October 2015
Egg prices rise due to summer bird flu outbreak

In September the average price of a dozen eggs rose 3 cents from the previous month of August. The price for a carton of eggs ran at around $2.97, a 50.6 percent jump compared to September 2014, reported the Chicago Tribune.

May 2015 represented the lowest egg pricing this year, with a carton ringing in at $1.96 a dozen. Since then U.S. egg prices have seen a 52 percent spike in cost, explained the source.

Bird flu scare influences costs
This is largely credited to an outbreak of avian flu. According to USA Today, in the spring of 2015 over 49 million chickens and turkeys either died or were euthanized by farmers due to the spread of the bird flu.

The primary areas affected were the Pacific Northwest through the Midwest. Unsurprisingly, the death of these birds affected the overall egg supply. The shortage of egg production led to an increase in egg pricing at grocery stores, noted the source.

However, Senior Vice President of Urner Barry Rick Brown believes that relief in pricing is in the near future, according to the Tribune. Brown projected that egg prices will level out by the end of 2015. Brown credits this return to normalcy with farmer's efforts to repopulate the lost birds.

The USDA estimates that it has already spent nearly a half-billion dollars in attempts to rid U.S. farms of the bird flu virus.

The producer price index
The egg industry was not the only market that saw inflammation this year. USA Today pointed out that the producer price index as a whole saw a 0.4 percent increase this June at the height of the bird flu scare.

The index sets out to measure the prices of goods before they reach the consumer market. However, where the index may have seen a decline in pricing, the egg crisis prevented this shift. Record low oil and gasoline prices helped offset the increased food and produce pricing this year. According to the Tribune, the 12 month index remained virtually unchanged through the duration of 2015.

However, USA Today noted that the egg crisis in particular had a surprisingly strong effect on index numbers.

The source explained that generally eggs make up an almost negligible share of the index at large. However, due to the intense pricing spikes since April, the egg market had the ability to raise the index numbers.

"When [eggs are] rising at a 58,000 percent annualized rate, as they have the past two months, the impact is material," said Morgan Stanley Analyst Ted Wieseman to USA Today. Wieseman projected that eggs were responsible for almost one-fifth of the rise in producer prices in June.

Supply chain implications
Whenever there is volatility in produce markets supply chain managers must make sure to make the relevant adjustments to spend management protocol. 

While the dip in pricing does seem to be coming to a close, according to the Tribune, egg prices aren't set to let up until after the holiday season. This will force the egg market to take a hit, considering the holiday season is typically a time for increased egg sales due to a higher demand for baked goods.

Brown told the Tribune that consumers are seeking out egg substitutes in place of whole eggs for their baking needs. He also noted that customers are in no rush to start buying eggs again due to a leftover fear of the bird flu.

For now, suppliers, distributors and farmers will need to sit out the slump and wait for egg sales to make their peak after the year comes to an end.

Source One Round Up: October 30,2015 

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

Techniques for Accurately and Efficiently Forecasting Demand
Whether your organization needs to improve relationships with current suppliers or looking to strategically source new suppliers, effective forecasting and planning is key to staying ahead of your supply chain operations. Avoid over using warehouse space or dealing with the nightmares of low inventory by following these 3 tips. Source One experts have witnessed the consequences of poor planning and have helped clients implement best practices to improve supplier communication and optimize internal processes for a more efficient operation.

A Millennial Intern's Perspective on Procurement

One of Source One's stellar interns, Michael Hinkley, sat down with Kelly Barner of Buyers Meeting Point to discuss his perspective on procurement, as a millennial new to the industry. 

Past Events:
Source One at La Salle University: The past Wednesday, Source One's Data Scientist, James Patounas spoke at La Salle University to members of the college's Business Systems and Analytics Club. Patounas shared his insight into how data analytics is applied in the realm of procurement, to aid cost management initiatives and support overall business functions. 

Procurement Excellence 2016: Yesterday, Source One's consultants attended Corporate United's premier thought leadership and networking event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

Upcoming Events:
ProcureCon Pharma 2015: Check out Joseph Payne, Source One's VP of professional Services, as a featured speaker challenging Procurement Professionals to demonstrate their value proposition in his Innovation Spotlight titled: Procurement Reality Check.

Walgreens announces merger with Rite Aid

On Tuesday Walgreens announced it will be buying competitor Rite Aid for $9.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. This deal comes in what is set to be the biggest year of all time for health care mergers and acquisitions. WSJ noted that 2015 has seen around $427 billion worth of merger deals in the U.S. as health care leaders seek to lower supply chain costs by way of consolidation.

The details of the deal
Even the whispers of a merger between the two drugstore giants caused a rise in stocks for both companies, noted WSJ. After an article by the source reported there were merger talks in the works, Rite Aid's stock increased to $8.67 per share or 43 percent, while Walgreens saw a 6.4 percent rise amounting to $95.16 a share.

