Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

Commodity EDGE is on Monday! Lisa and Jason asked their son Tobin about why people should attend, and we ended up learning a lot about how deadly volcanoes can be:

Thomas Kase puts Apple in its customer service place.

iPad 3 is Glorious, but Apple’s Internal Technology is Behind the Times -- The shoemaker's children go barefoot, as the saying goes. The launch of the third generation iPad (aka iPad 3) the other day was probably noticed by most. Maybe you missed that it brought Apple's IT infrastructure to its knees? Their e-commerce platform was unable to handle the onslaught -- with the dynamic content (the critical shopping basket and checkout) of the Apple Store not functional for a good part of the day. Considering the huge outlier nature of the traffic that day, I'll readily cut Apple slack for this -- but here are some issues that plague Apple's internal systems 24/7.

Jason takes a look at the implications of the Dodd-Frank Legislation.

Conflict Minerals and Dodd-Frank: An Update (Part 1) -- Here at Spend Matters, we almost always take a back seat to our sister site, MetalMiner, in covering the conflict minerals issue. MetalMiner has published extensively on the subject, and you can check out a range of articles and download on the impact of conflict minerals on the extending metals supply chain here, here and here. But one area we overlap in our coverage is supplier management technologies and outsourced solutions to help manage multi-tier supply chain information. Recently, Spend Matters has continued to observe a number of companies pulling the trigger on solutions to enable other initiatives involving supplier management platforms (e.g., supplier enablement/onboarding, financial/operational risk reduction). But conflict minerals remains an area where lots of organizations are just beginning to shop for potential solutions. (Part 2)

A two-part guest series from BravoSolution.

Closed-Loop Spend Analysis: A Missed Opportunity for Many Organizations (Part 1) -- As economic volatility dominates, there's never been a more important time for spend analysis. Management demands that the procurement team know which levers to pull on supplier costs, where additional savings and efficiencies can be achieved, and how the organization can continue to deliver quality products and services at margins that support growth and profitability. (Part 2 here)

Speaking of BravoSolution, they’re the feature of our next Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series.

And finally -- what kind of procurement customer are you?

Attention Procurement: How to Be a Good Customer -- Every month, I find ISM's Inside Supply Management has a clever little number of two that has timeless and often sage advice. One such article recently covered a topic that we don't often pay enough attention to in procurement: how to be a good customer. While I won't spoil the broader piece for ISM members who can read the entire article, a few things points stand out, which I'll call attention to below. But perhaps more important in being a good customer to suppliers, we must think concretely (e.g., changing our sourcing approaches in certain categories to tap supplier creativity versus beating them over the head) and in more subtle and abstract ways (e.g., understanding their motivations, concerns, perception on a broader customer chess board). Some of these are behavioral changes we should make while others are skill-based. But they're all important to being a good customer.

- Sheena Moore

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First Voice

  1. Christine Morton:

    Tobin is adorable! I hope he gets royalties. That kid needs an agent.

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