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More and more, sustainability is top of mind for corporations and consumers. As forecasts grow increasingly dire, it's clear that businesses have a lot to lose if they fail to make environmental responsibility a central component of their missions. The last several years have seen campaigns to eliminate plastic, cut down on carbon emissions, and promote recycling have recently moved from the fringes to the very center of cultural discourse.

Nearly every day, it seems, a new industry leader leverages ambitious goals and initiatives to make headlines and win consumer confidence.

A recent Nielsen report suggests sustainable efforts are essential for securing this confidence. While millennials and members of Generation Z are often credited with driving this shift, they're far from alone. Nielsen found that a staggering 81% of survey respondents feel strongly that organizations should commit themselves to improving the environment. Businesses recognize the need to take action. PwC states that 72% of organizations have worked the UN's Sustainable Development Goals into their annual reports. Recognition and actual action, however, still do not go hand-in-hand. Just 27% have actually begun to work these goals into their strategies.

Maintaining trust - and winning back the trust that's been lost - will mean making green Supply Chain Management more than a buzzword. Retailers, in particular, face both a wealth of risks and a world of opportunity.

Retail's Sustainability Problem

No industry can avoid the conversation around sustainability. While some sectors have seen more progress than others, just about every business out there has had to at least pay lip service to sustainability and green sourcing. For organizations in the retail space, the conversation has proven particularly inescapable.

Leaders throughout the retail space have made an outsize contribution to climate change and pollution throughout the last decade. A recent estimate from the Ellen MacArthur foundation charged retailers with releasing one million tons of plastic microfibers into the planet's oceans every year. This is in addition to a growing carbon emission problem. The Foundation predicts that - by 2050 - retail will use up more than a quarter of the world's carbon budget.

Consumers got an eye-opening lesson in the retail industry's wasteful practices last year. When luxury brand Burberry revealed its environmentally destructive methods for eliminating excess inventory, the floodgates opened up. Brands ranging from H&M to Urban Outfitters found themselves faced with boycotts and harsh critiques for similar practices.

A number of these organizations responded to the controversy by joining the industry-wide fight against climate change. As 2018 drew to a close, Burberry and H&M aligned with 41 other organizations in signing the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. Outlining a number of ambitious goals, the Charter hopes to "set an example" for businesses across across both the industry and the globe.

Gap's Ambitious Plans

Gap Inc., another of the Charter's signatories, announced a broad series of sustainability initiatives just in time for Earth Day 2019. Affecting the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands, today's announcement builds on commitments announced back in 2017. Over the last two years, Gap's flagship brand has taken an especially active role in reducing water use across its supply chains. Their Washwell program, they report, has saved over 220 million liters of water in comparison to more conventional washing methods. 2017's announcement also saw the brand establish its Gap for Good program and commit to fully sustainable cotton sourcing by 2021. 

The issue of water waste is a particularly critical one for the Gap family of brands. A company spokesperson writes, "The global apparel industry is one of the largest, most intensive users of water in the world." That's why they've taken pains to set new industry standards for "product innovation and efficiency improvements at fabric mills and laundries." Their ongoing efforts began over a decade ago with the introducing of a comprehensive Water Quality Program.

Washwell will serve as an important component of Banana Republic and Old Navy's efforts over the next several years. By 2025, the former has committed itself to produce 50% of its products with techniques that will reduce water waste by at least 20%. In addition to adopting Washwell's principles, the brand will also employ more sustainable methods for dying and finishing its denim products. 

Mark Breitbard, Banana Republic's CEO, remarks, "Banana Republic is committed to using production techniques that will save and preserve water quality while creating versatile and more sustainable fabrics that our customers have come to know and love." The retailer also aims to source all of its content from sustainable sources by 2023.

Old Navy, for its part, will ramp up its participation in Washwell. While 60% of the chain's denim is currently washed through the program, Old Navy hopes to bring that number up to 100% by 2022. "The brand," Gap's press release notes, "sells 27,000 Rockstar jeans a day." As such, this change to its denim supply chain represents a potentially transformative opportunity. 