The merger is not set to go off without a hitch, however, reported CNN Money. The deal will have to pass an antitrust review by regulators; a difficult feat considering the deal would combine the powers of two of the top three leaders in the marketplace.

This is not the first acquisition by Walgreens. In 2010 the company took over Duane Reade, a drugstore chain based in New York, explained CNN Money. Last year also saw the acquisition of a European pharmacy chain called Boots Alliance; currently, Walgreens has store locations in over 10 countries.

As a part of the contract negotiation, Rite Aid has requested to keep the name of its stores throughout the transition. However, CNN reported that this will only be a temporary occurrence. Walgreens plans to harmonize store names over time, effectively eliminating Rite Aid signage across the country.

WSJ calculated that with Rite Aid's debt factored into the equation - in August 2015 the company's debt totaled $7.4 billion - the merger is valued at $17.2 billion.

Reasons for the merger
Drug producers, hospital chains and health insurers alike have been seeking out their fair share of mergers this year. WSJ attributed this to side effects from the Affordable Care Act among other factors. The health care industry is scrambling to find ways to cut costs and leverage suppliers. Mergers allow for the consolidation of multiple supply chains and their relevant costs.

The combined drugstore network would total to 13,000 U.S. store locations. A combination of resources could combat the recent drug-price inflation by way of supply cost reduction, noted WSJ.

CNN Money cited a similar problem.The industry is in a transitional period due to the ACA, and mergers seem to be the way in which health care leaders are dealing with the changes. U.S. life expectancy has risen at a fairly consistent rate over the past decade and CNN looked to the aging population in the country as another reason for increased consolidation in the medical industry.

What does this mean for the health care industry?
Whichever way you slice the reasoning, one fact remains: Walgreens is about to become a force to be reckoned with. WSJ charted out the 2014 market shares of Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, which together make up the three leaders in the drugstore industry.

Rite Aid trailed the pack with 12.3 percent of market share, CVS held second with a 30.9 percent of share and Walgreens took a close first with 34.2 percent. Pending a green light for the merger, the Walgreens and Rite Aid duo would hold a combined 46.5 percent market share, reported WSJ.

The first inevitable result of this merger would be the domination of the Walgreens and Rite Aid pair over CVS.

However, Business Insider addressed a completely separate issue: the inevitable job cuts.

"Our complementary retail pharmacy footprints in the U.S. will create an even better network, with more health and wellness solutions available in stores and online," Walgreens Boots Alliance's executive vice chairman and CEO, Stefano Pessina, explained, according to Business Insider. "This combination will generate a stronger base for sustainable growth and investment into Rite Aid stores, while realizing synergies over time."

The source explained that the term synergy is really just a covert way of addressing eliminating waste within a company for the sake of cost reduction. This term usually translates to job cuts, closed stores, decommissioned warehouses and disappearing offices.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced projections of over $1 billion in synergies. Business Insider reported that currently Walgreens' employees total around 251,000, Rite Aid employs approximately 89,00 workers. In a self-directed calculation, the source approximated that if even half these cost reduction measures come from job cuts, more than 6,700 workers can expect to lose their jobs in light of the merger.

There have been no formal announcements regarding job cuts by either company.

Whether it be job cuts, supply chain consolidation or some other method of cost-saving, there is no doubt that leaders in supply management, strategic sourcing and category management will have their work cut out for them pending the approval of this merger.

WHO report cites consumption of processed meat as cancer risk

Chances are if you've perused Facebook recently one of your meat-loving friends has declared the end of all things good in this world. That's because a new World Health Organization report found that eating processed meat may heighten the risk of colon cancer. Even worse, the consumption of other red meats probably has the same effect.

The World Health Organization report
The report, conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified the consumption of processed meat in the Group 1 category, meaning the organization found sufficient evidence suggesting that this intake has a direct correlation to an increased risk for colorectal cancer.

The study concluded that for every 50 gram portion of processed meat a person consumes daily, their risk for colorectal cancer rises by 18 percent.

The statistics regarding red meat are a little less clear. Red meat was categorized into Group 2A, meaning that conclusions about red meat's connection to cancer were based on limited evidence.

The report clarified what kinds of meat fall into each category. All types of mammalian muscle meat are considered red meat. This includes goat, veal, pork, beef, mutton, horse and lamb.

Processed meat, on the other hand, refers to any meat that has gone through a transformation process such as salting or curing. These methods set out to enhance the flavor of meat and improve overall preservation but the process is what ultimately links the products to cancer. The types of meat mentioned specifically were: hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat and meat-based sauces.

"For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," said Dr. Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Programme in the report. "In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance."

Meat industry response
For obvious reasons, makers of processed meat were not pleased with the findings of this report.

While processed meat did fall in the same category as tobacco and alcohol, the meat industry is urgently pointing out that items placed in the same category do not necessarily have the same cancer-correlating risk, reported The New York Times.

The real question will be how this report affects supply chain distributors within the meat industry. If meat sales decline, the report will likely be cited as a key catalyst.

