Sourcing & Categories Content

Ethiopia’s Apparel Sector Beset By Land Disputes and Labor Risks, New Research Finds

apparel

As a sourcing destination for apparel companies, Ethiopia can hardly be called up-and-coming anymore. Since 2013, East Africa — and Ethiopia in particular — has been on the radar of apparel companies seeking low-cost manufacturing labor. New research from global risk consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft, however, suggests that Ethiopia’s apparel sector is likely to face significant risks in the near future, from land disputes to human rights concerns to political protests and instability.

Fashion Transparency Index 2017 Released: How Do Your Favorite Brands Rank?

Adidas and Reebok scored the highest and Dior, L.L. Bean and Forever 21 scored among the lowest in this year’s Fashion Transparency Index. The report was released last Monday, the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse. Just in its second year, the Fashion Transparency Index ranks 100 of the biggest global fashion and apparel brands based on how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies, and social and environmental consequences. The methodology was developed with input from a group of more than 20 industry experts and academics.

Trade Extensions Dispatch: Is The Supply Chain Ready to Be Defined by Sourcing?

trade

Trade Extensions sells the most advanced sourcing optimization technology that Spend Matters has encountered on the market today (read our research, linked below, if you want to understand why). It’s capable of tackling extremely complex multitier sourcing challenges. This is one of the reasons Coupa is buying it. Yet today, most customers are just scratching the surface of what the tool can enable in the majority of their sourcing events (if not all).

Trade Extensions: Redefining E-Sourcing (Coupa and Beyond)

There are only a few events left that focus primarily on strategic sourcing over broader procurement topics. And there are fewer still at which you can learn something new in every presentation. Trade Extensions customer events have always done just that. The Spend Matters team has attended half a dozen or more of these events over the years. Earlier today I continued the tradition, touching down in Atlanta to attend “Redefining E-Sourcing,” Trade Extensions’ U.S. customer event, which so far has lived up to its name, albeit with a current chapter in the history of the provider's story coming to an end with its acquisition by Coupa -- and a new one about to begin.

Breaking Down the Latest Sustainability Reports: Shell, General Mills, H&M and More

sustainability

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.

Fish Fraud, Mislabeled Sushi and Supply Chain Traceability

sushi

Nowadays one doesn’t have to be a coffee snob to appreciate a single-origin brew, not when even Starbucks is bandying around words like terroir. The same goes for so-called bean-to-bar chocolate. For years now, businesses and consumers have pored over the provenances of foodstuffs with a fervor that used to be limited to wine. Seafood may be getting there, too, albeit slowly. Imagine ordering from a menu where each seafood dish comes with a note on where it came from.

Is Sourcing Forklift Trucks Easier than Sourcing Cars?

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nitin Khandelwal, of GEP.

Forklift sourcing isn’t as complex as it seems (especially when we compare it with fleet), but there are a variety of factors that should be considered to ensure that you contract the right supplier.

Outsourcing Flights: Was the United Airlines Fiasco Also a Supplier Management Mishap?

People have pointed fingers at United for pulling passengers off after they have boarded; at the security officers who didn’t think it inappropriate to drag a 69-year-old man by his hands; at the passenger himself for not complying with airline policy — but who reads those policies when booking tickets, anyway? But our question is this: How much of the blame also goes to Republic Airline, the regional partner that operated the flight?

America Needs a Bigger Closet

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by H. Cole Hassay, economist at IHS Markit.

Americans need more space to store their goods, according to warehouse construction data. Warehouse construction rose in 2016 by 8%, coming off three years of double-digit growth as consumers continue to demand more storage space. Rising demand, along with historically low interest rates, prompted this construction explosion. Though the Federal Reserve has signaled interest rates will be rising in the near term, warehouse construction should remain positive, though less dramatic, as demand persists.

Why It’s Important for Logistic Category Managers to Be the Gateway to Emerging Disruptive Technologies in the Marketplace

trade

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Rodrigo Sánchez, consultant in strategy and operations management at GEP.

Procurement strategies aim to identify the service providers that can offer the products and services an organization requires at the most competitive prices. At the same time, they also need to meet the requirements established by the different departments across the company. Logistics, however, defines the strategy that will allow companies to move raw materials into manufacturing plants and distribute its finished goods across its supply chain. And all of this aims to be cost efficient. So how is it possible for procurement to identify additional opportunities for logistics, since it does not own the logistics strategy?

Category Management Survey and Report: Groundbreaking Results and Webinar Next Week

category management

Consultancy Future Purchasing completed late last year the largest category management survey of its kind ever attempted (as far as we know). With more than 300 respondents from a range of sectors and countries, the results provide much fascinating material to help understand just what differentiates the best exponents of “CatMan” from the pack. And if you have any interest in the topic, as a category manager or a procurement leader looking to improve performance, or indeed as a less mature organization in the field, we are confident you will get something useful out of our upcoming webinar next Tuesday, March 14, at 11 a.m. EST.

ICYMI: Trends and Predictions in Sourcing, Supplier Management, CLM and More

For those of you who missed it, last week Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch presented a webinar live from the U.K., with Spend Matter UK/Europe Managing Director Peter Smith some 50 feet away, doing another webinar live. “It’s the first time we’ve had two analysts in the same building doing a webinar at the same time,” Busch said. Busch’s webinar, Sourcing, Contract and Supplier Management: Predictions and 2017 Tech Trends, looked at four areas within the strategic procurement technologies landscape — spend/supply analytics, strategic sourcing (e-sourcing), supplier management and contract management.