Earth Day Every Day?

Deloitte's most recent survey of young professionals confirmed that corporate reputations took a hit in 2018. Just 48% of respondents believe that businesses are committed to ethical behavior. That's down from 65% in 2017. Whether this trend continues, it's clear that corporations need to start putting their words into action and making actual progress toward more sustainable supply chains. It's not enough to make commitments on Earth Day, true business leaders will live out their promises all year round.

ICYMIM: April 22, 2019

Source One's series for keeping up with the most recent highlights in procurement, strategic sourcing, and supply chain news week-to-week.  Check in with us every Monday to stay up to date with the latest supply management news.

Why Standard Contract Terms Can Be Bad For You
Kate Vitasek, Future of Sourcing, 4/18/2019
Organizations across Supply Management often employ standard contract terms in an effort to save time. Vitasek suggests, however, that this 'conventional wisdom' is often anything but wise. Citing a report from UCLA Law School's Russell Korobkin, she examines the ways that behavioral economics often invalidate the standard economic models that drive contracting and negotiations. Ultimately, she suggests that organizations should reduce the formality of their standard terms - particularly where complex relationships are concerned.

Sheena Smith, Spend Matters, 4/18/2019
Smith summarizes some of the conversations she overheard and took part in during SIG's recent Spring Executive Summit. The event has left her feeling optimistic about the function's future and its growing role within leading businesses. Procurement, she writes, "isn't rising in stature because of specific tasks of tools." Rather, it's the function's people who are playing the biggest role in boosting its influence and refining its approach. Thanks to open, honest communication, Procurement has successfully found a seat for itself at the executive table.

6 Energy Challenges of Smart Warehousing - And How to Overcome Them 
Kayla Matthews, ThomasNet, 4/17/2019
Today's leading organizations have boosted their warehouses with robots, monitors, and other components designed to optimize productivity and efficiency. While these smart warehouses are typically more energy-efficient than their conventional counterparts, they also present their own array of challenges. Many of these involve the hard work of putting aside old practices and generating true insights from energy use data. Matthews examines some of the most common challenges and offers insights for effectively addressing them.

In a candidate's market characterized by a fast pace and fierce competition, it's crucial that organizations take a strategic, informed approach to hiring and recruiting. While a world-class culture takes years to build, a single mismatched hire can cause instant and irreparable damage. That's not to mention the financial toll of a poor hiring decision.

How big a hit do companies take when they bring the wrong talent aboard? A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 40% of CFOs lose as much as $25,000 annually as a result of bad hires. 24% report losses of over $50,000.

Understandably, hiring managers are eager to avoid these headaches. Countless blogs have jumped at the opportunity to offer guidance, identify red flags, and steer business toward promising candidates. Source One's own supply chain recruiter has even offered some tips of his own on the Source One Podcast.

Comparatively few outlets, however, have looked at the process from the candidate's perspective. Prospective employees also have a lot to lose if they make the wrong decision. To make matters worse, the candidate is often disempowered throughout the application process. If they're exhausted by a protracted job search, it could proven even more challenging to properly assess job descriptions and a make a best-fit selection. Beyond settling for inadequate benefits or a non-competitive salary, they could wind locked into an organization where mismanagement or inflexibility run rampant.

On the latest episode of the Source One Podcast, recruiter Andrew Jones takes a look at the warning signs that every discerning candidate should watch out for. These words and phrases, he suggests, paint a picture of disorganized organizations where the employee is not afforded a voice.

Here are few of the red flags he singled out:


You can't blame an organization for placing a premium on flexibility. It's totally reasonable to expect that new hires will boast diverse sets of skills and come prepared to wear a number of hats. An overuse of the phrase, however, should raise the discerning candidate's eyebrows. Flexibility is an important quality, but it should never stick out as the number one skill an employer is looking for. Why? Jones suggests it points to a poor balance between work and life. If a company repeatedly emphasizes the need to wear multiple hats, it's possible they're an understaffed organization where new hires are expected to spread themselves thin. 