As for your meat-loving friends, tell them just like everything else in life, their beloved bacon is fine in moderation.

"I think it's very important that we don't terrorize people into thinking that they should not eat any red meat at all," said the Chairman of Disease Prevention at Stanford University Dr. John Ioannidis to the Times. "There's some risk involved, but it's much less than smoking or alcohol. I think it would be an exaggeration to say based on this that no one should be eating red or processed meat."

Superbugs create new demand in supply chains

Hospital supply chains may be looking at making some pricey investments soon due to a revived concern about "superbugs," reported Health Care Finance.

Superbugs are no new issue but an Executive Order by President Obama in Fall 2014, prompted a White House Summit in June regarding the use of antibiotics in livestock and fighting the superbugs this livestock can cause, noted the source.

What is a "superbug"
According to The Mayo Clinic, superbugs are strains of bacteria that have become resistant to modern-day antibiotics. The creation of these strains is a natural occurrence in evolution; these superbugs adapt to medicines that are intended to wipe them out and then change their makeup in order to survive.

As such, many treatments that have been created become less effective, and, in the worst cases, completely ineffective, explained The Mayo Clinic.

The Obama administration has set plans in place to fight the continued spread of these superbugs over the next five years. The Executive Order also contains provisions to reward successful research for technology that can detect and prevent these strains of bacteria, reported HCF.

Hospital supply chains gear up for the fight
Hospitals have had policies in place to prevent superbugs since they began sprouting up, noted the source. These measures were based on a set of national standards but they vary from hospital to hospital.

However, new materials that help with prevention and detection have the added option of compounding these previous strategies. Supply chain purchasing management departments have the opportunity to invest in these devices and other measures that can protect current equipment from harboring these bacteria, explained HCF.

The investment will be hefty and may cause a blow to spend management projections. However, Director of Business Development at Sciessent Lise Moloney pointed out that the investment will result in long-term cost reduction, reported HCF.

"From a supply chain standpoint, you are looking at potentially higher costs to buy devices with antimicrobial additives," explained Moloney. "But hospitals need to think of what having a new way of preventing antibiotic-resistant infections can save them."

Purchasing management and supply chain management leaders will undoubtedly need to meet to discuss the pros and cons of this decision. However, the price seems to be worth the potential for disease prevention.

Drops in oil prices result in supply savings for hospitals

The recent drop in oil prices is no secret. The national average for a gallon of gas stands at $2.19, a notably reasonable price considering the gas prices in the recent past.

While vehicle-owning consumers are jumping for joy (or just into their cars) at this news, oil companies are crunching their numbers. According to The New York Times, oil companies that have seen generally profitable earnings in the past few years are now being forced to make sharp cuts in a variety of fields.

The source reported that over 200,000 oil workers have been let go and manufacturers specializing in oil drilling equipment have taken a big hit.

For many companies, over half of their rigs have been shut down and exploration has taken a back seat to profit control. The reason? The price for a barrel of oil has dropped nearly 50 percent since 2014, explained NYT.

Supply and Demand
New York Times reporter Clifford Krauss explained that the drop comes down to supply and demand inconsistencies. Over the past six years, the domestic production of oil in the U.S. has almost doubled.

This has created a dilemma for importers that used to sell oil in large quantities to the U.S. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Algeria are relocating their efforts to Asian markets in an attempt to make up for lost profits, reported Krauss.

The demand for oil is also generally weakening. In Europe, vehicles are becoming increasingly energy-efficient, which is countering the existence of gas-guzzling cars. Essentially, there is too much supply and not nearly enough demand.

The victims and the victors
This is bad news for countries whose economies center around oil production. Nations such as Iran, Ecuador and Brazil have taken an economic hit and could potentially face political blowback, explained Krauss.

The sting is being felt by oil companies across the globe. According to a different New York Times report, Chevron and Exxon saw the worst quarterly report results in the last ten years this July.

Exxon has been forced to take a deep cut to company spending. Funds for exploration of future oil prospects alone were cut by $16 billion. Chevron announced the cuts of 1,500 jobs and a larger $1 billion cost reduction plan.

However, the drop in oil prices is not bad news for everyone. In the U.S. Energy Information Administration's January Short-Term Energy Outlook report, numbers showed that motorists are enjoying the lowest gas prices since May 4, 2009.

House-owners are also benefiting from the decline. The report found that the average house will save $750 on gas bills in 2015.

Perhaps the most interesting beneficiary is the health care industry. According to Health Care Finance, smart health care supply chain managers will be able to see substantial cost reduction due to the falling price of oil.

Low oil prices mean cheaper plastic products
The number of health care supplies made of plastic is considerable. Medical gloves, bed pans, syringes, the list goes on. However, many people may be surprised by the fact that oil prices affect plastic pricing. This makes sense once it is realized that plastics are a derivative of crude oil polymers. In fact, about 5 percent of global oil is used for the production of plastic, explained Zacks.

