Incendiary Tidbits Content

Old-Fashioned Heuristics: Common Sense Cause and Effect

Regarding the countless examples of reckless government spending we like to mock, I stopped caring a long time ago. Instead, I have turned my attention to the funding of studies designed to confirm things that we should have already known. If you have a sense of humor, there are numerous ridiculous examples where taxpayer money might have been invested more judiciously. Spending more than a billion to confirm that the use of seat belts saves lives comes to mind, as does funding a long-term study to determine whether obligatory handwashing might be a good idea in health care settings. Studying hospital behavior to determine if they might be playing self-serving games with the current reimbursement calculus also strikes a chord.

The Future of Work is the Gig of Disruption or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Get Back to Work

You know how some things seem timeless, while others — no matter how annoying — just don’t seem to go away. Or are they both one and the same? That’s the problem: confusion. One of the biggest threats to humankind today may not be nuclear war or climate change — it may very well be confusion, on a scale larger than the world has ever known. The misplacement of a comma or an innocent misspelling could mean the difference between life or death (or at least the flawed delivery of your Zappos shoes to your undeserving, though outwardly affable, neighbor). In any case, confusion seems to have become the bane of our existence and an accepted feature of our everyday life. But not for me. I have chosen to resist. And my first target is buzzwords.

Star Wars Mouse Pads and a Golden Pencil: What’s the Strangest Purchase You’ve Been Asked to Approve?

Earlier this week, I moderated a webinar with Procurify customer Lynn Gabriel, COO of Mainstream Fiber Networks, about her experience with implementing spend management technology for the first time (watch the webinar here). In explaining the change management process, Lynn mentioned the importance of helping employees understand cost savings measures within the organization and told a funny story: one of her employees submitted an approval for a $30 Star Wars mouse pad, insisting that it would help him be infinitely more productive on the job. (Needless to say, it was not approved.)

Back in Coastal Georgia with the Evacuation Blues Again

Hurricane Matthew and Irma. Two evacuations in one year have proven more than enough for me (and I’m hearing there may be yet another one on the way). In both cases I lost more than a week of my life. Whether holed-up with friends hooked on reality TV or moving between cheap motels with my ill-mannered pets, it doesn’t make much difference: it’s a totally depressing scene that has moved me to action. I ain’t going nowhere next time, no how.

Ubering After Dark — in Wisconsin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines heavy drinking as 15 or more drinks for men and eight or more for women on a weekly basis. On average, 18% of American adults fall into this category, but the percentage is over 25% in Wisconsin. Some experts will tell you that the Germanic and Scandinavian ancestries of Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota have something to do with it. And others will say that it’s the dreary weather.

Trump Manufacturing Council Roundup: When the CEOs Said ‘See Ya’

manufacturing

Alas, President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative has sadly drawn to an abrupt close in the wake of the events in Charlottesville. As you’ve surely heard by now, Trump disbanded the council once a critical mass of CEOs and other business sector leaders stepped down. One day before his official decision, announced on Twitter (is there any other way?), the President tweeted one of my favorite tweets of his in recent memory.

How Do Procurement People Buy Flowers? Or, Using Procurement Smarts in Everyday Life

Procurement is basically shopping with a strong emphasis on value. Does that mean procurement people also better shoppers in their everyday lives? To find out, I asked around the office: “What have you recently used your procurement smarts to buy for yourself?” Take, for example, flowers. They are ordinary and yet can be exorbitant in cost. And despite what it may seem, this is a complex purchasing 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.”

No, Robots Will Not Run Procurement by 2020

The motion stands thus: This house believes that robots will run (and rule) procurement by 2020.” I believe that the general direction of this argument is not in and of itself wrong. But there are a number of flaws in the nuance of how the motion has been proposed. And we are, after all, asking you to judge the merits of the proposal on its own, as it stands. Let me present you with three arguments against it.

Leveraging is Key to Procurement and Supply Chain Success, New Report Suggests

Editor’s note: “The Eggplant” is a new series of satirical posts in the style of “The Onion.” Check out the first one in the series here.

New research published this week shows that more procurement organizations are leveraging in 2017 than ever before, while the range of activities, situations and things that can be leveraged is also expanding to historic levels.

Category Manager at Greeting Card Company Brings Sentiment and Feeling to Dying Supply Chain

Alex Decker, a senior category manager at a well-known greeting card company, has developed an innovative supply chain management approach that promises to breathe new life into an industry disrupted by digitization. For over 25 years, Decker has been responsible for sourcing paper stock and ink, the two main materials inputs to the production of traditional paper greeting cards. Not long ago, he suddenly be became interested in innovation and in holding onto his job until retirement age.

Must-Watch Films and TV: Recommendations From and For Procurement Professionals

A few months ago, we published a post on book recommendations for procurement and supply chain practitioners. Textbooks they were not: I solicited recommendations both inside and outside Spend Matters for books that have relevant takeaways for procurement, even if they are about, say, tulips (that would be Mike Dash’s “Tulipomania”). Today we’re back with another round of recommendations, this time in the film and TV show category. The gist remains the same: What films and TV shows, while not nominally about procurement or supply chain, nevertheless contain pertinent lessons?