Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

WELL. I had NO idea that some readers would be so interested (and incensed) by my personal eating habits, but my weekly fitness post got quite a few comments (to the point where Jason said he was going to start a blog called “Meat Matters” -- Hmm. I'm scared to google that url to see if it exists).

Commodity Edge news.

We announced BravoSolution as a Bronze Level sponsor, and Jason wrote a post about showcasing technology to mitigate/manage commodity volatility. We also confirmed several more speakers.

Being a supplier information management expert may not get you a date, but...

New Research: Supplier Information Management Technology Fundamentals -- An Insider’s Look -- If you want to appear as boring as possible to the pretty little thing sitting next to you at a cocktail party, tell her (or him) that you're in the vendor management field. Trust me, nothing kills social conversation more with a procurement outsider than showing passion toward supplier onboarding, supplier performance KPIs or supply chain risk management. You'd be better off introducing yourself as Lewis Skolnick -- or our resident Lewis Skolnick and lead author of this paper, Thomas Kase -- and wearing the plastic pocket protector than committing this social mixer sin. Not that I'd know anything about this from personal experience, mind you, but I'm basing it on more than just a few passing observations.

Everybody’s talking Apple.

Apple, Social Responsibility and Procurement: More CSR Pesticides or Going Organic? (Part 1) -- Apple is the Bill Clinton of the high tech industry. On one hand, the bigger-than-life tech giant is put on a pedestal of excellence; a representative example of what is possible when innovation and supply chain brilliance come together (for both customers and shareholders). But on the other, Apple has been accused of having deep character flaws hidden behind closed supplier doors for tolerating certain behaviors amongst its suppliers, turning a semi-blind (squinting) eye away from problems it should have surfaced long ago. Unfortunately, there is no better half to Apple, unlike Bill, so we must evaluate it in a vacuum. Yet like Bill, Apple is willing -- at least in part -- to own up to some of its faults and address them. However, whether its actions end up further polluting the supply chain or truly changing behaviors is the question that we all want answered. (Part 2)

What’s your “maturity level”?

A Simplified P2P Maturity Model: Stage Zero -- You Have to Start Somewhere (Technology/Systems) -- Click here for the first post in this series. And if you're looking for a broader primer on purchase-to-pay systems, tips and organizational maturity models, you can download our recent Compass research brief on the subject, A Foundational Look at P2P Technologies. Even before you get on the capability/maturity map for purchase-to-pay systems and processes, you have to start somewhere. And for a surprising number of companies (still today) that somewhere is what we call "Stage Zero." Stage Zero is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor does it imply that an organization has done nothing around processes and systems.

Obama says supply chain is important!

The White House Talks Supply Chain: When Supply Risk Becomes a National Security Issue (Part 1) -- For someone who has been researching and covering supply chain risk for a decade, it's extremely refreshing to see what once were esoteric topics become mainstream, albeit due to avoidable -- and unavoidable, in certain cases -- tragedies that disrupted global supply chains. But the topic has not just hit center stage from a boardroom perspective. It's now mainstream to the point where President Obama is compelled to take action and develop a National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. For those who have not yet read the announcement, it's worth spending more than the minute or two it takes to scan to really reflect on what it represents that the White House is getting involved in the topic. As far as we are aware, it appears to be the first time that a large government has called out supply chain risk and seeks to tackle the challenge head on -- given its importance to national and global security.

- Sheena Moore

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