Sourcing & Categories Content

On CSR Reporting, Smaller Firms Outscore Larger Ones in Global Study

sustainable

Small and medium-sized businesses outscored larger companies in managing their corporate social responsibility reports — but all sizes of firms could improve CSR management and remove more risk for their companies, according to EcoVadis’ second annual study of more than 33,000 businesses around the world. Out of 100 points, small and medium-sized companies (26-999 employees) scored 42.4, and large ones (more than 1,000 employees) scored 39.6, the study said. Results below 45 indicate “an unstructured approach” to CSR management — with a medium to high risk for a business on the EcoVadis scoring scale, and the study said large companies have much further to go in improving their CSR practices.

Tariffs: A Black Cloud Marring the 2019 Commodity Outlook

There was one word that loomed over the proceedings at The Right Place/Supply Chain Management Council's Commodity Trends 2019 Outlook event Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan: Tariffs. From the multiple expert presentations to numerous audience questions and comments on the topic, it didn’t take much to pinpoint the effects of tariffs as a recurring theme of the half-day conference, at which MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman presented our 2019 metals outlook. Indeed, the current onslaught of tariffs — including those implemented under Sections 201, 232 and 301 of U.S. trade law — seemed to be one of the primary concerns on everyone’s minds.

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Which IT Sourcing Best Practices Will Deliver the Most Value to Your Organization?

For those of us that live and breathe IT sourcing, we understand that it’s no longer just about cutting costs – it’s about getting the most value from every purchase and renewal, reducing risk and contributing to strategic business imperatives like digital transformation. In a recent webinar, Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and I discussed the challenges and the expectations of the rapidly changing IT sourcing landscape, and eight best practices that can help us tackle them.  All of these best practices are critical for keeping up with the pace of business.

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Back to the myConnXion Future: Connecting Buyers and Suppliers

digital business transformation

As disruptors in the supplier management space, our team set out with a simple task: understand the challenges suppliers face, so we can help them better collaborate with buyers in global supply chains. We started hearing from many small and diverse businesses that it was difficult to engage with large corporate buyers. As a small, minority-owned business, we’ve faced some challenges ourselves, but wanted to confirm our thoughts with general findings from other organizations. To gather these insights, our product innovation team conducted a focus group with buyers and suppliers and received some interesting feedback.

IT Sourcing in 2018: Best Practices That Companies Need to Know

VMS

Organizations will spend $3.7 trillion on IT in 2018, marking a 6.2% increase over last year’s spend. Moreover, IT buyers spend more than they need to on purchases and renewals in more than 75% of the time. Kim Addington, chief operating officer at NPI, provided these statistics as context during a webinar she co-hosted last Thursday with Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters. The webinar provided a look at today’s IT sourcing landscape, key challenges and how cutting-edge IT sourcing organizations are handling these challenges.

U.S. Apparel Industry Scrambles to Diversify Sourcing Strategy in Wake of Escalating U.S.-China Trade War

apparel

For many U.S. companies in the apparel industry, the old sourcing strategy of “made in China” is turning into “China plus Vietnam plus many,” with emphasis on the many. As Washington and Beijing continue to one-up each other’s tariff threats, the prospect of a looming trade war is driving U.S. apparel companies to further diversify their sourcing strategy and shift production away from China. While China remains the top sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel industry, the country now accounts for 11%–30% of companies’ total sourcing volume, compared to 30%–50% in the past.

A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Reshoring Index: Has the Reshoring Trend Reversed?

Toyota supply chain

Harley-Davidson was in the news last month when it announced that it would be shifting some production overseas as a result of the E.U.’s planned retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. The American motorcycle manufacturer is also closing its Kansas City factory and opening a plant in Thailand, decisions that were spurred by sluggish domestic sales and the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As it turns out, Harley-Davidson is hardly alone. Since 2013, A.T. Kearney has been tracking reshoring, and its 2018 Reshoring Index shows that the practice has not taken hold.

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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.

GAO: Majority of Companies Can Now Determine Origins of Their Conflict Minerals

conflict minerals

For the first time, more than half of companies filing conflict minerals reports are able to determine the source of these minerals, according to a Government Accountability Office report on conflict minerals disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2017. Last year, 53% of the companies were able to report whether their conflict minerals — tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold — came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or one of the nine neighboring countries.

Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff on Sourcing Alternatives to Plastic Drinking Straws, Regulations and Consumer Sentiment

The year 2018 seems to be the beginning of the end of the plastic straw, and sourcing data from Thomasnet.com indicate that procurement professionals are scrambling to identify alternatives. One of the top marine polluters, plastic straws have been banned in various countries, cities and royal estates around the world, including Scotland, Taiwan, Vancouver and Buckingham Palace. Data from supplier discovery platform Thomasnet.com shows that sourcing activity for drinking straws and paper bags has increased significantly compared with the historical average. Spend Matters recently spoke with Tony Uphoff, president and chief executive at Thomas, to learn more about the industries behind this spike, the roles played by regulations and consumer sentiment, and those iconic red-and-yellow straws.

MBO Partners’ 8th Annual State of Independence Report: What’s In It For Contingent Workforce Managers?

Coworks

MBO Partners has released its latest State of Independence in America report, which examines the size, trends, demographics and other information about the population of U.S. workers that, in effect, “work on their own” and earn income outside of traditional employment. The report, which was first published in 2011, provides a broad range of data and insights pertaining to this population that MBO estimates at nearly 42 million workers.

Sole Sourcing and Lack of Weapon Design Experience to Blame for Pentagon’s Munitions Procurement Woes

The U.S. government is facing considerable challenges with its munitions procurement, as reported by Defense News in an article memorably headlined “The U.S. is Running Out of Bombs — And It May Struggle to Make More.” According to the latest annual Industrial Capabilities report from the Pentagon's Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, sole sourcing and a lack of weapon design experience are crippling the U.S. industrial base.