Source One News for April

on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marketing Insight Report Remains a Hot Download

Earlier this month, Source One debuted its insight report detailing the results of Marketing and Procurement collaboration. The report, which illustrates in clear detail the numerous benefits of involving Procurement in a traditionally off-limits category like Marketing, has proven to be a hot commodity among and popular download for Procurement and Strategic Sourcing professionals, thanks in part to the positive reviews from organizations like ThomasNet.

Get your free copy of the Marketing Insights Report today at marketing.sourceoneinc.com.

NC State Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

Source One VP of Professional Services Joe Payne, who just recently penned a two-part series on supply chain's failure to implement strategic initiatives for Sourcing Innovation, will be attending NCSU's Supply Chain Resource Cooperative next week on April 23 and 24th. The topic of the event will be Managing Relationships to Drive Supplier-Led Innovation, which coincides with the rise in importance for Supplier Relationship Management initiatives in best-in-class sourcing groups.

For more information on the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, visit the NCSU.edu page

For more information on Source One's SRM program, visit srm.sourceoneinc.com

Corporate United's Supplier Summit

Source One VP of Operations William Dorn will be attending the Corporate United Supplier Summit in Chicago on May 12th and 13th. The event, hosted by Corporate United - the nation's largest Group Purchasing Organization - will serve as a networking event. Events such as these are also one of the many ways Source One stays on top of current and future industry trends and best practices, so that we can offer our clients unparalleled insight into the industry and optimization of their own internal practices.
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Chinese renewable energy investment shifts green tech global sourcing

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Chinese renewable energy investment shifts green tech global sourcing

Currently, China stands as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide and several other greenhouse gases. Though the nation is mostly associated with being both the largest producer and consumer of coal, its government is making significant investments in renewable energy. This change in policy is sure to transform the country's strategic sourcing for green technology. 

A leader in renewable energy?

Although China produces much of its own renewable energy material, experts anticipate that a fair amount of the necessary products will be obtained from foreign developers. According to Clean Technica, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, China Electricity Council and the Chinese National Energy Administration concluded that the Southeast Asian country's critical infrastructure currently stands at 1.25 trillion watts. The source noted that the government recently prohibited power companies within the country from consuming more than 3.5 billion tons of coal. 

The cap is part of an effort to curtail China's fossil fuel procurement process, as consistent consumption of these resources has led to widespread air and water pollution throughout the country. In addition, the source noted that China has become the world's largest generator of wind power, some of which is installed off-shore. Just under 30 percent of all renewable energy accounts for the country's overall electricity output. 

Vying for competition 

Clean Technica noted that China has surpassed the U.S. in both smart grid technology and critical infrastructure investment. In an effort to update its grid, China spent $63.5 billion in order to accommodate capacity requirements for the addition of new energies. Foreign companies dictate whether domestic or foreign materials are used to implement these improvements. 

A report released by multinational, India-based wind turbine producer Suzlon Energy projected that Chinese power demand is expected to grow by 75 percent by 2035, which will account for almost a third of the world's consumption. It's possible that the rate at which China can adequately manufacture necessary materials will be outpaced by how much electricity its citizens require, driving the country to organize its procurement management around obtaining foreign goods. By 2030, the source anticipated that 400GW of wind energy will make up China's overall electric infrastructure. 

As producers of solar and wind technology are distributed all over the world, it's probable that overseas companies offering cheaper or better-developed goods may find an influx of business in China's grid. Nations across the globe are implementing policies geared toward fostering renewable energy consumption, creating a burgeoning green technology manufacturing market as a result. 

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Governments take a page from industrial asset management

on Monday, April 14, 2014

Governments take a page from industrial asset management

Public organizations around the globe are often criticized for lackluster spend management practices. As nationwide governments are responsible for overseeing expenses related to numerous different sectors, assiduously monitoring all assets can be an arduous task. To mitigate the issue, many are turning toward electronics and software solutions to give them a comprehensive, specified vision over all operations. 