"Strategic," Jones remarks, "is a word that doesn't actually mean anything." In many cases, it's a sign that the employer is not entirely sure what they're looking for. "We all employ strategies before we've left the house in the morning," he continues. A business with a clear sense of what'll need from a candidate will choose a far clearer adjective to describe their ideal hire. They'll also avoid empty words like "motivated," "dedicated," and "hard working." Each of these, Jones says, should go without saying. When an organization chooses them to pepper them throughout a description, there's a good chance their hiring team is unfocused and poorly aligned. 

"Work Hard Play Hard" 

In Jones' opinion, this phrase points to one of two troubling situations. It's either a sign of an internal culture marked by unprofessionalism, or an attempt to smooth over a poor work-life balance. Job descriptions, like resumes and cover letters, are about making a good first impressions. This phrase does anything but. Instead of employing this cliched phrase, Jones advises organizations to paint a more detailed picture of the benefits they'll provide their employees. "A great candidate won't be motivated by free alcohol," says Jones, "they're more interested in health insurance, compensation, and opportunities to grow in their careers." 

Want to learn more about assessing job descriptions. Subscribe to the Source One Podcast to hear the full conversation. 
In her time with Source One, Kaitlyn Krigbaum has made a name for herself by elevating Procurement's influence in business units that are typically considered off-limits. As a member of Source One's Marketing Sourcing team, she played a leading role in developing the Marketing Infrastructure and Network Diagram solution.

More recently, she's worked to establish a new Human Resources Procurement practice area. These efforts to bridge the gap between Procurement and its peers helped her earn a spot on this year's 30 Under 30 list of Supply Chain Rising Stars.

She sat down with Strategic Sourceror to discuss the professional journey that's taken her from the mental health field to a place among Supply Management's emerging thought leaders. Check out some highlights below.

April 19, 2019

Here's a look at where Source One's cost reduction experts have been featured this week!

New Whitepaper:
Building an Effective Procurement Organization
Explore the methodologies Source One has used over the years to help countless companies build and enhance their procurement operations in our latest whitepaper. Our strategic sourcing experts have gathered and contributed their insights and know-how to derive a comprehensive list of tips and tools to help you improve your own procurement department. Part I of Building an Effective Procurement Organization is available for download today!

New Blog:
Small Businesses Can Have a Sustainable Supply Chain Too
Ari Markowitz, Buyers Meeting Point, 4/17/2019
In Markowitz' feature on Buyers Meeting Point, she discusses the importance of having efficient procurement practices, even for small businesses. Highlighting the benefits of a clean supply chain through the emphasis of the philosophy of the three Ps: people, planet, profit. By embedding these into your triple bottom line you vouch that the production and consumption of your products shall not harm the people or the environment. Markowits goes on to explain that even though a small business may not have resources to devout to an entire procurement department, there are still meaningful practices that can be put in place to ensure your business

New Podcast
Job Description Red Flags
Applying for a job in Procurement and Supply Management? Andrew Jones suggests you exercise caution. On this week's episode of the Source One Podcast Jones discusses some of the red flags applicants should watch out for next time they're on the hunt for a new opportunity.

Success at ISM2019 & ExecIn!
The Source One team enjoyed our time in Houston, rubbing shoulders and sharing ideas with other industry leading professionals. The break out sessions, roundtable discussions, panels and keynote speakers, were fun vehicles to discuss all the hot topics trending in the Supply Management and Procurement industry today. Below are blogs that cover a series topics addressed during these events:

Since the late 18th century, self-interest and economics have gone hand in invisible hand. Adam Smith believed self-interested actions would ensure healthy competition and serve the common good. "By pursuing his own interest," he wrote, the individual "frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he intends to promote it."

