#ISM2017: Bitter-tweet Ending

As the ISM2017 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, wrapped up with a half-day of activity on Wednesday, some hearts and minds likely were already at one of Walt Disney World's theme parks. (Some attendees heeded Institute for Supply Management®'s recommendation and added a family vacation to their Conference experience.) However, bodies were still on-site, and participants showed a desire to … [Read more...]

The Monthly Metric: Inventory Turnover Ratio

This month’s installment of The Monthly Metric coincides with the latest offering from the #ISMMagContentCafe: “Supply Chain and Procurement Key Financial Performance Metrics,” by Paul Lee, Research & Analytics Director at Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®). Published in the INSIDE Metrics digital supplement in August 2014, the article details a survey of supply management leaders on the … [Read more...]

The Monthly Metric: SWOT Analysis

Welcome to the first installment of The Monthly Metric, where we examine a piece of data that can help supply management professionals do their job more efficiently. In our introductory post last month, we addressed how advanced analytics has taken over Major League Baseball, but is not as prominently used in procurement. This, according to survey results indicating that many supply management … [Read more...]

What Productive Procurement Looks Like

In six years of Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) annual evaluation reports of procurement organizations — a collaboration of A.T. Kearney, Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) — the results have shown remarkable stability. Or disappointing monotony, as ISM CEO Thomas W. Derry remarked in What Good Looks Like, a white … [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...]

Inside Supply Management’s Best of 2016

The end of business today marks the start of Institute for Supply Management®’s end-of-year close. With our office closed through January 2, leaving plenty of holiday time to relax and enjoy our families, we admit to feeling a little bit like children on the last day of school. But before departing, we would like to leave our own little bag of goodies — the best of Inside Supply Management® of … [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...]