Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

Will I go back to eating meat?!?! FIND OUT in this week’s installment of my foray into fitness. The Cost of Getting in Shape: Am I Getting Enough Protein/Iron/Zinc/Vitamin E??? WELL. I had NO IDEA that my personal eating habits would raise such ire from the masses in last week’s comment section. To speak to one specifically: “exercise not making you thin” brings up a good point relating to this entire series: I don’t want to be “thin.” Believe me, I’ve been thin. As a teenager I shot from 5’4 to 5’10 in two years and all the calories in the world couldn’t keep up with me. Had I started smoking and kept my diet limited to diuretic teas and eating six almonds a day, perhaps today I could be trotting the runways at Fashion Week instead of writing thi…well…that’s another story.

On to the good stuff. Tell us what you think of the new “Vendor Snapshot” blog format.

Spend Matters Vendor Analysis:CombineNet -- To keep our readers (and ourselves) up to speed on technology developments, we field numerous briefings and product demonstrations at Spend Matters. This new Vendor Snapshot format provides a succinct look at the technology reviewed -- with a side order of quick, honest analysis. This lighter format aims to complement our regular, deeper analysis based on both in-depth solution testing and actual customer interviews.

Jason likes Fullstep’s spend management suite.

No Half-Steppin’ Here -- FullStep Tackles Manufacturing-Centric Procurement in Spain/Beyond (Part 2) -- In continuing our analysis of FullStep from late last year, we'll turn our attention to exploring how this Spain-based spend management suite vendor (currently expanding into North, Central and South America) has tailored its set of solutions for a manufacturing environment, including the middle market, where a general lack of technology, resources and cross-facility collaboration often hinders the potential for direct materials sourcing and vendor management savings programs. (Part 1 here)

More on Obama’s decision to pay attention to the supply chain.

The White House Talks Supply Chain: When Supply Risk Becomes a National Security Issue (Part 2) -- In the first post in this series we covered and quoted many of the announcement factoids and underpinnings of the new National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security announced by the White House last week. We'll continue to share some of the most important elements in this post, focusing first on some of the motivations behind the development of this strategy, and then how the White House intends to translate policy and supply chain analysis into action after planning is complete. We apologize again for quoting so extensively from the news rather than offering our own reporting and analysis, but we think there's no need to cloud the release with additional commentary.

What’s better than watching the Super Bowl? Not watching it and enjoying a bottle of prosecco instead! (But Mr. Peksa makes some fantastic points).

Predicting the Results of Super Bowl XLVI and Commodity Prices: At All Possible? -- "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future" -- attributed to Niels Bohr (physicist, 1885-1962) Every buyer faces the question: "What's going to happen to the price?" The only correct answer is: "It will go up, or down, or, exceptionally, stay the same." If I were able reliably to forecast the price of rapeseed oil (or cocoa, steel or tomatoes), then I would not be writing this article -- I would be sunning myself in the Maldives. To understand why accurate forecasting is very hard to do, let us consider something as apparently straightforward as forecasting the result of a Super Bowl XLVI. In theory, this should be easy: one might reasonably expect that, based on past history, New York should beat New England, but there are many reasons why this might not happen.

Verian tackles a “delicate” issue...

“That Time of the Month” -- It's an uncomfortable topic. There are some people who become irritable, demanding, and yes -- somewhat emotional, for about a week at the same time every month. Their physical demeanor changes, they look tired, break out, and sometimes crave chocolate or chips more than usual. They are accountants.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be manically sneak-reading New York Fashion Week coverage at work delving into some deep supplier information management research now.

Happy weekend all!

- Sheena Moore

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