Category Archives: Supply Chain

News You Can Use: 1/27/2016

sn_fire_Tirza van Dijk

  • Outside-In Issues are Shaping Modern Procurement — Is Your Organization Ready?

    One has to remember that stagnant GDP growth, rising inflation, steady or increasing unemployment, rising inequality between the rich and poor and an increasing need for resources in greatly limited supply are creating a perfect economic storm that will sink any company not ready to compete in the global marketplace that has taken hold in most large economies. Value chains are becoming bifurcated and turned on their heads. Consumers want local and they want global on demand. Products need to come from everywhere and go to everywhere, be compliant with local and foreign regulations, be produced in a socially responsible fashion and be sold through the appropriate digital channels. And this all has to be done by Monday morning at 9 am.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2016/01/20/outside-in-issues-are-shaping-modern-procurement-is-your-organization-ready/

  • The Most Damaging Thing an Employer Can Say to an Employee

    There’s one thing a manager should never say to an employee: you will not move up here.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/video/254262

  • Better Intel Through Better Info: Why CPOs Should Focus on Information, Not Technology (Part 2)

    If you want to solve this problem of better intelligence through better information, you can’t just outsource it away. There is nothing wrong with setting up a center of excellence (CoE) for supply market intelligence and using it to parse out intelligence requests from stakeholders via category managers to low-cost third parties. But it’s only a temporary fix. You need to get your procurement information management capabilities understood and improved so that you’ll be able to take advantage of the massive and diverse forms of digital assets that are getting built out.

    http://spendmatters.com/cpo/better-intelligence-through-better-information-why-cpos-should-focus-on-information-not-technology-part-2/

  • I am just going to leave this one right here…
    DONALD TRUMP SAYS HE’D GET APPLE TO MAKE ITS PRODUCTS IN AMERICA

    Of course, even if Trump is elected president, it won’t happen. There are a number of reasons why Apple can’t or won’t bring its manufacturing jobs to the US:

    Legal reason: For starters, there is no U.S. law that can force an American company to make its products in America, notes Engadget. Any attempt at passing such a law would be vigorously opposed by virtually every U.S. company, Constitutional scholars, and likely, even most Republicans in Congress.

    China reason: Then there is China, which is increasingly becoming Apple’s most important sales territory in the world. No tech company wants to annoy China, the country with the largest amount of consumers on the globe. Can you imagine how China would react if Apple said it was moving Chinese manufacturing jobs out of the country? If it wouldn’t ban Apple’s products outright, it would almost certainly levy draconian import taxes on them, making them so expensive for consumers that Apple’s sales in China would nosedive.

    Cost reason: Another reason Apple would probably never move all of its manufacturing jobs to the U.S. is because it would increase the cost of its products all over the world. Wages are higher in the U.S. than in other countries where goods are manufactured and those wage hikes would almost certainly be passed on to the consumer in the form of more expensive iPhones and iPads.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3055611/fast-feed/donald-trump-says-hed-get-apple-to-make-its-products-in-america

  • From chaos to control — The benefits of better contract management

    Rob Woodstock, Accenture managing director, operations strategy for UK and Ireland, says the same lesson is true for all organisations. And while procurement has been successful in creating savings during sourcing and tendering, better management of contracts represents an untapped opportunity to improve performance.

    Additionally:

    This fragmented, complex picture of contract management can mean organisations miss opportunities to save money and face increased legal risks, Woodstock says. It also leads to difficulties understanding the pricing schedules across multiple contracts. “Even for those that are available, a large number are out of date,” he says, adding that there is often no visibility as to when contracts come up for renewal.

    http://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/my-blog–guest-blog/from-chaos-to-control–the-benefits-of-better-contract-management-594920

  • For you procurement nerds out there… there very first purchasing manual ever:

    The Handling of Railroad Supplies — Their Purchase and Disposition, written way back in 1887 by Marshall M. Kirkman and printed by Chas, N. Trivess, has the basic definition of the requirements of a purchaser down flat…

    Google Books: Handling of Railroad Supplies

Photo: Tirza van Dijk

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News You Can Use: 1/20/2016

sn_beachdawn_Gerrit Vermeulen

  • Why the customer is not always right

    There are two fatal flaws in this model, both having to do with managing expectations.  First, clients need to understand that they are unlikely to get every deliverable without some compromise – particularly in custom software, where nobody knows exactly what’s involved until the project is more than half done.  Second, the project lead on the consultant side must actively manage expectations during every client meeting.  If the project lead on the client side is weak – technically or politically – s/he will not successfully propagate the realities of prioritization and negotiation to executives in the client organization.  This means the project is in trouble before it starts … and, worse, the trouble can be totally invisible to the client until it’s way too late.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3020698/it-industry/why-customer-is-not-always-right.html#tk.rss_all

  • Can blockchains drive supply chain transparency in 2016?
    Background:

    In short, a blockchain provides a shared database that is both transparent and tamper-proof. Specifically, it is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed and has complete information about addresses and balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block.