Obtaining technology 

A number of government authorities have been known for their voracious appetites for the latest and greatest technologies, but many of them lack the connectivity required to make every device work together to form a compatible network. Surprisingly enough, industrial asset management could possibly resolve some of the issues these officials are facing. According to Supply Chain Brain, a disconnect between divisions, machines and other assets can greatly hinder functionality

"From setup and planning through contract management, the functions, systems and departments are highly disaggregated," said the news source. "Fixing these fragmented processes requires first and foremost, increasing visibility into the existing installed base."

For example, military authorities charged with making sure that all necessary materials are delivered to the appropriate locations could make great use of procurement software. Such technology can connect tanks, aircraft and other machines with each other so that product acquisition officers can obtain a holistic perspective on which equipment is in demand. However, in order for the system to work effectively, it may be necessary for some authorities to attain technology capable of connecting to the Internet. 

Taking a step in the right direction

Authorities are also recognizing the need to maintain a consistent view over municipalities and how they're interacting with constituents. Part of responsibly serving citizens consists of effectively managing the materials procurement process. If a public water utility doesn't possess the necessary equipment, how can it effectively accommodate denizens when their sinks run dry? 

According to Jamaica Information Service, the country's Ministry of Finance and Planning will implement an electronic product obtainment system - a $102.3 million investment. Officials hope that the initiative will strengthen the efficiency and quality of Jamaica's public sector procurement strategy. Through a single platform, state authorities and suppliers will be able to submit orders and complete contracts digitally. The project is jointly supported by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank through grant funding. 

The willingness of the Caribbean government to improve its procurement management strategy is expected to enhance the livelihood of Jamaicans and give municipalities a better perspective of what they require in order to operate. 

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Pharmaceutical procurement process moves ahead despite scandal

on Friday, April 11, 2014

Pharmaceutical procurement process moves ahead despite scandal

After a wave of criminal allegations swept through the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, drug companies across the globe were certain that one of the world's largest growing markets was sure to encounter a major setback. However, now that the bureaucratic storm has somewhat abated, medical companies are beginning to bring their strategic sourcing back to the southeast Asian nation. 

The scandal

According to The Wall Street Journal, the country's Ministry of Public Security's economic crime investigation unit detained four high-level Chinese executives working for United Kingdom-based GlaxoSmithKline last summer after authorities accused them of leveraging travel agencies to bribe government officials, hospitals and physicians in order to sell more drugs for higher prices. In addition to the detrimental financial effects such an operation would have on the global pharmaceutical procurement process, ministry official Gao Feng stated that the scandal encouraged a corrupt, economically unfair environment. 

Gao told the news source that the British-based company and the travel agencies exchanged nearly $489 million between them since 2007. GSK released a public statement apologizing for the actions of its members, claiming that the corporation has a zero tolerance policy for this particular kind of conduct. Pharmaceutical sales reached nearly $82 billion in 2012, and industry professionals have claimed that the market is embroiled in rampant corruption. 

Slowly gaining confidence 

The Wall Street Journal noted that China has exercised a number of anti-corruption laws, but that there have been too few crackdowns on the records management procedures of drug manufacturers and distributors within the region. Many experts have claimed that leveraging software to take a closer look at their books may be in the government's best interest, but the necessary funds haven't been allocated to support such an endeavor. 

However, after nearly eight months of a tempered market, the Chinese pharmaceutical industry seems to be regaining investment. According to the Financial Times, Bruno Gensburger, external affairs director for French drug company Sanofi, believes the market is returning to its formal stature

"It has never been normal, but it does seem to be more quiet now," said Gensburger regarding the Southeast Asian drug economy, as quoted by the news source. 

Despite all the trouble caused by GSK's scandal, many economists are viewing the ordeal as a minor setback. The Chinese drug market continues to grow at a profitable annual rate of 15 percent, showing that western distributors and medical companies are bringing operations back to the nation. In order to get a better overview of the products they're purchasing, some of these foreign organizations are using vendor resource management so executives can gain a broader perspective of materials acquisitions. 