This is great news for supply chain managers. However, Principal of Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting Anthony Long pointed out that supply chain leaders may have missed this opportunity, according to Health Care Finance.

"Certainly there are a number of facilities where decreases in oil prices and modification of market prices impact on plastics-based products don't really register as a blip," Long stated. "But those who are up to speed and who have more sophisticated systems in place or resources to draw on are reaching out with the drive-down in petroleum prices and ultimately plastics."

Purchasing management heads for hospitals need to review their current contracts regarding the pricing of certain plastic items. Due to the current prices of oil there has been a 5 percent decrease in the pricing of exam gloves, industry expert Brigitte Chorley explained to HCF. By negotiating the pricing on exam gloves alone, a hospital could save up to $36,000 a year.

While the drop in oil has affected many companies and countries negatively, hospital supply chains should take advantage of these cost reduction opportunities and look into current purchasing agreements.

In just two days, strategic sourcing pundits from Source One will be joining a long list of industry leaders at Corporate United’s Procurement Excellence in 2016 event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Throughout the day attendees will spend time networking with industry peers, hearing from procurement thought leaders, and experience an exclusive interactive Pro Football Hall of Fame theater experience.

In addition to the hearing from Corporate United’s COO, Doug Blossey, attendees will learn more about the state of procurement from MRA Global Sourcing’s Managing Partner, Naseem Malik. As the keynote speaker Malik will share his predictions into the future of procurement and how it will impact strategic sourcing and procurement talent management.

As a strategic sourcing partner for CU, and the premier telecommunications management provider for its members, Source One looks forward to engaging with other members of the group purchasing organization and learning more about the cost savings opportunities Corporate United offers clients.
Before launching into a full procurement transformation initiative, one of the first key steps is to assess the current state of procurement operations. In striving for continuous improvement, it is important to know where you stand in the moment. In addition to technology, metrics, and processes, having the right people carrying out processes and adding value to your strategic sourcing and procurement department is critical. Therefore, personnel should be a focal point of your current-state evaluation.

Undoubtedly, your employees add value to your company, and more specifically, to your sourcing department. Depending on your objectives, you should examine different aspects of your procurement talent. Your assessment could be very high level, addressing staffing demands, individual skills and expertise, team cohesiveness, and the effectiveness of training programs. This will give you a general sense of how your employees fit into the sourcing process, and how to address big problems. On the other hand, you could also perform a more detailed evaluation. You may want to assess the relative responsibility level of each individual, individual performance, suitability of titles, appropriateness of salaries, or even the organization of the hierarchy within the department. This sort of evaluation will give you a more detailed picture of how your employees support your procurement process or, perhaps, how they could improve on an individual basis.

Overall, the most important part of this evaluation, whether it is role- or performance-based, is to understand how your employees fit into the procurement department and processes. To foster progress, adaptability, and improvement, you need to be assured that your people are a good fit, and understand the ways in which they influence the overall function of the department. Knowledgeable, flexible, and experienced people will respond well to change and allow your procurement department to evolve and improve over time.

In the summer of 2015, Source One released, Is It Time to Transform Your Procurement Operations?, a whitepaper guide to evaluating your current state, focused specifically on people as well as processes, technology, and reporting.
Survey finds hospital supply chains are critical to future business

Health care product companies are increasingly recognizing the utility of an effective and well-managed supply chain, a new survey by Frost & Sullivan found. More than 75 percent of respondents acknowledged that supply chain management is key for future business success. Furthermore, over 80 percent of participants saw health care supply chains as crucial to hitting profitability targets and overall revenue projections.

The survey highlights the reasoning behind the increased shift towards supply chain review within the health care industry. Recently, many hospitals have invested millions in order to maximize the efficiency of hospital equipment supplies. The Frost & Sullivan findings confirm that these measures directly relate to the increased recognition of supply chain importance.

The survey introduction noted that supply chains are key to creating a competitive edge in a fast-moving industry. However, hospitals and health care product providers must seek out the relevant allies to maximize success.

The shift has already begun. Many hospitals and health care networks are forming mergers and working to consolidate their supply chains in order to reduce costs.

Of survey respondents, 61 percent believe that cost reduction measures will heavily impact health care companies' ability to respond to any cuts in reimbursement or revenue.

"Larger hospitals are consolidating networks to achieve greater cost savings and improve efficiency. This growing critical mass of providers means greater negotiating clout and thus the ability to wring price concessions from suppliers," stated the report.

Survey respondents recognized the impact these mergers will have on supply chains as a whole. In fact, 83 percent of participants believe mergers and acquisitions would have a direct effect on their supply chains.

Even more interestingly, the same percentage of participants believe that the health care industry and hospitals as a whole require the most supply chain innovation when seeking out increased efficiency.

The importance of managing supply chains
This survey highlights the overall importance of investing in supply chain management for health care professionals. A careful review of suppliers, product and distribution can help facilitate effective cost reduction for any hospital.

In a time when health care leaders are worried about revenue and reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act, supply chain management is an efficient way to reduce company costs and help lean company practices. 