    How it relates to Supply Chain:

    Baker said: “We have three levels that we are thinking about. The first is the business level: so who is this company? What do they do? Do they pay tax? Then the product level, which is around supply chain mapping. The blockchain component is more item level tracking, so is this particular item what it says it is? Is it really organic? Has it really been made by this company, in this place? So it’s a bit of a hybrid.”

    http://www.supplychaindigital.com/procurement/4205/Can-blockchains-drive-supply-chain-transparency-in-2016

  • Despite Social Media’s Popularity, Most Americans Don’t Want to Give Up Private Data

    Of the six outlined scenarios, respondents were uncomfortable with the privacy tradeoffs required to access free social media. In that scenario, Pew outlined a social-media site — a clear Facebook stand in — which gives users free access in exchange for the ability to sell them ads using their personal data. Only a third of respondents thought this tradeoff was “acceptable,” 15 percent said it depended on the situation, and 51 percent found the tradeoff “unacceptable.”

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/269581

  • 5 Healthcare Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2016

    1. Operational Experimentation: Now that most hospitals have identified the supply chain as an area not only for cost savings, but also as a resource for significantly improving patient outcomes, 2016 will mark the start of major operational experimentation. Backed by sophisticated, enabling supply chain technology, hospitals will embrace process and product flexibility to find the right formula for both patient- and business-focused success.

    http://hitconsultant.net/2016/01/14/healthcare-supply-chain-trends-to-watch-in-2016/

  • You Might Be Getting the Basics Right, but That’s Not Enough

    Similarly, it’s not enough to do a proper, verbal, invitation over the phone, give the supplier a chance to include references, case studies, and suggest alternative proposals, if you know that one of the critical requirements of the bid or organizational preference (or prejudice) would preclude the supplier from getting the award. It’s not professional to invite the supplier unless you believe the supplier has an honest chance.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2016/01/14/you-might-be-getting-the-basics-right-but-thats-not-enough/

  • Shakeup at Citrix continues: CloudStack products sold off

    When Citrix announced in November that it would spin off its popular GoToMeeting and affiliated products into an independent publicly traded company, some questioned if other parts of the company may be destined for change as well.

    Today, Citrix announced it has sold its two cloud infrastructure management products: CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager, both of which are based on open source CloudStack.

    Citrix is selling the cloud products to Accelerite, which is owned by Persistent Systems. Accelerite focuses on cloud backup and recovery as a service. Persistent has a broader portfolio of cloud and other IT consulting products and services.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3020666/cloud-computing/shakeup-at-citrix-continues-cloudstack-products-sold-off.html#tk.rss_all

  • 3 open source tools for supply chain management

    The last tool in our supply chain management roundup is Odoo, which you might recognize from our previous top ERP projects article. In fact, a full ERP may be good fit for you, depending on your needs. Odoo’s supply chain management tools mostly revolve around inventory and purchase management, and connectivity with e-commerce and point of sale, but it can also connect to other tools like frePPLe for open source production planning.

    Odoo is available both as a software as a service solution, as well as an open source community edition. The open source edition is released under an LGPL version 3, and the source is available on GitHub. Odoo is primarily written in Python.

    https://opensource.com/business/16/1/open-source-tools-supply-chain-management

  • “Never Touch Things Twice”
    This is lovely in thought, impossible in the real world.  Additionally as someone who writes, you have to walk away and come back to things.

    Never touch things twice. That’s it. Never put anything in a holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time-waster. Don’t save an email or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention you should act on it, delegate it, or delete it.

    http://lifehacker.com/never-touch-things-twice-1752117533

 

Photo: Gerrit Vermeulen

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News You Can Use: 1/13/2016

sn_windows_Ricky Kharawala

  • A.T. Kearney Is Just Plain Wrong

    Not only are more than half of US manufacturers considering reshoring now, we have some really great examples of success stories including GE Appliance Park, Starbucks, Apple and others. In addition, we can point to other companies such as Haier, Nissan and Smithfield Foods where Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has directly resulted in the establishment of more manufacturing in America.