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Benchmark Ins and Outs

on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Benchmarking is a measurement of the quality of an organization's processes, policies, and programs versus those of its peers. Benchmarking allows a business to identify gaps in their organization and determine what and where improvements are necessary. It allows businesses to analyze competitors to determine how they are superior and ultimately results in improved performance through competitive intelligence. There are two primary types of benchmarking: internal and external. Internal benchmarking allows businesses to compare their performance over a number of years to identify and manage changes and trends. External benchmarking looks at the bigger picture, including your industry, your company, and all of your competitors. If you rely solely on internal benchmarking, you will never be able to get ahead of competitors because you will not be obtaining new information regarding current trends and practices.

Within the broader categories of internal and external benchmarking, there are several sub-categories of benchmarking. Process benchmarking involves observing the best practices from one or more benchmark firms to better your processes and weigh outsourcing as an option. Performance benchmarking refers to the process of designing new products or altering current products. Businesses can use reverse engineering to take apart a competitor's product to better understand how it works and to identify areas for improvement. Financial benchmarking is used to compare your finances to that of competitors to access your overall productivity and competitiveness.

Benchmarking suppliers on a consistent basis will provide businesses with several advantages such as staying on top of market and industry trends, identifying best practices among incumbent and competitive suppliers, and finding gaps that may exist within SLAs or resource allocation. Improving strategic parts of the organization will allow it to become more efficient and can help ensure its success in the long term. Strategic advantage is more easily achieved when you increase organizational learning. This learning is accomplished through awareness of your business and everything that encompasses it. It's important to bring new ideas to your organization and promote creativity because this helps you surpass other companies in competitiveness.

Source One recently worked on a benchmark where we compared translation rates across various suppliers. These translation rates reflected per word pricing for translation services offered over the phone. The client did not perform much market research when they selected a translation provider, so they did not end up getting the cheapest price for the most quality services. Source One reviewed internal data and marketplace data to determine the pricing that several suppliers were offering. Source One also compared the quality of these services by speaking with other clients and analyzing competitors reviews and reputation. After comparing the suppliers and choosing the most suitable translation provider, Source One was able to recommend strategic initiatives to help our client achieve an overall savings of 14% annually on translation services.

Benchmarking can be used in any industry and should be part of your organization's internal practice. Competition will always be a prevalent and deciding factor in the success of your business because it is essential to keep current with market trends and competitors. Always remember to frequently benchmark to ensure that your strategy is based on reality and not historical data. With the tips listed above, you will be on your way to improving your organization and will be more aware of all facets of your organization.
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Global auto companies seek to improve ethics

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Global auto companies seek to improve ethics

In order to improve distribution operations, automotive manufacturers from the Atlantic to the Pacific are reassessing their global sourcing strategies in an effort to improve sustainability. Due to the volatile nature of the worldwide economy, these professionals have expressed a need to exercise best practices to survive. 

Forming alliances

The Automotive Industry Action Group recently released a set of guidelines sponsored by 14 of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers, Fiat, Honda, General Motors and Volvo being among them. The mission of the initiative is to improve the sustainability of the worldwide vehicular procurement process. Business ethics, employee compensation and environmental standards were cited as the chief drivers for morally sound practices.

Due to the complexity of the automotive industry's distribution process, the AIAG expressed its belief that a collaborative, transparent approach toward improving strategic sourcing is the best avenue to take. Many of the principles implemented throughout the guidelines reference the need to abide by local legislature and maintain financial and environmental integrity. Some of the protocols obligated vehicle companies to:

  • Exorcize corruption throughout all levels, from warehouse management to executive surveillance
  • Preserve respect for company and employee data
  • Protect the sanctity of intellectual property 
  • Reduce energy and water consumption and increase the use of renewable power, such as solar and wind
  • Conduct appropriate waste management procedures

Particular attention was given to working conditions and human rights. Participating companies are compelled to recognize local minimum wage and overtime laws, as well as provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. 