Moving Past Self-Interest

Two and a half centuries later, young professionals are not so inclined to believe in the inherent benefits of self-interest. Last year's Deloitte Millennial Survey found that candidates are less likely than ever to give businesses the benefit of the doubt. 75% of respondents believe that businesses focus on their own agendas without even considering broader issues. That's up from 59% in 2017. While Smith may have cheered this behavior, today's workforce is less charitable. 45% consider the self-interested pursuit of profit to be totally unethical.

Young professionals are not naive. They recognize that profits, process improvements, and product development are necessary objectives for every organization. They're certain, however, that large companies have the resources to do far more when it comes to serving a higher purpose. Deloitte identifies four key areas where employee and employer priorities are misaligned: Generating jobs, improving society, enhancing employee livelihood, and protecting the environment.

It's not just young upstarts who feel this way. Millennials in senior-executive positions agree that "businesses should protect the environment, improve society and innovate more than they believe their own employers are currently doing."

Skeptics might feel tempted to dismiss the call for purpose as another gripe from an entitled, disloyal generation. The truth is that employees of every age and at every level on the corporate ladder are eager to do important work, make a genuine impact, and see the world around them change for the better. When Source One surveyed Procurement executives at last week's ExecIn Forum, they found that "providing a sense of purpose" was also a popular strategy for recruiting and retaining non-millennial talent. It ranked second only to "pay and benefits" on the list of priorities.

Introducing this sense of purpose could even help organizations move past the same tired, 'us vs. them' conversations that have dominated the discourse since we all learned the word millennial. Reminding team members from across multiple generations that they're ultimately pursuing the same goal will foster a greater sense of collaboration and promote a free exchange of insights and expertise.

What's more, there's no reason businesses need to think of purpose in world-changing terms. In advocating for a purpose-driven workplace, Forbes contributor Alexandra Douwes advises leaders to "take purpose off a pedestal." Instead of defining purpose with the language imposed by an increasingly polarized culture, she encourages managers to consult each member of their team  and learn how they define the term. "Some people," she writes, "find fulfillment in helping others, while others derive meaning from learning something new or working on a project they're particularly passionate about." Don't forget about reaching a consensus and a common understanding. It won't do much good to trade one kind of self-interest for another.

A New Leadership Style 

Self-interest has not only defined the way business leaders engage with consumers and partners along the supply chain. It's long played all-too-large a role in how they attempt to motivate and activate their employees. When employees are disengaged - and Gallup suggests they often are - managers have historically elected to provide new incentives while increasing oversight.

Why? According to the Harvard Business Review, it's because the same conventional economic logic that defines market engagements also defines talent management. Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor write, "The assumption behind such conventional approaches is that work is fundamentally contractual and that employees are self-interested agents." With time, they suggest, "this assumption becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: Employees do just what is needed to earn a reward or meet a standard, and nothing more." In other words, leaders find themselves with aimless, listless employees when they neglect to provide a purpose beyond financial compensation.

Presented with an aspirational mission, employees won't just feel happier to come to work each day. They'll pursue new opportunities, drive greater results, and display a tireless commitment to innovation. That's more than enough reason to challenge the tenets defined by Adam Smith and business school lectures.

Quinn and Thankor go on to outline an 8-step plan for introducing purpose and communicating it across the organization. It starts with a process of education. To begin overcoming both self-doubt and skepticism, leaders need to look for real-world examples of successful purpose-driven businesses. Armed with a standard to follow, leaders can begin to consult their internal teams and integrate feedback into a new, authentic mission.

"If your purpose is authentic," they write, "people know, because it drives every decision." Equally important is constancy. A great, purposeful leader will take pains to communicate their mission at every opportunity and avoid deviating from it at all costs. In doing so, they'll stimulate their teams to think, learn, grow, and provide for an evolution. Each organization harbors potential agents of change, but few tap into this pool of talent. With the benefit of a strong purpose and a collaborative culture, leaders should have no trouble leveraging these employees to spread the word and drive the business forward.

While economic benefits are never a guarantee, the cultural benefits of a shared purpose are impossible to deny. When businesses recognize the practical value of a mission and commit to walking the walk, they defy economic convention. They benefit from employees who will not act with self-interest in mind, but freely embrace opportunities to transform Procurement and the organization as a whole.

