supply chain Content

IT Supply Chain: Tech sales see some silver linings

IT market trends

COVID-19 continues to depress some parts of the economy but, from a financial perspective, there were some silver linings. Sales in technology that support work and play at home were on the rise in September, giving the IT supply chain and business users some much needed respite in what has been a difficult year for supply of these products.

As per usual, it was not all rosy, and fortunes continue to drop in the smartphone market. No one can deny the general downturn in sales in this category. To help navigate the ups and downs and maintain a clear view of what represents a fair price, here are some of the latest developments and major movements that are influencing key IT product categories.

IT Supply Chain: Pandemic continues to impact the technology sector

IT supply chain

The pandemic continued to have an impact on the technology sector in August, with everything from smartphones to servers affected. Smartphone shipments continued to fall, with analysts saying they don't expect a proper recovery to pre-pandemic levels before 2022. There were a few positives though, with sales increases in the notebook and WLAN markets. But these mostly occurred in the consumer space.

To help navigate the ups and downs and maintain a clear view of what represents a fair price, here are some of the latest developments and major movements that are influencing key IT product categories.

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Global trade trends and their impact on procurement

As businesses settle into their “new normal,” we at Basware commissioned a report with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to dive into the latest global trade trends and topics that executives are most concerned about. Together with Pete Swabey, Editorial Director of EMEA Thought Leadership, we looked at what these trends mean for procurement and finance professionals and identified three themes procurement should prioritize to minimize disruptions to their supply chain and day-to-day business.

The Hidden Procurement & Supply Chain Benefits of Chinese/US Cross-Border Swine Deals (Part 2)

As the NYT pointed out in a column highlighting some of the details (and regulatory scrutiny) surrounding the recently announced acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International, a partially state owned/influenced Chinese firm, closure of this deal in particular is not a given. But something we can take away from the proposed transaction regardless is not just Western capacity in the agricultural and food supply chain, but also the value of enhanced supply chain visibility and risk standards in driving deals and valuations in these areas.

Exploring A/P and Procurement Best Practices at P&G: Lesson 4

Lesson Four here is that project participants must understand improvement objectives and how to handle trade-offs. So let’s assume you’ve seized a nice prize, and per the WSJ article, let’s say the prize for P&G is $2B in cash. The prize could be taken as freed cash (or to a supplier, an increase in cash held captive!) But it could also be taken as a cost reduction in the form of an early discount. So, we have the classic cash vs. cost trade-off (we’ll ignore the service aspect of on-time payments that AP is measured on). So, which is more important? In this case, it’s cash.

FMC’s Total Cost of Ownership Equation: Safety, Quality, Delivery and Price

FMC Technologies’ four business drivers are: safety, quality, delivery and price. They use these to create a total cost of ownership model. With the deployment of a hybrid supplier performance management and spend analysis solution (Spend Radar – SciQuest), FMC Technologies’ initial challenge was centered on definitions (i.e., how to ensure that the same report would generate results that were equally robust and well-defined regardless of area of operations). If FMC Technologies could not achieve this, it would be impossible to benchmark across areas or have meaningful discussions with business owners and suppliers around why there were dips in performance in certain areas.

Trading “Apps” for Applications: May the Best Supply Chain Platform Win (Part 2)

So far, I’ve only been talking about this concept in a single-tier fashion. Now imagine the network or platform serving not just as the glue that allows companies to plug and play different best-of-breed applications but also as applications that sync across multiple tiers of a supply chain. Such a vision is not too radical. In fact, it is beginning to happen right now, and it will transform the basis by which we buy applications, as well as the value they create, based on the “data exhaust” that comes out of them.

Thought Innovation – Considerations for Supply Chain and Procurement in the Share Economy

Disruptive trends continue to shift the business landscape and challenge longstanding operations. Disruptions come in many forms (natural disasters, raw material availability, factory and line down situations), but innovative and disruptive trends are often overlooked, in particular the share economy. The impact of these trends on supply chain and procurement is not the first to come to mind, however it is an integral part of evolving models to thrive in the future for the share economy.

Exploring A/P and Procurement Best Practices at P&G: Lesson 3

The third lesson to remember is that the invisible hand needs to make invisible opportunity visible. Even when companies strive to simplify the value chain, there are still opportunities, albeit they tend to be hidden and difficult to find. P&G has employed many typical strategies for creating value in the P2P process, including an ERP backbone "wrapped" with appropriate best of breed solutions, a supplier portal strategy and others.

Alternative Spend Analysis Approaches: Performance Management at FMC Technologies

Unlike many organizations that use spend analysis as a tool to drive supplier rationalization, FMC Technologies is not looking to reduce its supply base. Rather, their focus on building visibility into spending and supplier performance centers on standardizing and deepening relationships with their strategic suppliers worldwide. Some of the data points they leverage in this hybrid spend and performance analysis include quality, on-time delivery, open purchase orders (POs), forecasts and supplier risk information.

Trading “Apps” for Applications: May the Best Supply Chain Platform Win (Part 1)

Even though we’re woefully under-qualified to write about apps and platforms compared to some truly geeky technologists we know, it’s important for general Spend Matters readers (on the procurement and supply sides) to understand the massive scale of how the application and network market is going to be transformed in the coming decade.