Technology has made this a much easier process, with things like RFID tags that can track inventory, suppliers and providers are provided with an increased visibility of supply chain practices which ultimately allow for better practices in the management of the supply chain.

Apple aims for increased sustainability

Apple has always been a leader when it comes to the world of renewable energy and sustainable sourcing. Last year, Apple hit a major stride when they managed to officially announce that 87 percent of its facilities were powered by renewable energy, explained Sustainable Business in a GreenBiz blog post.

Now, the source reported that Apple has announced a plan to fund the building of solar farms across China to help combat the emissions produced by its supply chain. But when It comes to sites in need of green-friendly practices, the facilities in question are not Apple offices or stores.

In fact, in China alone all of the Apple offices and store locations are proudly powered by strictly renewable energy, noted GreenBiz. The Apple supply chain facilities are a completely different story. These buildings account for a considerable amount of company emissions as many Apple factories use fossil fuels for their power, according to GreenBiz.

In the 2015 sustainability report produced by Apple, the company's manufacturing practices account for 24.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This represents 72 percent of the company's overall global emissions. In contrast, Apple facilities account for 0.4 million metric tons of emissions, only 1 percent of the company total.

The new program by Apple will work to build 200 megawatts of solar farm capacity in order to sustainably power current facilities. The company predicts that these measures will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 million tons by the end of 2020.

"The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition and purpose," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement, according to GreenBiz. "We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort." -Tim Cook, Apple chief executive

A continued mission towards sustainable practices
Apple is not new to the stage of sustainable business practices. The company has been ramping up its efforts in recent years to secure an environmentally-friendly image. In July this year, the company was one of 13 corporations to participate in a $140 billion low-carbon investment, reported Climate Change News

Apple committed to purchasing 100 percent renewable energy and aiming for zero-net deforestation throughout its supply chain.

While the issue of renewable energy is being addressed in a concrete way with this newest measure, deforestation problems were tackled earlier this year.

According to Sustainable Business, Apple partnered up with conservation organizations in both the U.S. and China. In the states, Apple is working alongside the Conservation Fund to preserve a total of 36,000 acres of land in both Maine and North Carolina. These efforts will set out to sustainably manage the forestry in these areas.

In China, Apple has paired up with World Wildlife Fund to ensure that 1 million acres of forest will be responsibly managed. These efforts were a result of Apple seeking to eliminate the potential for irresponsible paper product in Apple packaging, explained Sustainable Business.

Even with these measures in place, ensuring a renewably-sourced supply chain is no small task. Compared to corporate operations, Apple's supply chain eats up to 60 times as much electricity, noted the source.

However, the company is adamant in its pursuit of environmentally friendly supply chain practices. Sustainable Business noted that earlier this year, Apple bought out more than half of California Flats Solar Project total output in order to power U.S. operations.

"We strive to leave the world better than we found it, and that means considering everything we do - from the design of our products to the processes we use to make and recycle them," stated the Apple Environmental Responsibility report. "Our goal is to make not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world."

ISM 2016 has officially been announced! This year the premiere supply chain management conference will be held in Indianapolis from May 16th-18th. The annual conference is anticipated to be full of elevated learning and networking opportunities. Attendees can catch Source One consultants at Booth #528, and everyone is welcomed to stop by and learn more about our strategic sourcing and spend management solutions.

During the ISM 2015 conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Source One’s VP of Operation William Dorn and Senior Project Manager Diego De la Garza were featured speakers, presenting on Nearshoring to Mexico. A growing trend supply chain management for many U.S-based companies, Source One has supported countless companies relocate supply chain operations to Mexico. Leveraging this experience, Dorn and De la Garza spoke on many of the drivers for nearshoring. While in the past Asian countries offered lower manufacturing costs, the landscape is quickly changing. Far East countries, such as China and Korea face strong competition and rising labor costs. Costs aside, relocating business processes closer to home also means shorter lead times and a reduced risk of IP theft.

At ISM 2016, Source One will again be featured speakers, focusing on a chief concern among Procurement Executives: succession planning and preparing for the future of spend management. The roles of traditional strategic sourcing and procurements departments are changing. Best-in-class companies are moving away from reactive and tactical cost saving strategies to more proactive steps to drive best value solutions. At the forefront of this transition are the people who make up these departments: and the talent paradigm is shifting. Companies are looking outside the box and exploring the options within the contingent workforce. Instead of looking for category-specific experts, many companies are choosing to hire talent with foundational skills that can be applied across a wide range of categories. This means, as described by Source One’s VP of Operations William Dorn in his blog; “identifying the talents and skills of individuals, separating that from commodity subject matter expertise and sharing common resources to get the job done.”

