Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

So much has happened since my last post! Commodity EDGE was a smashing success, and we’d like to thank all of our sponsors and attendees for making it that way. Read about Jason’s initial thoughts on how things went, and here’s our closing post from the last day, when we were counting the minutes until cocktail hour we could happily network with our attendees before sending them back to work with their newfound genius-level commodity skills.

Speaking of commodity strategy...

New Research: Minimize Volatility With Advanced Commodity Management and Hedging -- We're excited to announce the publication of a New Spend Matters Compass Report today: Minimizing Commodity Volatility Through Advanced Commodity Management and Hedging Approaches. Authored by Jason Busch of Spend Matters and Lisa Reisman of MetalMiner (with additional commentary from Brad Clark), the paper provides essential background on a topic of increasing interest to procurement, supply chain and finance organizations.

Jason dropped in on Procurement Leaders this week.

Procurement Leaders Hits the Chicago Stage: Background, Growth and Finance Fundamentals (Dispatch 1) -- Procurement Leaders is an organization that's been hitting its stride of late. I had the chance to catch up with two of its founders over dinner on Monday night and the progress these guys have made in the past year from a new site with a great personalized architecture to building out the broader conference team (including a new format coming up in San Francisco) is outstanding. They've truly been -- and continue to be -- an invaluable addition to the thought leadership, media and conference space in the procurement sector on both sides of the Atlantic, including a fast-growing presence in North America. I can honestly say that without Procurement Leaders, there would be a large void in the broader global procurement media, learning and events marketplace. (More coverage here and here.)

Emptoris has officially been absorbed by IBM...

Looking Under IBM's New Procurement Covers: Examining the Latest From Emptoris (Part 1) -- In early February, IBM completed its acquisition of Emptoris (giving 725 Emptoris employees a new Emptoris/IBM business card). Going forward, the company will maintain its historic name under the new branding: "Emptoris, an IBM Company." Given this name change as well as the change of control, those running Emptoris for spend analysis (or any other Emptoris solution) should take note that it's time to update your IBM parent/child linkages in your spend analysis package! (Part 2 here)

A fantastic guest post from Jim Pfeiffer of Alvarez & Marsal.

Conversion of Fleets to Natural Gas Could Generate More than Just Good Feelings -- Regardless of perceptions about "green" initiatives, there may be a different "green" to be had...the kind that generates financial returns. The collapse in natural gas prices coupled with rising petroleum prices have given rise to an opportunity for fleet owners to benefit from converting to clean-burning natural gas. There are two clearly divergent vectors in play in the world of energy today. Prices of crude-oil-derived products like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are elevated and rising globally while domestic natural gas prices have collapsed due to the boom in gas production from the so-called "shale gas" plays. This has created an unprecedented disconnect in the relative value of natural gas vs. petroleum fuels on an energy-equivalent basis. While the natural gas story is a pleasant surprise for commodity purchasers, the situation in petroleum is far darker.

In other news, who’s going to The Boat Race next week? We’ll be watching from the one pub I’ve found with hand-pull casks in Chicago, bright and early...regatta season! Yay!

- Sheena Moore

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