Seizing Initiative on Legal Spend

By Robert DiDomenico In 2009, purchasing legal services was a new corporate initiative for corporate procurement departments — one that was quite different from buying hard goods. By addressing legal spend, the thought was, procurement professionals could create value for their organizations. While there is still agreement that money can be saved, the legal arena provides even greater … [Read more...]

The Intersection of Freight and Compliance

By Cindy Yamamoto In 2010, two bombs hidden in printer cartridges were shipped from Yemen to Chicago. In a matter of days, they moved by truck and air through four countries before one was intercepted in Great Britain, the other in Dubai. The incident triggered a global response and called attention to vulnerabilities in the international freight transportation network. Security and the … [Read more...]

Comparing War to Supply Management

By Chris Martus We’ve all heard the phrase, “Business is war.” It isn’t. But military battles have shown us that leaders and organizations that fail to properly cultivate supply chain capabilities or fail to plan effectively risk dramatic consequences that include: Over-extended supply lines. A few historical examples are Napoleon’s retreat from Russia in 1812, the British experience during … [Read more...]

How to Navigate Thorny Ethical Paths

By Chris Martus In science, the Anna Karenina principle is based on the opening sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Meaning that in any situation with multiple dynamics, an optimal outcome can only be achieved if every factor is positive. In other words, if any factor is missing or inadequate, the entire system … [Read more...]

Compliance Strategy Goes Beyond Following the Rules

By Peter Liston The difference between basic trade compliance and a comprehensive compliance strategy can be measured in millions of dollars. Basic competency in completing import/export paperwork is just the baseline for entering the international marketplace. Success depends on understanding the markets, legal requirements, and tax implications. Only then can you develop market-specific … [Read more...]

Stop Calling End-Users ‘Customers’

By Chris McGraw “We have to serve our customers!” You hear it all around you. It sounds like you’re in the sales department. But you’re not. You’re in procurement. In procurement departments at companies of every size and in every industry, the word “customer” is often used to mean the internal stakeholders and end users of the materials and services being procured. “Customer” seems like a … [Read more...]

Supply Management Attracts Top Talent

By Tisha Danehl, Vice President, Ajilon Consumer expectations for faster delivery have sparked a tremendous change in the way things are operating in both logistics and throughout the supply chain itself — with a greater emphasis being placed on speed and enhanced technology. Amidst this changing business landscape, specialized workers in supply chain and logistics are becoming more valuable … [Read more...]

ERP and CTRM Systems: A Comparison

By Shobhit Mathur The appeal of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is understandable. It is a proven technology. It is made available by well-known and trusted brands. Its suppliers have deployed solutions in a wide range of industry sectors, business types and organizational structures. And ERP analysts and developers have a huge pool of practical experience from which to draw on and … [Read more...]

Cloud Computing and Data Sensitivity Concerns

By Timothy P. O’Toole and John C. Eustice Supply management companies around the globe are looking to cloud computing as a way to store data. But because servers are located worldwide and because of the sensitive or confidential nature of some of the information stored in those servers, governments, including the United States, are becoming increasingly concerned about export controls … [Read more...]

Why the Term ‘Supply Chain’ Is No Longer Relevant

By Terry Volpel When I started in supply management, one of my first duties was to contact my suppliers and introduce myself. My predecessor’s working relationship and communication stream with supplier sales representatives was always linear, simply back and forth. I came to realize that this linkage was just a single “link” in a supply chain. My customers relied on my sales people, I relied … [Read more...]