The Supply Chain Category

Manufacturers Are Moving Toward Digital Supply Networks, Despite Barriers

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits digital supply networks offer, but implementation of the technology still lags, according to a new study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). In contrast to a traditional supply chain, a digital supply network is a “flexible, interconnected matrix that allows data and information to move non-linearly to maximize efficiency to meet changing consumer and market demands,” the study authors write.

How Procurement Tech Adoption is Changing the Early Payment Game for the Better

The imperative to improve working capital is nothing new. As long as businesses have existed, buying organizations have wanted to hold onto their cash as long as possible, while suppliers have wanted to be paid promptly for goods and services provided. No wonder, then, that one of the oldest mechanisms to alleviate this discrepancy, invoice finance, dates back almost 5,000 years. But even over such a long history, invoice finance changed little. That's why the technological forces that are shaping this space stand to change so much about how it works.

Commodities Roundup: LME Copper and Aluminum Fall, U.S. National Average Gas Price Hits 2018 High

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.

How Procurement Organizations Can Mitigate Risk, Manage Costs Amidst a Trade War

trade

It is still unclear whether the escalating rhetoric between the U.S. and China will become reality. Yet it is crystal clear that organizations face ever greater supply risk with each passing year and, as a result, potentially higher costs without having access to the right tools in place. How to assess those risks and costs?

For 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Star Tanner Ryan, Culture and Geopolitics Make Supply Chain a “Forever-Changing Puzzle”

Among the common characteristics of the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars are an international mindset and an interest in giving back to the community — two traits that certainly apply to Tanner Ryan. His supply chain career has taken him around the world and back to his native Colorado, where he now works as a Rocky Mountain Region trucking coordinator for Shell. In this Q&A, we chat with Ryan about his career accomplishments and challenges, his experience working in China as a teenager, the disruptive potential of autonomous transportation, and, last but not least, beer.

Commodities Roundup: DRC Rips Up 2002 Mining Charter, Neodymium Market Falling Short of Demand

mining

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those 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.

Walmart is Scaring U.S. Healthcare Providers — For all the Right Reasons

Although he surely wasn’t the first to point it out, Warren Buffett grabbed the market’s attention when he described healthcare as a “tapeworm on the U.S. economy.” In fact, his voice carried enough weight to trigger a stock market selloff. Interestingly, not even Walmart’s actions, along with those of other major retailers, have garnered similar attention. Combined, they have quietly opened thousands of healthcare clinics for the past several years. But unlike CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger and other pharmacy and grocery chains, Walmart has effectively positioned itself as a true primary care provider, capable even of treating patients with chronic diseases.  

How LogisticsExchange is Disrupting the Truckload Contracting Practice

Truckload contracting is a fragmented market in dire need of better management tools. But is that why as much as 25% of all road miles are still being driven empty? A new company called LogisticsExchange (LE) has taken an entirely fresh look at that question. Interestingly, here’s where it has landed: It is attacking the industry’s traditional contracting practices.

Thomas/ISM’s Newest “30 Under 30” Rising Supply Chain Stars Value the Greater Good

For four years now, Thomas and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) have partnered in holding the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program and showcasing the most talented young supply chain professionals out there. Earlier this month, they announced the results of the 2017 competition. To learn more about this year’s rising supply chain stars, Spend Matters spoke with Deb Stanton, executive director at ISM; Tony Uphoff, president and CEO of Thomas; and Rita Lieberman, director of marketing communications at Thomas. We came away truly impressed by the talented young professionals in supply chain today.

The Modern Contract: Connected Sets of Data

The purpose of almost every business contract is the same: to define the relationship and allocate risk. To effectively do the latter, supply chain managers must manage external risks and internal risks. But even considered separately, the point is that managing both kinds of risk is challenging. With a plate that full and interdependent, is it any wonder that contracts seem to create more operational friction than they’re worth? Why haven’t we figured out that we can’t adjudicate such variability?

Apple Expands Supplier Audit, Publishes Results in Latest Annual Progress Report

hidden workers

For 12 years, Apple has published reports on its supplier audits, and the 2018 Progress Report was released earlier this month. In 2017, Apple conducted audits of 756 suppliers in 30 countries, including 197 suppliers that were audited for the first time. The expanded audit unearthed 48 “core” violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct, double the number from the year before. However, the good news is that the overall trend is toward greater compliance.

Product Quality Top Concern Among Europe’s Sourcing Professionals in Recent Survey

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Concerns over product quality are top of mind for European companies that source abroad, according to Amber Road’s recently released 2018 E.U. Sourcing Survey Report. The complexity of international trade compliance is a close second. This insight comes from a survey Amber Road conducted of more than 150 respondents from companies based in the European Union. Sixty-four percent of the respondents represent companies that source from more than 10 countries, and 54% have at least 100 suppliers across their sourcing regions.