Source One offers a number of different options when it comes to procurement staffing. We can help you identify the right candidate with the right skills set to fill your full time or temporary position. Alternatively, our resources can act as an extension to your team, supporting procurement operations, whether you’re in need a full procurement transformation or a benchmark report to know how your operations compare to others in the industry. We have the experience and the resources to help your organization break down siloes and begin working proactively to achieve your corporate goals.
Without a doubt, data analytics is quickly changing the way all companies do business, from the way companies build marketing campaigns to how they stock inventory. Sourcing and procurement departments are no exception. While previously reactive, procurement departments are now beginning to see the proactive benefits data provides by automating processes that once required countless man hours. 

Speaking on the application of data in the world of procurement to La Salle University’s School of Business Students is Source One's Data Scientist, James Patounas. This Wednesday, October 28th, Patounas will be a featured speaker for the university's Business Systems and Analytics Club. Reinforcing the club's mission, the Data Scientist will share his real-world examples of data in action, supporting spend management solutions for strategic sourcing and procurement organizations. Patounas is a regular when it comes to sharing his procurement data know-how, frequently writing blogs exploring the capabilities data provides.
Hospitals look to supply chains to cut costs

Revenue is at risk due to new forms of payment under the Affordable Care Act and hospitals are looking to their supply chains to make up for the loss, reported The Wall Street Journal. Hospitals are a bit behind in their adoption of supply chain technologies but these new waves of decreased revenue are prompting a shift.

Historically, many hospitals have relied on manually counting inventory or eyeballing their stock. This method proved inefficient as many hospitals order too many of some instruments and too few of others, noted the source. There was also a lack of communication between partner hospitals. So, while one facility may have had a surplus of surgical sponges, and another may have had a deficit, there was no system in place to share resources.

RFID technology will help with supply chain management
While not all hospitals are making moves towards supply chain technology, health care networks such as BJC are switching their hospitals' over to radio frequency identification tags, otherwise known as RFID tags.

According to WSJ, these tags track medical devices and can store information regarding new orders and order surpluses. All the information stored in these RFID tags is sent over to a main database that helps organize inventory information.

The source noted that the use of this supply chain technology has resulted in a 23 percent decrease in surplus stock during tests conducted by health systems.

BJC health care network is spending millions investing in these RFID tags but plans to seen millions of dollars in returned inventory costs and ultimately projects the organization they will make its money back in less than 18 months, explained WSJ.

"When something is purchased [in other industries] the whole supply chain knows," said General Manager of Medical Services and Solutions for Cardinal Health Inc. Tony Vahedian to the WSJ. "They are smart, intelligent supply chains driven by data. You don't have that in healthcare."

Inventory ordering is not the only sector of the supply chain where the health care industry faces problems. Expiration is a serious problem with medical supplies.

FierceHealthIT reported that anywhere between 10 and 15 percent of all inventory ends up expiring before use. This totals out to around $5 billion a year in losses for hospitals. RFID tags can help remedy this problem as well, the information transmitted to the tags includes expiration dates and can help health care leaders manage supply waste in this area.

Yesterday, the U.S Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturing Association hosted a half day conference: Mexico as a Strategic Business Partner. The event, divided into two panel discussions, covered many of the complex aspects of doing business in Mexico including, the country’s legal, labor, and fiscal framework, industrial development, supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing.

Source One’s Senior Project Manager, Diego De la Garza was a member of the conference’s second panel leveraging his nearshoring expertise. De la Garza provided an overview of how Source One helps top companies move to supply chain operations to Mexico and the different tools available for identifying suppliers. Among the questions discussed:

  • How is the supplier base in Mexico today different from what it was a few years back?
  • What are the challenges in identifying suppliers in Mexico these days?
  • How should we address those challenges to develop a robust and sustainable supplier base?
Mexico is certainly experiencing a manufacturing renaissance. According to the MAPI Foundation, a research affiliate of Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, Mexico is expected to be the manufacturing growth leader in Latin America through 2016. While suppliers continue to grow and improve, identifying the right supplier to meet specific manufacturing needs them remains challenging. Slight cultural differences when it comes to advertising and engagement are common hang-ups for companies looking to nearshore without third party support. However, Source One’s low cost country sourcing and nearshoring services minimize those complications. Source One has the network connections and vast experience to take the guess work out of the nearshoring process for identifying the right partner, and making the transition simple.

Source One Round Up: October 23,2015 

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

How to (Properly) Buy in China
At first glance, buying in China may seem appealing. However, buying without caution can quickly turn into a sourcing nightmare. Avoid racking up ancillary costs and running into quality issues by checking out these pricing and quality standard considerations provided by Source One's Project Analyst, Matt Chabanon.

10 Things to Know When it Comes to Telecom Contract Renewal
Will there be any savings?- That is just one of the many surface-scratching questions procurement departments ask when looking to renew telecommunication services contracts. Accounting for 3-6% of a company's revenue, telecommunications services can put a lot of pressure on the business to obtain the best pricing in the market. Source One's Telecommunications Project Analyst, Jacquelyn Palentino shares her ten tips when preparing for telecom contract renewals.

