Procurement news from the US — Weekly Round-Up

It’s been a foggy week in my brain, what with the office plague I caught and the amount of cold medicine I’ve taken, but here we go:

Tom Finn on Steve Jobs.

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” — Steve Jobs -- “Hearing about Steve Jobs passing yesterday caused me to pause for a moment. I’m not going to say that it hit me as hard as the news of John Lennon’s death (I’ll never forget that), but it surprised me that I actually did feel the news in the same general region of my gut. Maybe for me, it’s some sort of getting old, mortality kind of “thing.” And that’s fine, if that’s a big part of it. But what I do know is, we just lost one of the few high profile and authentic geniuses of our generation.”

Jason began the week at the Consol Thought Leadership Forum in Vegas and just returned from Oracle OpenWorld.

From the Consol Thought Leadership Forum -- Forrester on Analytics, Data and VMS (Part 1) -- “It's been a whirlwind week here at Spend Matters. Even though I'm currently at Oracle OpenWorld and will be covering the latest in Oracle procurement happenings later this week and next, I had the chance to speak at Consol's Thought Leadership Forum in Las Vegas on Monday. It was a drag having to leave early from the Consol (formerly known as ProcureStaff) Forum as I would have liked to have stayed later into the week to also catch the latest from the CWS conference that was being held at the same venue. Alas, with the crazy fall conference scene, you can't be in two places at once (but I must admit hanging around HR/procurement types would likely have been more fun late night than enterprise apps geeks and DBAs).” (Part 2 and Part 3 here, and look for OpenWorld coverage early next week).

Good clothes, bad practice??

Zara and Beyond: Does Your Supply Chain Support Modern Slavery? (Part 1) -- According to one industry source, Zara was accused of running "sweatshops for their outsourced production" and subsequently after the accusation, "closed a factory that produced Zara's clothing for it's poor labor conditions." In this particular case, "Bolivians were brought illegally to Brazil, locked in small apartments and sewed clothes for 12-14 hours a day. They could not leave the apartment without the consent of the supervisor and didn't have hot water for taking showers or food for lunch...Many of the workers were forced into paying their wages to human traffickers who had smuggled them into the country." (Part 2 here).

This week’s commodity update from Mintec Ltd. is full of bubbles.

Carbonated Commodities: An Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth -- When drinking a carbonated beverage, have you ever wondered what the difference is between citric acid and phosphoric acid? In the soft drink industry they are both additives that provide a tangy or sour taste. There is no real difference between the two; however, phosphoric acid has a tendency to be the cheaper ingredient, as it is a mass-produced chemical with a higher production yield than the more expensive processes by the manufacture of citric acid. Today we will enter the world of chemistry and examine how a simple equation, the Datagain system and some math can help us negotiate.

Some new Spend Matters research (co-authored by me!)

New Research: Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Consortia -- What You Need to Know Our latest Spend Matters Perspective Research report, GPOs and Buying Consortiums Must Be on the Radar for 2011-2012 explains the how, why, what and benefits (and risks) such models can bring. Authored by Spend Matters' Sheena Moore and partner-firm Allianza's Keven Grey, the study provides an essential foundation to understand this type of sourcing model.

Finally, watch this.

- Sheena Moore

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