of supply chain excellence within its own services “business”?

To answer this question, we must define supply chain excellence, which consists of three major elements: Customer focus to understand and shape demand; supply performance that meets customer needs and business needs; and transformation that (re)designs the value chains (and supporting resources) that produce the products and services that satisfy the customer and meet key performance requirements.

Obviously, procurement must support this. If purchasing must become supply management, as Walter Kraljic so famously wrote, then it’s not about just episodic sourcing but rather “supplying” the customer-satisfying value chain holistically. Supply management thus becomes about building the extended supply network that is positioned to fulfill customer needs. In other words, supply management is customer facing.

5 Young Supply Chain Professionals on What They Wish They Knew Earlier

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Whether you're a recent college grad or starting your first job in the supply chain, consider the following pieces of advice from five young professionals whom ISM and Thomasnet.com named as “30 Under 30” Rising Supply Chain Stars. As Christina Gill, one such “star” with over a decade of experience in supply chain, said, “This is an exciting time in your career. Be open, be adventurous, be a sponge, listen, learn, and take risks in your career.” So read on!

Cannabusiness: The Riskiest Legal Supply Chain in the World?

Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, it’s still federally illegal. For that reason, states that have legalized cannabis for medical — and especially recreational — consumption have had to implement considerable systems of regulatory compliance for businesses to follow.

Viscose Suppliers to H&M and Zara Linked to Severe Health and Environmental Hazards

Zara and H&M are among the fast fashion giants that have been found to source viscose from manufacturing sites whose processes pose serious health and environmental dangers, according to a new report from Changing Markets Foundation. When the foundation visited 10 such sites in China, India and Indonesia, it found that untreated hazardous waste was leading to severe air and water pollution, and for people who lived near the manufacturing sites, physical and mental disorders.