How to Become a Preferred Buyer
When it comes to supplier relationship management, there a number of opportunities for driving vendor value post signing on the contract dotted line. Source One's Supplier Relationship Management Director shares his advice on getting the red carpet treatment from vendors, beyond just savings.

Past Events:
Source One's Happy Hour and Networking event was a huge success! Special Thank You to everyone who came out to celebrate our expansion in Chicago!

UnimarketNow 2015: Earlier this week Source One attended Unimarket Now's Fifth Annual User Conference! Among the highlights was guest speaker Howard Teibel, speaking on effective change management. Source One also joined the conference agenda. Senior Project Manager Diego De la Garza shared with the audience Source One's robust service offering, in addition to moderating the Knowledge Sharing Roundtable.

Mexico as a Strategic Business Partner:
On Oct 22, the U.S Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturing Association hosted a half day conference: Mexico as a Strategic Business Partner, providing insights into the complexities of doing business in Mexico. Among the panel members was Source One’s Senior Project Manager and Mexico sourcing pundit, Diego De la Garza. De la Garza shaed his knowledge into how the manufacturing landscape has changed and offered tips for navigating common challenges.

Upcoming Events:

La Salle University: Wednesday, October, 28th, Source One's Data Scientist, James Patounas will be speaking to La Salle University's School of Business students. Patounas will provide students with real-world examples of data analytics in application in Procurement and Spend Management business functions.

Procurement Excellence 2016: On October 29th Source One looks forward to attending Corporate United's networking and thought leadership event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

ProcureCon Pharma 2015: Check out Joseph Payne, Source One's VP of professional Services, presenting: Breaking the Procurement Outsourcing Mold - an innovation spotlight.

Increased holiday demand spurs a wave of new hires

Wal-Mart and Amazon have both announced significant numbers of seasonal hires in anticipation of the 2015 holiday season, reported MarketWatch.

Wal-Mart released a statement in mid-September that indicated the company will be hiring 60,000 seasonal workers. This is the same number of hires the retailer recruited during the 2014 holiday season.

In a new move by the company, Wal-Mart is presenting current workers with the opportunity to work more hours during the months of November and December. In previous years, Wal-Mart has not allowed pre-existing employees to tack on additional hours at their choice during seasonal spikes.

In addition to sales personnel, Wal-Mart will be bringing additional department managers to over 3,500 stores in order to deal with the significant increase in online orders with in-store pickups.

Amazon stands alone in increased hires
Where Wal-Mart has made the decision to keep a steady rate of seasonal hires, Amazon recently announced it is looking to hire 25 percent more temporary staffers for warehouse jobs over the coming months, noted MarketWatch.

This increase in hires has surpassed Amazon's main competitors Target, Macy's and Wal-Mart. The exact number of new Amazon workers in 2015 will be 100,000 compared to 80,000 additional hires in 2014.

In addition to an increase in workers Amazon has been hurriedly creating warehouse and distribution centers in anticipation of holiday ordering levels. The company is aiming to speed up overall delivery times while simultaneously lowering shipping costs to consumers.

Why hire more?
These new hires by both companies are a smart move considering the predictions for holiday retail sales in 2015. The National Retail Foundation projects that November and December retail sales will increase to $630.5 billion, showing an overall solid uptick of 3.7 percent. These numbers exclude some revenue sources typically included in retail reports such as the auto, gas and restaurant industries.

In total the 2015 holiday sales are set to account for 19 percent of the $3.2 trillion in annuals sales from the retail industry. Ecommerce sales are expected to see a significant increase this season as well. NRF projects that online purchases will increase to as much as $105 billion.

"Price, value and even timing will all play a role in how, when, where and why people shop over the holiday season. Retailers will be competitive not only on price, but on digital initiatives, store hours, product offerings and much more," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.

Supply chain management will be key during this holiday season. Marketers and sales reps within individual businesses need to keep a clear and open line of communication with the company's supply chain throughout the entirety of November and December.

Discrepancies in strategy between the two departments can result in mistakes with order fulfillment or overall inventory management, among other things.

Retailers should guarantee that all the necessary parties are equipped to handle what is sure to be an overall successful holiday season.

Wednesday concluded Unimarket Now!’s Fifth Annual User Conference. The three day event was overall motivational and informative. Among the highlights was opening presenter Howard Teibel, expert in change management and leadership training and president of Teibel Inc, speaking on managing organizational change. If there’s one thing that’s constant; it’s change. And while we all experience it both professionally and personally, some are more open and ready for change than others. In his presentation, Teibel explained how to motivate those who are resistant to change and how to approach varying levels of engagement. He states: “Change is everywhere. As a leader in your institution, you must know how to navigate change in order to improve all aspects of you work and personal life.”

The three day conference was marked with a number of informative sessions from ranging from supplier perspectives panels to e-procurement discussions. Source One also joined the event agenda. Latin America strategic sourcing pundit, Diego De La Garza shared with the audience Source One’s procurement consulting service offering. In addition, De la Garza moderated the Knowledge Sharing Roundtable, discussing sourcing strategies along with contract and change management.