Necessary for survival 

Every action a modern corporation takes, from spend management to materials acquisition, is scrutinized by the public through various media outlets. In many ways, the Internet has forced companies to adopt new ethical standards in order to maintain a loyal customer base and reputable business practices. ChainLink Research analyst Ann Grackin claimed that transparency throughout the production and distribution process is imperative for corporations to preserve their integrity. 

Grackin stated that everything from a disgruntled employee letting an item slip into the hands of a criminal to a business stealing intellectual property sends rifts through global sourcing. She cited an unnamed auto manufacturer's catastrophe as an example, explaining that the anonymous corporation's employees allegedly sold critical car technology on various models to a competitor.

Ultimately, the ability to view the location of all materials, monitor employee activities and adequately secure confidential company data is essential for those participating in the automotive industry to survive. Gaining such a perspective may require the help of managed IT services specializing in the technology to make comprehensive visibility a reality. 

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US infrastructure needs serious consideration

on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

US infrastructure needs serious consideration

Professionals throughout the United States are beginning to express concern over the nation's current infrastructure deployments. Economists and labor organizations alike are urging municipalities to reevaluate their financial benchmarking and deduce whether or not reconstruction of roads, substations and other assets can begin as soon as possible. 

Transportation needs serious improvement

The American Society of Civil Engineers recently released a report stating that over 200 million trips are taken on a daily basis across deficient bridges in 102 U.S. metropolitan locations. The average age of the nation's 607,380 structures stands at 42 years old. The report noted that in order to resolve this issue, the U.S. would need to invest $20.5 billion annually over the next 14 years. 

In addition, the ASCE noted that highways from coast to coast require significant improvement. The spend management teams of federal, state and local governments need to assess the costs of acquiring materials necessary for stronger, wider road structures. The report stated that America's major urban highways are severely congested, costing the nationwide economy nearly $101 billion in wasted time and fuel on a yearly basis. Although municipalities are investing $91 billion in reconstruction initiatives every year, the Federal Highway Administration told the ASCE that an additional $79 billion is required in order to improve conditions. 

Securing energy assets 

Although investments in smart grid technology and renewable energy remain steady, the U.S. electric grid isn't up to the standards engineers would like. Vendor managed inventory has given utilities a better perspective over their assets, but the rate at which these materials are being acquired isn't fast enough. Mike Collins, a contributor to Manufacturing Business Technology, identified the primary problem as being that the demand for power has surpassed the construction of transmission lines by 25 percent per year

An increase in consumer need for electricity is intimidating, but it's the age and design of America's 300,000 mile-long grid that concerns Collins. Large sections of the architecture are tied together by electrical inter-locks in order to protect the equipment. In the event that one of these assets becomes overloaded or breaks, the infrastructure will begin shutting itself down. 

In order to satisfy future demand and ensure that rolling blackouts no longer occur, it's imperative that grid participants integrate microprocessors into the procurement process. If these devices are implemented throughout all facets of the system, it could save the U.S. about $49 billion in blackout expenses a year. 

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Auto manufacturers opt for lighter plastics

on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Auto manufacturers opt for lighter plastics

Emissions regulations around the globe are motivating car manufacturers to add lightweight plastics to their procurement management strategies. In addition to keeping fuel efficiency in mind, these organizations are also concerned about maintaining the quality of their vehicles. Safety, maneuverability and robustness cannot be sacrificed when implementing materials that aren't as heavy. 

Weighing the options

The opportunities for lightweight vehicles remain extensive, particularly due to new production techniques. According to Plastics Today, automotive and plastics professionals from around the world assembled at the Plastics in Automotive Engineering 2014 conference in Mannheim, Germany, in early April to showcase innovative ways to deploy the materials. Lanxess, one of globe's leading chemical-makers, adopted Bond-Laminates' fiber-reinforced thermoplastic performance composites to create a mount for a TV control unit in the Audi A6. In the past, Lanxess developed a similar mechanism made of steel with two screwed-on amplifiers, which added to the overall weight and cost of the car.

In addition, the corporation also collaborated with EconCore, a Belgian organization specializing in lightweight lattice-like sandwich cores designed to improve the function of load-bearing structural automotive parts. 

