#ISM2017: Twitter’s All Ears

The #ISM2017 hashtag got colorful use on Twitter during the second full day at the Annual Conference at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Attendees on Tuesday posted their thoughts on a compelling keynote address, saluted the recipient of the supply management profession's highest honor and took advantage of the extracurricular activities offered by the Conference site. David Cameron, … [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...]

Handling Human Rights Issues in Tech Supply Chains

Guest Post By John Kloosterman and Michael Congiu The electronics and information communications technology (ICT) industries are ever-prevalent today, and depending on your point of view, they have either profoundly connected or polarized our world. Like it or not, we rely on these devices every day at work and in our personal lives. Global businesses are always looking for the most … [Read more...]

Cyber Thieves’ Latest Catch: ‘Whaling’

First, there was phishing, then spear phishing. Now, a new term has taken hold as cyber thieves aim their harpoons at even bigger catches. The result is whaling, where hackers’ bait is the highest positions of authority in a company, masquerading through email as a senior executive to attempt to fool an employee or supplier into releasing money, procurements or sensitive information. In June, … [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...]

Seminar provides purchasing playbook

ISM Seminar spoiler alert: One of the first things instructor Edward F. Cocca does in “Fundamentals of Purchasing: The Building Blocks of World-Class Professionalism” is hold up a blank sheet of paper. “I’ll hold it up and point out that it has boundaries, horizontally and vertically, with a flat plane. It’s defined. That’s theory,” says Cocca, a Scottsdale, Arizona, based consultant 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...]

Prioritizing to Increase Efficiency

For businesses and supply management professionals, doing more with less has been a running theme for years — and one that’s probably here to stay. As a result, it’s no surprise that reducing costs while increasing productivity are high priorities among procurement leaders, according to a recent research report by The Hackett Group. However, with staffing and budgets typically remaining flat, … [Read more...]

Global Tech Summit Offers New Ways of Looking at Procurement

Today’s procurement professionals are faced with continually changing technologies, say speakers at the Global Procurement Technology Summit, presented March 14-16 in Baltimore, by Institute for Supply Management® and Spend Matters. “Technology is really shaping the way we work,” Mary Lue Peck, senior vice president of ISM, told the 200 attendees present during the opening remarks at the … [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...]