Learn More

The first installment in Source One's new whitepaper series offers tips and best practices for optimizing Procurement's approach to its people. In addition to training programs and operational models, Part 1 of Building an Effective Procurement Organization advocates for the incalculable value of purpose. Download it today to lean more. 

This guest blog comes to us from Megan Ray Nichols of Schooled by Science.

There's no ignoring the fact that the global cold chain industry is growing by leaps and bounds. What accounts for this growth? As always, it's a combination of necessities and luxury goods. The pharmaceutical cold supply chain could see 38 percent growth between 2015 and 2021. The entire global market for cold chain products could be worth $271 billion just one year later in 2022 — with ice cream leading the charge.

Skyrocketing demand around the globe for foods, beverages and medicinal products means one thing: Cold chain companies need all the advantages they can find to stay nimble, efficient and competitive. Here are some tips.

Make Sure Your Packaging is Up to the Task

The first step to take is figuring out how to draw a line-of-best-fit between your packaging's insulation capabilities and the optimal size and shape for your products. If you've had trouble with customers rejecting shipments due to spoilage or damage, it's probably time to revisit your packaging. In any cold chain, tertiary shipping containers — versus primary containers and case packs — are the first line of defense against the elements.

UPS recommends establishing a two-way flow when it comes to optimizing your packaging design. Consider assigning a single project owner or a small team to the task. In addition to providing recommendations, your project owner will also solicit and pass on feedback from your customer base about the condition of your products when they arrive.

In other words, product spoilage isn't something that should fall to your general customer response team — it's part of a mission to balance packaging materials and R-values with the volume and size required to ship your products efficiently.

Invest in Smarter Tools for in-Transit Monitoring

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 was a great step forward for the safety of transportable cold chain products. Among other things, the FSMA requires cold chain companies to retain safety records for a full year, including details on temperature while in transit, training programs and corrective actions taken.

Merely collecting records isn't enough, though. Modern cold chain companies need to think proactively about how to respond to temperature discrepancies while products are still en route to their destination. Step one is visibility. It means investing in IoT monitoring devices to capture real-time data points like temperature, humidity, and shock and vibration. Step two involves two-way telematics between suppliers and shippers.

Being able to prove after-the-fact that a certain shipment wasn't kept at the required temperature in transit is useful for audit trails. By exchanging this information wirelessly, in real-time, supply chain companies can take corrective action immediately. These actions can include sending automated alerts to the affected parties, diverting a shipment before it reaches its destination and dispatching a replacement shipment.

Think About Ways to Shorten the Last Mile

Online grocery sales currently stand at 2 percent of the market. Industry sources expect this figure to grow to 20 percent by 2025. As more consumers choose e-commerce retailers to make purchases of refrigerated and frozen products like flowers, meat and dairy, suppliers need to rethink their approach to last-mile delivery and how to shrink the distance between distribution centers and end users.

Here's what's being done about it:

·      Transportation management systems: Advanced last-mile delivery companies can help suppliers optimize routes and eliminate excessive vehicle traffic. This is an especially serious concern in urban centers, with congestion and emissions rules placing increasing pressure on carriers and delivery services. Redrawing inefficient delivery routes and sending updated instructions to drivers on-the-fly reduces the likelihood of delays and, therefore, spoilage of sensitive shipments.

·      Rented refrigerated warehouse space: Temporary refrigerated storage near ports and centers of trade are old news. Suppliers of cold chain products must work to meet demand in other centers of consumer consolidation as well. Building a new refrigerated warehouse closer to your customers is one way to go, so long as you do so with mindfulness of air quality guidelines for your cooling system and other critical environmental factors. Engaging a third-party logistics company and leasing that space instead could be friendlier to your bottom line.

The efficiency of your last-mile deliveries also rests on your ability to make proactive decisions about inventory distribution — and that means engaging in data analytics. Both location and artificial intelligence help cold chain companies make useful predictions about future customer purchases. Those predictions, in turn, help ensure temperature-sensitive merchandise is situated conveniently across your distribution area and doesn't need to travel a longer distance to reach the customer than is necessary.

