L2 Content

Commodities Roundup: GOES Imports Drop, Rusal Sanctions Crunch and U.S. Raw Steel Production Jumps

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.

Analytics Connects the Dots — and Data — to Improve Healthcare Supply Chain Performance

healthcare

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brad Stillwell, senior director of product strategy at Birst, an Infor company

Data analytics is transforming healthcare, informing every decision from doctors’ diagnoses to long-term patient risk management. While the spotlight is, deservedly, on data-driven transformation within the four walls of healthcare facilities, analytics also has the power to improve the performance of supply chains and entire healthcare ecosystems to deliver a significant competitive advantage.

Using Contract Management to Drive Cross-Functional Digital Transformation

contract

Contract management is a critical enabler to digital transformation. By digitizing a business’ contracts, procurement organizations can unlock numerous benefits, from spurring enterprise agility to reducing compliance risks to improving working capital metrics. But achieving such improvements won’t happen alone. Procurement will need to enlist its cross-functional partners in sales, legal and finance to expand a digital contract transformation from a confined functional capability to an enterprise-wide program.

Mitigating Trade War Risks: Do Procurement Organizations Have the Data Needed to Respond?

trade

What’s the best tool procurement organizations have to mitigate risks in the U.S.-China trade war? In a word, data. The Trump administration’s Section 232 and 301 probes have led to billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs, igniting a U.S.-China trade war. And the tit-for-tat duties are only likely to escalate: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in July published a list of additional Chinese goods to tax — to the tune of $200 billion. With everything from vaccines to nuclear reactor parts to metals beyond steel and aluminum up for consideration, escalating trade tensions have introduced numerous unforeseen risks into procurement and supply chain organizations.

5 Reasons Supply Base Rationalization Can Be the Enemy of Effective Procurement Spend Management

category management

Traditionally, procurement organizations have been advised to consolidate their supplier base (with the handful of suppliers with the greatest percentage of purchases), negotiate strong contractual discounts and encourage their employees to purchase from these preferred vendors at the prenegotiated pricing. On the surface, rationalizing an organization’s supply base can seem like an effective way to improve procurement performance. By rationalizing the number of suppliers that enterprises work with, procurement leaders can reduce costs, improve quality and save the time of procurement teams who are too often lost in the arduous process of managing indirect tail spend. However, due to the rise of more advanced B2B e-commerce platforms and highly volatile pricing fluctuations for products, the supplier consolidation strategy is quickly becoming outdated.

How AI Forces Procurement to Change the Concept of Contract Management: A Q&A with Seal Software CEO Ulf Zetterberg

contract

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the holy grail of procurement software capabilities, but few vendors have begun to distinguish the plain chalice of useful functionality from the jewel-encrusted goblet of empty marketing promises. This is especially true when it comes to contract management software, which claims numerous possible applications of AI yet few real-life case studies. To learn more about how the contract management software market has evolved in this context, we sat down with Ulf Zetterberg, founder and CEO of Seal Software, a provider of contract discovery, extraction and analytics solutions, to discuss how procurement organizations can tell if AI capabilities are the real deal, as well as how regulatory challenges from GDPR and increased M&A are changing the very concept of CLM.

The 5 Key Benefits of Effective Buying

A wealth of worthwhile benefits can be gained through adopting an effective buying approach. By making just small changes in our approach to buying, we can expect to see significant value and benefits as a direct result. You might ask why you should do anything differently at all when individuals and organizations already manage to buy well without any kind of intervention. But to truly appreciate why we should consider a new buying approach, we must first recognize the size of the prize that can be obtained.

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5 Reasons to Make Procurement Matter Now

Today’s cloud-based procurement software platforms offer many advantages for companies seeking to gain greater visibility into — and control over — spend. This is just one reason why the market for e-procurement software is expected to grow from $1.35 billion in 2016 to $2.75 billion in 2021. Senior decision-makers at organizations contemplating the adoption of an e-procurement solution will find plenty of information about the advantages of doing procurement better through process automation. What’s missing from most of the available literature, however, are insights into how a modern procurement infrastructure can help companies accomplish specific business objectives.

Prices Move South for Brazilian Soft Commodities on Oversupply and a Weak Real

sugar

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Corrina Hutchings, senior market analyst at Mintec.

During the Rio Olympics 2016, we wrote an article on Brazil and the country’s major commodities, predominately sugar and coffee. Differences between the market place back then and in recent months are notable, to say the least.

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Procurement Begins with Sourcing: The myConnXion Story

To understand procurement and sourcing as a buyer, we must start with the supplier. Small and diverse businesses are often cited as being more nimble, innovative and cost effective, but are often most strained in resources. Suppliers have to register their profiles with many different buyers (sometimes paying to do so, for buyers who adopt the pay-to-play model) and may not even get a contract as a result of their efforts. On the other side, many buyers end up with outdated supplier information and expired diversity certifications, contaminating their supplier database with inaccurate data. Sourcing with unreliable information hampers the abilities of procurement professionals and negatively impacts bottom line.

U.S. Companies Improve Working Capital Performance — But Is It at the Expense of Suppliers?

finance

U.S. companies’ working capital performance is at its strongest since 2008, according to The Hackett Group. However, this is in large part a result of companies shifting their working capital burden on to their suppliers by extending payment terms. The average days payable outstanding in 2017 was 56.7 days, 3.4 days more than in 2016. This data comes from The Hackett Group’s 2018 U.S. Working Capital Survey of the 1,000 largest non-financial companies with headquarters in the U.S.

The Rise of the Social Enterprise: Working Toward a Symphonic C-Suite (Part 1)

marketing procurement

As the concepts of the workforce and the workplace shift, the concept of the business itself may be changing as well, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report suggests, giving rise to what the report’s authors call “social enterprises.” A social enterprise is an organization “whose mission combines revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network,” the authors write. “Today, successful businesses must incorporate external trends, perspectives and voices by maintaining positive relationships, not just with customers and employees, but also with local communities, regulators and a variety of stakeholders.”