    All of the signs and statistics (other surveys by Boston Consulting Group, Alix Partners and several European studies) point to the rebuilding of manufacturing in America and in Western Europe. The trend is strong and we are very optimistic that it will continue to be so. US jobs loss to offshoring is now about equivalent to jobs created or reshored to America. We need to be reshoring supporters and make more of this happen, not detractors.

    http://www.scmr.com/article/a.t._kearney_is_just_plain_wrong

  • How Quitting Can Get You Exactly What You Want

    Quit selling those cheap houses to those unqualified, needy people who he didn’t like working with. If he was going to attract million-dollar sellers, he was going to have to give up on working with $100,000 homes. That meant reaching way out of his comfort zone and giving up on what he had built so far. If Jon was going to gain traction, pick up luxury sellers and earn more money, he was going to have to project the image of expertise, confidence and exclusivity. Exclusivity meaning he had to be selective of who he worked with. The days of taking on any old client were gone. If they didn’t fit the luxury mold, he had to refer them out.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253924

  • PAGING DR. ROBOT: THE COMING AI HEALTH CARE BOOM

    More than six billion dollars: That’s how much health care providers and consumers will be spending every year on artificial intelligence tools by 2021—a tenfold increase from today—according to a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan. (Specifically, it will be a growth from $633.8 million in 2014 to $6,662.2 million in 2021.)

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3055256/elasticity/paging-dr-robot-the-coming-ai-health-care-boom

  • Strategic Sourcing predictions for 2016

    the doctor is already seeing a number of 2016 posts about how this is the year we replace “negotiate” with “collaborate” (which the thought leaders have been saying since strategic sourcing decision optimization started becoming common in the leading Sourcing organizations, also known as the Hackett Group top 8%), that analytics will take off (which is the same speech we heard 15 years ago when Business Objects and Cognos were the names in analytics), that the skills gap will finally be addressed (which reminds the doctor of conversations he was having nine years ago), and so on. It looks like the amount of future sh!t that is going to be dumped upon you this year is greater than the truckload Biff Tannen had dumped upon his head in the original Back to the Future movie, way back in 1985. (A reference that is very appropriate because every year at this time it seems we get taken back to the future.)

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2016/01/04/sis-prediction-for-2016-it-will-only-get-hotter/

  • To connect to last week’s podcast, How Millennials Are Affecting the Supply Chain

    Respondents said that the biggest impact millennials will have on the supply chain is in terms of how they change the way consumers buy. The move towards new marketplaces – online, mobile, via social media – will be one of the transformative ways supply chains will be affected.

    http://mhlnews.com/labor-management/how-millennials-are-affecting-supply-chain

  • In 2016, Intel’s Entire Supply Chain Will Be Conflict-Free

    Since Intel and other manufacturers began the program, the profits from mines have started flowing to miners themselves rather than to war. In the last study of three of the major materials—tungsten, tantalum, and tin—a nonprofit called the Enough Project found that the amount of money going to conflict had dropped 65%, and it continues to fall.

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3055066/change-generation/in-2016-intels-entire-supply-chain-will-be-conflict-free

Photo: Ricky Kharawala

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News You Can Use: 12/30/2015

sn_CityWeLove_Brandon Redfern

  • Why you should prioritize a sustainable sourcing strategy in 2016

    Making complex supply chains more understandable. This included providing better traceability, simplifying what is asked of suppliers by using agreed standards and generating better relations with producers.

    Mitigating risk. Rigorous auditing, transparency of origin, and outsourcing assurance of responsible practices to local experts helped companies mitigate risks of sourcing from complex supply chains.

    Ensuring sustainable supply for the whole industry. Several companies noted that by their investment in certification, they were strengthening the reputation and ensuring a sustainable future for the whole sector.

    Meeting consumer expectations. By communicating compliance with sustainability standards, companies said they were increasing consumer awareness of sustainable sourcing and creating market differentiation for their products.

    Reflecting a company’s values and heritage. As well as aligning companies’ goals with their values and maintaining trust, certification also provided a way to engage more deeply with employees.

    http://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/my-blog–guest-blog/why-you-should-prioritise-a-sustainable-sourcing-strategy-in-2016-589190

  • Study finds companies are failing to modernize IT

    If your IT team is already overloaded with work and doesn’t have enough employees to get the job done, you can’t expect them to squeeze successful modernization into their schedules. BPI Networks found that businesses report lacking in application development, software engineering and data analysis; all crucial elements of IT modernization. Not to mention that 82 percent of respondents said that they spend half their time managing emergencies and conducting maintenance, which leaves little time for innovation. Business leaders need to ensure that the right people are recruited and that the money exists for these new hires.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3018436/it-industry/study-finds-companies-are-failing-to-modernize-it.html#tk.rss_all

  • AHOY! Whaling is the new Phishing

    “Emails appearing to be sent from the CEO or CFO are used to trick finance staff into making illegitimate wire transfers to the attackers,” the company said in an advisory. “Whaling emails can be more difficult to detect because they don’t contain a hyperlink or malicious attachment, and rely solely on social-engineering to trick their targets.”