Build Your Culture on Process Ownership and Accountability

The U.S. FDA maintains training requirements for carriers that engage in motor vehicle and rail-based transportation of food products. The FDA provides entire training modules free of charge, but such programs satisfy only the minimum requirements. Optimizing your cold chain activities means reducing errors and dropping your rate of defects to as close to zero as possible. That means you need more than a one-off training module for new employees — you need an entire culture centered on process ownership and accountability.

A successful and accountable culture in the cold chain industry must include each of the following components:
  • Understanding of inspection guidelines at ever level, plus rejection criteria for shipments that don't meet requirements. 
  • Well-documented protocols and record keeping practices for internal external audits. 
  • Knowledge of international cold chain regulations for cross-border shipments. 
Covering the basics with free training courses from the FDA is good. Developing a robust in-house training program for employees at every level is better. For the best results, however, many companies involved in the cold chain industry work with compliant third-party agencies as a way to cover their bases. 

Anticipate the Future of Cold Chain

Your final task in optimizing your approach to the cold chain is one that's never finished: You need to anticipate the future. As we've seen, eCommerce sales for foods, beverages, and medicine are set to explode in the coming years, and that means companies like yours need to be prepared to meet consumer demands safely and effectively. If you're not watching out for helpful new technologies and building an adaptable culture, you can be sure your competitors will do so in your stead.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

Electronic sourcing platforms help to expedite the sourcing process in ways procurement professionals of the past could never have imagined. Whether you're  hoping to administer RFIs, RFPs, or reverse auctions, e-Sourcing tools provide a level of convenience and connectivity that can fundamentally change the way you do business. They are, however, far from foolproof.

Procurement professionals who are already prone to rushing the RFx process may find that an e-tool exacerbates the existing issue.  Here are some common mistakes to avoid when planning your next e-Sourcing event.

1. Don't Forget to Invite Suppliers
Hey, you have business to award and now you have this great new eSourcing tool. Suppliers should be knocking down your door, right? Wrong.  Many eSourcing platforms present the option to post e-Sourcing events that are visible and open to all users.  In some instances, Procurement professionals post public events like these and assume they'll naturally attract interest.  This is rarely the case. Conducting comprehensive research and establishing contact with potential suppliers is essential to a well-attended and successful e-Sourcing event.

2. Don't Fail to Establish and Maintain Contact
Just because your tool sends an automatic email to suppliers does not mean these suppliers will attend your event.  An automated and unsolicited email not only reads as impersonal, but could also look enough like spam to end up in the garbage.  Take the time to contact all potential suppliers.  Describe your company, your needs, and the specific nuances of your approach to sourcing.  These simple steps could be the first in staging a successful e-Sourcing event and establishing a fruitful supplier relationship.

3. Don't Email the Wrong Person
Contacting a potential supplier can be useless if you fail to reach the appropriate individual. Too often, procurement professionals attempt to reach out through a generic email they found on a website. Even a smaller supplier is unlikely ever to come across this email and take it seriously. You should never expect to move from the wrong hands to the right ones.  More likely than not, a misguided email will wind up deleted or forgotten. This is another issue that verbal communication can alleviate.  A single phone conversation with a supplier can quickly help you identify the specific individual you should contact.

4. Don't Assume the Suppliers Know the Tool 
As always, the adage about assumptions proves true.  You cannot reasonably expect each of your potential suppliers to be intimately familiar with the e-tool you intend to use. Many suppliers have never even participated in an online event. Even e-Sourcing veterans might not know how exactly to best use your particular process.  Make sure to contact suppliers and thoroughly explain your choice of tool.  Answer whatever questions they might have to assure a smooth event.  Confusion could lead to a collection of poor bids, or no bids at all.