Numerous other products were on display, cumulatively signifying a monumental shift in the global vehicle manufacturing industry. Cooperation between different chemical companies could ultimately affect the financial benchmarking of car producers, as some of these finished materials may prove cheaper to create. 

Making a lighter hose

Plastics News reported that plastics and rubbers specialist ContiTech AG recently acquired Inotec Innovative Technologie and Präzisionstechnik Geithain, two German blow molding equipment corporations. ContiTech AG spokesperson Mario Topfer claimed that the buy is part of the company's strategic sourcing strategy to meet the automotive industry demand's for blow molded plastic turbocharger hoses, which optimize the power derived from a downsized car engine.

"In Europe, a lot of focus for improving engines has been going to adding turbocharging and also going in that similar direction here in the United States," said Kevin Riddell, a professional who forecasts powertrains for LMC Automotive, a company that issues regular reports on the current state of the worldwide vehicle market. 

The news source noted that the acquisition is another sign that automotive manufacturers are beginning to replace many of the metal components of their machines with plastic ones. The idea behind this endeavor is greater fuel efficiency, a concept driven by higher gas prices and a volatile environmental climate. 

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A Procurement Professionals Guide To Keeping Up with Marketing Trends, Part II

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As the marketing landscape evolves, it is important for Procurement Professionals that help oversee marketing spend categories to stay up to date on the latest trends and industry news. Due to the demand for industry resources there has been an increase in marketing related news sources and blogs recently. It is often overwhelming and difficult to know which of these sources can provide the most relevant and accurate information.

A previous post on The Strategic Sourceror titled, "A Procurement Professionals Guide To Keeping Up with Marketing Trends", outlined various resources available to Marketing Professionals in order for them to stay on top of the latest trends and news in the marketing space. As a continuation of that post, we would like to present you with additional resources available that are also reliable from a market intelligence and research standpoint. These resources are tapped into by Marketing Professionals; therefore, for those Procurement Professionals that serve as decision support for Marketing Groups, these resources have proven useful for information on marketing strategy, trends, news, and more.

CMO.com

CMO.com is an Adobe resource for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and other senior marketing executives to stay up to date on marketing news and trends happening in the digital marketing world. CMO.com publishes original and editor reviewed content from a variety of sources covering insights, news, features, and other information important to industry executives. Through its offering of online content, two weekly newsletters, and a library of resources, CMO.com provides a wealth of information and resources for Marketing Procurement Professionals to access.

CMO Today

Recently, in conjecture with Adobe's CMO.com, The Wall Street Journal launched their own online resource for Marketing Professionals called CMO Today. Combining original WSJ content and editorial work from CMO.com, Marketing Professionals are provided with a marketing content-specific resources within the notorious business news source. CMO Today offers the latest news and trends surrounding social media, agencies, media, and more, as well as access to the latest business and technology news available on WSJ.com. 

MarketingProfs

MarketingProfs.com offers Marketing Professionals with news and how-to articles, as well as training workshops, conferences, and webinars surrounding all of the latest trends in marketing and general marketing know-how. This site publishes content daily from a variety of sources concerning a number of marketing categories, including advertising, social media, public relations, strategy, and more.

Inc.

Inc. is a magazine for entrepreneurs and established business professionals, and Inc.com is the online-version of this resource. Inc.com provides the same content as its magazine counterpart, including content surrounding startups, innovation, finance, and emerging business trends. Known for their Inc. 5000, a list of 5000 of the fastest growing companies, Inc.com is a great resources for the latest in entrepreneurial news and growing business, marketing, and technology trends.

Association of National Advertisers

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) was established over a century ago as a platform for all members of the marketing community to collaborate and share insights. With members from both the agency and client-side of the marketing relationship, Marketing Professionals are able to gain an understanding of best practices and trends through ANA published content. ANA publishes agency-related content, general marketing news, marketing procurement content, research reports, and insights to view on their website, as well as a quarterly magazine for members.