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3054978/elasticity/ahoy-whaling-is-the-new-phishing-is-your-boss-really-your-boss

  • Decide Who You Are, or Have it Decided for You (Podcast)

    Minshew understands how growth can change a company — and not always for the better. In this podcast, she explains how a communicating a carefully-crafted list of core values drives everything from hiring to promotions at the company. She says being realistic — and accountable — to your values can shape what ‘great’ means and keep initiative and experimentation alive. “You have to live your values,” says Minshew. “It’s about execution.”


    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254111

Photo: Brandon Redfern

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News You Can Use: 12/23/2015

sn_xmastruck_Louis Magnotti

  • What unscrupulous attorneys do to win and how to fight back

    Selectively reading

    This goes to contracts. Taking contract clauses out of context, reading them without punctuation, inserting lines that aren’t in the agreement, and making clauses up are all tactics I’ve seen used in negotiations.   Make sure you read along with the attorney and before entering a negotiation you know every major clause nearly by heart. You need to have a good grasp of the case as well so you understand the core elements of the case otherwise you can get maneuvered into agreeing to items that seem minor, but turn out to be pivotal to your effort.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3016783/legal/what-unscrupulous-attorneys-do-to-win-and-how-to-fight-back.html#tk.rss_all

  • Brevity Is the Secret to Pitches That Nail It Every Time

    We start our pitches with a 30-second introduction that covers who we are and just a couple bullet points why we’re credible. Beyond that, the focus is on delivering a tight, concise presentation about our product. Investors’ eyes glaze over when teams talk too much about themselves. Get to the point quickly.

    Use clean, well-designed slides, and always be prepared with more in-depth financial projections and analytics in case they ask.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253879

  • There’s More Value in Your Attitude Than Your Bank Account

    If you wake up every day intent on being happy and exuding happiness, success will follow. Strahan’s latest book is “Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life”
  • MBA grad uses SCM knowledge to combat HIV in Cameroon

    Muffih said his day-to-day duties in the capital city of Cameroon, Yaounde, include improving stock management systems, coordinating with other partners, and capacitating health workers to develop accurate forecasting and efficient supply chain systems for HIV commodities. He said he is still learning a lot on the job, but his experiences at SAU have helped him cope with the demands and responsibilities of his career.

    https://web.saumag.edu/news/2015/12/16/mba-grad-uses-scm-knowledge-to-combat-hiv-in-cameroon/

  • Should You Work From Home?

    The main question to ask yourself is why you want or need office space. How will you weight the pros versus the cons? Which things are more important to you? If there are cons that are important to you, are there ways to mitigate the negatives? For example, if working at home would make you feel isolated, could you deal with this by attending networking events and working at a local coffee shop at least some of the time?

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253932

  • Societal Damnation 50: Talent Tightness

    It’s not all about money, and that goes double for top talent, but that being said, money is a factor, and if your competition is offering 20%, 30%, and even 40% more, that’s a little hard to turn down. Especially if they are also offering flexible hours, training, course reimbursement for any course taken on the employee’s own time where the employee gets a minimum / passing grade, etc. So if your training budget is still 0, your corporate policy still mandates being in the office from 9 to 5 (even though your suppliers are in a time zone 9 hours shifted and this means everyone would be working 11 hours any day a supplier has to be consulted), and there are pay ceilings in effect from 5 years ago, the chances of getting anyone talented to join your Procurement department are slim to none, with an emphasis on none.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2015/12/15/societal-damnation-50-talent-tightness/

  • Top 5 reasons agile is a good idea

    Perfection is not required to stay on track. As just mentioned, if something is overlooked, it isn’t the end of the world. I ran a $1.2 million software implementation project for a large government entity while at a professional services organization. The dev manager overlooked something very critical which resulted in a large amount of rework which used up all of the budget when we were only 60% through the engagement. It ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the entire engagement. What a waste. This is an extreme example and agile would not have saved that project, but in the agile world, if something is omitted from a sprint, it can go in the next functional rollout. No high costs, no big rework.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3014972/project-management/top-5-reasons-agile-is-a-good-idea.html#tk.rss_all

Photo: Louis Magnotti

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