You'll likely notice that these fatal mistakes have a few things in common.  They both tend to result from insufficient research and ineffective communication.  A simple phone call could make all the difference when staging e-Sourcing events.  Making contact now could spark the conversation that leads to a long-term supplier relationship. Need a little extra help give our Procurement and Strategic Sourcing experts a call today.  

Whether to satisfy customer expectations or simply to make a fundamental change in company policy, an increasing number of fast food chains and quick-serve restaurants are peeling back the curtains on their supply chains, being more transparent about how they produce, prepare and deliver the millions of meals they serve in a given year.

While the changes, for the most part, have been well received, various organizations don't want them to rest on their laurels. Case in point: The Federation of State PIRGs.

In a recent statement, the public interest and health advocacy organizations called on fast food giant Wendy's to cease and desist the utilization of antibiotics in their cattle-raising processes. Proponents of such a move say that the routine use of antibiotics for non-medical reasons has led to the rapid development of so-called "superbugs," which are resistant to antibiotic medication, thus harder for physicians to diagnose and successfully treat various diseases and conditions.

Matthew Wellington, U.S. PIRG Education Fund director, said Wendy's doing so is a move that would benefit the overall public and be a major step forward toward combating antibiotic resistance.
"We can't waste life-saving medicines to produce cheap beef," Wellington warned. "The cost to our health is too high, and Wendy's can use its buying power to help move the beef industry away from overusing antibiotics."

Cows on farm.Antibiotics are often used on cattle to help them grow faster.
McDonald's says it will curb use of antibiotics
U.S. PIRG is essentially asking Wendy's to follow in the footsteps of a fast-food rival of theirs, McDonald's. Late last year, executives at the Golden Arches assured its loyal customers that it would seek to  "reduce the overall use of antibiotics" - which presently accounts for 85 percent of its beef supply chain. In a press release at the time, Keith Kenny, global vice president of sustainability at McDonald's, said the company aims to implement various reduction targets no later than December 2020, by working in partnership with like-minded producers.

"McDonald's believes antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue, and we take seriously our unique position to use our scale for good to continue to address this challenge," Kenny explained.

Wendy's already taking steps toward reduction
Although Wendy's has yet to decide whether it will rise to U.S. PIRG's challenge, there's reason to believe that the fast food giant will acquiesce to the organization's request. Last year, for example, approximately one-fifth of its beef came from producers who aren't using antibiotics to the same extent as they have in the past, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Wellington told the newspaper that for Wendy's to make truly lasting changes, their commitment has to be significant. In other words, they need to have more skin in the game.

"It can't be this incremental step forward; it has to be visionary," Wellington said. "That's what's going to push producers to change this practice."

The harsh effects of antibiotic resistance are reaching epidemic proportions. According to a recent estimate from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, as many as 162,000 men, women and children in the U.S. alone die from these kinds of infections each year. This means they're one of the top three causes of health-related deaths in America.
In December 2018, a little piece of legislation you may be familiar with was signed into law: The Farm Bill.

Passed every five years, the Farm Bill reflects various agricultural and food policies. Its reach covers food stamps and nutrition programs, farm subsidies and regulations, environmental protections for land and crops, and opportunities for minority-owned farms.

For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, hemp legalization was the crowning jewel of 2018's edition of the Farm Bill - an initiative he spearheaded in the wake of struggles for the agricultural sector. For the year, Net Farm Income forecasts saw a 16 percent decline, or an estimated $12 billion loss, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

Hemp legalization could result in a $20 to $22 billion industry by 2020, according to cannabis experts from Brightfield Group. Such profit could shift the farming narrative towards positive net gains. 
But the grass – or in this case, plant – is not always greener on the other side. Despite immense growth opportunities, farmers struggle to meet demands for industrial-strain hemp due to a complex and convoluted supply chain.

The emerging hemp market suffers from a lack of experience and expertise, with most farmers using a time consuming and expensive process. Faced with a new crop, they're largely unfamiliar with any alternative approaches.  This system is inefficient, as hemp is mined for CBD and THC, compounds found inside the flower which require little maintenance relative to their counterpart compounds. Furthermore, the average hemp plant contains very little CBD and THC. For every batch of harvested hemp plants, only a fraction is ultimately utilized for industrial products.