American Association of Advertising Agencies

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) is a national trade association focused on advertising agencies in the US, providing member with the latest news, reports, and important resources to make informed marketing decisions. Through their offering of the 4A's blog (Straight A's), daily e-newsletter, agency news, press releases, and more, 4A's offers members various resources for marketing content. Also to note, 4A's hosts numerous events, such as workshops and conferences, through the country for Marketing Professionals to gain and in-depth understanding of various topics.

As Marketing Procurement Professionals look to stay ahead of the marketing curve and continue to support Marketing Groups, it is important to know what resources are available and which can be the most beneficial. Along with those sources provided in Part I of this post, we at Source One find these to be some of the most informative resources for industry related news.


Image courtesy of: www.savvy-marketing-nyc.com
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Manufacturers seek to bridge the gap between cloud and automation

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Manufacturers seek to bridge the gap between cloud and automation

Manufacturers throughout the globe are presented with a wide array of technological choices. Widespread usage and development of cloud computing has sparked numerous residual industries that could be of much assistance to those specializing in materials procurement management and factory operations. However, many production companies have pre-existing IT solutions that may not integrate well with the latest and greatest cloud technologies. 

This newfound interest in the cloud stems from the introduction of the Internet of Things into the industrial economy. Machines on the ground floor now have the ability to communicate with one another in order to streamline production and the output of finished materials. Process automation also enables organizations to address and mitigate issues in real-time, allowing machinists and engineers to assign more time to pressing matters. In the event an issue does require their attention, they are given a better view of the issue through algorithmic diagnostic tools. The problem is, these companies need servers that can support such complex data transactions. 

Spread across all avenues

It's not as if there's one single IoT device capable of overseeing the operations of every unique machine, product, transportation unit and the various other necessary assets of the contemporary manufacturer. Manufacturing Business Technology reported that the distributed nature of a machine-to-machine network causes CIOs to reconsider investing in the cloud. Although the solution would result in a more flexible, scalable work environment, appointing technicians for each kind of device, combined with an IT team capable of understanding and managing a cloud-driven system, comes as a challenge.

"Unfortunately, few IT professionals have ever worked with the protocols and interfaces that are most common to industrial automation networks," the news source acknowledged. "Setting up input/output stations or configuring sensors are things which IT people simply have no experience with." 

For this reason, many manufacturers choose to seek the assistance of managed IT services to help them acclimate their staff to the shift in protocol. These outsourced professionals typically have the resources and knowledge necessary to assess the communicative capabilities of automated devices working around the clock and how they would best operate within a system. Manufacturing Business Technology noted that all mechanisms within the network must be able to deliver key information for preventative maintenance, which requires routine assessments of the IT infrastructure on all levels.

It belongs in the future 

Karen McCandless, a contributor to Prime, noted that manufacturers will eventually be forced to invest in the burgeoning market in order to maintain pace with competitors across the globe. Although the initial installation costs and introductory phase will be expensive, the long-term return on investment is expected to produce favorable results. Mirko Bäcker, marketing director at Tecnomatix, claimed that the general consensus among professionals was that they will be able to optimize their strategic sourcing, as cloud computing will provide them with faster delivery of all obtainable products. 

"In the future, production components will directly communicate with the manufacturing execution system and send out instructions to downstream processes," said Bäcker. "In this way, it will become more intelligent, networked and connected."

This enhanced communicative ability is expected to eliminate a wide range of tedious employee tasks. Manually logging inventory into an Excel file and sending the document to the appropriate parties is an obsolete practice that doesn't give manufacturers the full range of motion of which others are now taking advantage.

Widespread integration of automated tools and cloud computing is sure to revolutionize global sourcing. As less time will be spent transmitting information from the materials acquisition to production phases, distributors throughout the world will be able to procure finished items more quickly, in turn being able to satisfy consumer requests faster than ever before. 