Compounding the problem is a lack of transparency and legality – farmers cannot gauge how much CBD a plant produces until the plant is cut. Additionally, during the concentration process, THC moves with CBD and can produce an amount exceeding the legal limit.

Yet legal limits pose little concern for manufacturers. There are no regulations on labeling products or testing products for CBD, while CBD tests remain relatively inaccurate. According to one farmer interviewed by CNBC, four labs gave his hemp four vastly different readings for CBD concentration. 

The sector’s ambiguity further contributes to marketing difficulty and consumer confusion. Without any science to differentiate the potency of isolate, hydroponic, water soluble, and other forms of hemp, consumers have little information to rely on when making purchasing decisions.

Whether hemp becomes the next big market, or another cog in the agricultural machine, remains uncertain - only time will tell.
Happy Monday folks! This week we have a feature of one of Source One's own that was named an ISM 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Rising Star, Kaitlyn Krigbaum.

Interestingly enough, Kaitlyn happened to begin her professional career in the mental health industry. There she was involved in developing treatment plans for patients. Kaitlyn says this was a "very relationship-driven environment." This environment as well as her garnered empathy and advocacy skills helped Krigbaum as she followed her interests and transitioned into business consulting and recruiting.

Kaitlyn got her first taste of Supply Chain when she moved into recruitment, as she placed many candidates into Procurement and Supply Chain roles themselves. These positions peeked Kaitlyn's interests and she later found herself in one herself, immediately taking to discovery calls and strategy development.

One of Krigbaum's early mentors told her that it's okay to think outside the box, and that thinking purely analytical can impede creativity. Kaitlyn takes this advice with her to this day as it has helped to bring her much success as a Procurement professional. Even though she had an unusual start she knew that because she had the ability to think creatively she could ecxel in the industry, and that she has, standing as a recognized star in her field.

On this Monday, and many to come, don't be afraid to think outside the box. Just because something was always done a certain way, doesn't mean its the right way. Innovation is the key to driving success, so get creative, get risky!

Have great week everyone, until next time.

ICYMIM: April 15, 2019

Source One's series for keeping up with the most recent highlights in procurement, strategic sourcing, and supply chain news week-to-week.  Check in with us every Monday to stay up to date with the latest supply management news.

The Value of Women and Diversity in Global Procurement
Karina Sweete, Future of Sourcing, 4/12/2019
If there's any part of a company that should understand the business value of diversity, it's procurement. Having to build relationships with a cast of characters from clients to suppliers requires more than just one type of person. It seems we as an industry have some work to do in upping the numbers of female employees in procurement, according to a few studies done by Oliver Wyman & Mercer. For those companies that have been employing mroe females than in past years have seen an increase in economic performance. Visit Sweete's post for more on the value of diversity in procurement specifically, and the details of these studies.

Carina Kuhl, Spend Matters, 4/10/2019
Kuhl writes about Caldwell Hart, an attendee and contributor to our recent ISM2019 Conference. Hart is taking on a new position as CPO at MKS Instruments, a company generating $2.5 billion in revenue and 6000+ employees. This is not just a feat of transformation, but procurement enabling rapid growth. Visit the article for details on Harts strategies for procurement and plans for empowerment.

At ISM 2019, Janet Yellen and Carly Fiorina See the Supply Chain as a Force for Change
JP Morris, Spend Matters, 4/9/2019
These two women give Supply Chain the credit for driving change, addressing tariffs and uncertain trade policies, and keeping inflation underwraps. Yellen continues with her views on global economics, and then sits with CEO of Institue of Supply Management to discuss everything from labors trends to Brexit and President Trump. Fiorina gave an empowering message of her own to procurement professionals in attendence, emphasizing their importance as leaders. She highlights the success she's seen at Hewlett-ackard that came from her procurement department leading the change. Visit the article for direct quotes from these speaks and interviews.