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For global sourcing, connectivity provides a solution

on Monday, April 7, 2014

For global sourcing, connectivity provides a solution

From process automation to cloud-based enterprise resource planning solutions, distributors and manufacturers are investing heavily in computing technologies. Software gives these industry participants a comprehensive view of their operations, enabling them to cut extraneous costs and deliver items more quickly than they could if conducting the same procedures manually. Due to widespread adoption, many logistics companies are looking to merge their technological operations to improve the overall performance of the industry.

Forming alliances

Many uneducated spectators would believe collaborating with overseas organizations or even competitors to be counterproductive, but they'd be gravely mistaken. In order for a domestic economy to succeed in the modern era, a diverse collection of producers, distributors and shippers from all over the world need to work together in order to keep commercial operations on their feet. According to Pat Maio, a contributor to the Orange County Register, companies working at the Port of Long Beach in Southern California are waiting to see whether or not trans-Pacific allegiances will be approved by United States Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero.

Maio noted that Cordero's initial concern regarding the alliances is that they may put some port participants out of business. However, there's no denying the influx of goods that have entered Long Beach as a result of efficient, collaborative global sourcing. The source noted that cargo volume rose by 11.3 percent in 2013, making last year the port's third-busiest behind the two-year period prior to the 2008 Great Recession. Executives anticipate that open communications with shippers combined with new technology will help Long Beach accumulate more than $160 million in profit at the end of 2014.

Streamlining communications

For many industry participants, expediting the procurement process entails fostering transparent correspondence and implementing advanced technologies to support this environment. According to SupplyChainDigest, IBM recently announced that it has launched a new transactions hub in conjunction with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and the Automotive Components Manufacturers Association.

Apparently, the Indian vehicular logistics sector typically operates through manual communications. Purchase orders, invoices, forecasts and others are all being managed by standard procedures, creating a sluggish production and transportation atmosphere that hinders the market from progressing. In response, IBM agreed to help SIAM and ACMA to bring all of their data onto a standard format, send it through a cloud server and then translate the digital information into actionable intelligence.

An efficient computing strategy combined with mutual cooperation ultimately results in a more flexible operational platform.

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Demand for renewable resources expected to rise

on Friday, April 4, 2014

Demand for renewable resources expected to rise

The strategic sourcing procedures of power companies around the globe are expected to include the attainment of renewable energy resources. Due to a shifting climate and greater demand for power worldwide, logistics companies are helping grid owners obtain the necessary equipment to commence the construction of photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, geothermal facilities and other green technologies. As the nature of the materials is particularly sensitive, transportation experts need to ensure these products are properly cared for while en route to their destinations. 

Harnessing the sun's power

A quarterly report conducted by NPD Solarbuzz noted that the 2014 Q1 global demand exceeded 9 gig​awatts, about 35 percent more than in 2013's Q1. The organization predicted that the upcoming year is going to set record highs for PV panel adoption, a trend expected to continue into 2015. Apparently, Q1 of 2015 is expected to exceed 50 GW for the first time in the world's history. As manufacturers of the materials are spread throughout different parts of the planet, increased oceanic shipping traffic is expected to expedite power suppliers' global sourcing strategies. 

"The record demand added by the PV industry is the fifth straight year that a quarterly record has been set at the start of the year," said Michael Bark, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

Bark noted that although demand during the first quarter typically sets the anticipated annual low point, deployment levels during Q1 provided an excellent means of financial benchmarking demand for the rest of the coming year. 

Taking advantage of what's available 

A study conducted by the Environmental Law and Policy Center reported that Ohio's implementation of renewable energies has witnessed general support over the past couple of years. The analysis noted that approximately 107 wind power distribution and manufacturing businesses exist in the state, while about 65 solar energy companies contribute to its green technology sector. Cumulatively, these 172 organizations account for more than 9,000 jobs throughout the region. 

Ohio is within 600 miles of 62 percent of all United States and Canadian manufacturing locations. This position makes it easy for utilities requiring specialized wind- or solar-related equipment to obtain goods much more easily than other North American areas. In addition, surrounding states have obligated their critical infrastructures to source about 40,000 megawatts of power from renewable resources, making Ohio a necessary part of the procurement process for those looking to obtain materials. 

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