The Procurement professionals in attendance also had the pleasure of an evening cruise aboard the Mystic Blue, flanked by the gorgeous Chicago skyline.
Today, Source One’s Latin America sourcing liaison, Diego De la Garza joins other members of the U.S Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association for a half day conference: Mexico as a Strategic Business Partner. Experiencing a manufacturing renaissance, the recent growth in manufacturing presents significant opportunities for U.S based companies seeking to near shore supply chain operations.

Representing Source One, De le Garza will share his insights during the conference’s second panel titled: Mexico’s Industrial Development: Supply Chain, Logistics, & Manufacturing. While many companies are eager to move manufacturing to Mexico, many are unprepared for the challenges in identifying and engaging suppliers. De la Garza will share his near shoring lessons learned, as well as how Source One has helped clients find the right manufacturing partner.
The Cubs are no longer in the running for the World Series - but that doesn't mean you don't have reason to celebrate in Chi-town!  Tonight, we welcome Procurement and Strategic Sourcing Practitioners in the Chicagoland area to join us in River North for a networking event and happy hour.  Industry leaders such as MRA Global Sourcing, BravoSolution will be there with Source One to celebrate the procurement consulting firm's expansion in Chicago.  

These are interesting times for the profession - with a growing emphasis on Procurement demonstrating its value to the corporate organization, and adapting to new support needs. Source One is providing drinks, appetizers and a venue to commiserate and celebrate the next chapter of the profession. 

Interested? Send an email to CBoyle@sourceoneinc.com to request the details. 
Four tips for improved supply chain management

Supply chains are crucial to any business, big or small. Unfortunately, supply chain management is often a function that mid-sized companies overlook or perhaps assume will take care of itself.

According to Demand Media contributor Stan Mack, when it comes to the management of supply chains, two things are of the utmost importance: speed and efficiency. All companies must strike a distinct balance between the two criterions. Speed is key for customer satisfaction. Consumers value quick delivery. However, the author noted that while speed is significant you cannot forget the importance of cost to your overall business.

A good supply chain allows cheap products to be delivered in a reasonably timely manner while maintaining a sufficient level of quality. Supply chain management can help with cost reduction, customer satisfaction and quality of product.

Tips for improved supply chain management
There are a lot or risks and rewards in the world of supply chains. An area that can affect so many key aspects of your business is not something that should be taken lightly. Procurement services can be a great all-encompassing resource to help improve weak sections in a company's supply chain. However, sometimes businesses need to self-repair supply chain problems. So, here are some of our best tips for the betterment of your business' supply chain management.

1. Embrace the cloud: CIO contributor Jennifer Lonoff Schiff points to the utility of embracing new technologies that can improve your company's overall efficiency. Industry CSO Kurt Cavano told the author that cloud systems allow for real-time tracking of inventory, sales and shipping all under one umbrella. This can help eliminate gaps in production and demand by allowing businesses to track trends and patterns in buying habits and product popularity.

2. Tweak your shipping system: Shipping is a key point in the supply chain as ecommerce continues to gain popularity. Ensure your company has systems in place to deal with lost or late shipments as well as a way to track goods en route to consumers. Taking the time to review and improve these structures on your end and your distribution center's end can save time for you and improve overall customer satisfaction.

3. Align your marketing and supply chain teams: Schiff also noted that importance of ensuring your marketing and supply chain leaders are on the same page. When marketing runs promotions, are your distributors and manufacturers notified in advance? If not, they should be. The supply chain team needs to work with the marketing team to determine the potential increase in inventory and stock up accordingly, consultancy SVP Pat Sullivan told Schiff.

4. Do your research: When it comes to global sourcing, a lot of factors can play into the successes and failures of a supply chain. Keep a close eye on supplier countries. Do any of your distributors exist in countries with turbulent political climates? Are there natural disasters approaching these regions? Be sure to prepare your company ahead of time for these potential problems. If possible, try to avoid these problems altogether by implementing a strategic sourcing plan. 

The necessity of protecting supply chains after natural disasters

South Carolina has been hit hard due to extreme rainfall and historic flooding this fall. The farming industry in particular has been impacted, seeing crops such as peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes and poultry suffer due to water damage.

According to a recent study by Nature Climate Change, this extreme weather is going to increasingly become the norm thanks to climate change. Radical weather including excessive rainfall and significant heat waves will become a much more regular occurrence in the coming years.

Climate change rears its head
The study found that while heat extremes were a once in every 1,000 day occurrence in the past, they are now occurring as much as five times more often. Additionally, if the rise in global warming persists at the current rate, there will be 60 percent more cases of extreme rain across the globe.

"It's a reality of doing business, it's a reality of life for all of us," Cynthia McHale, director of insurance at the sustainability nonprofit Ceres, told The Huffington Post. "We're in for a lot of rough weather, among other things."

Supply chains and their management heads need to properly prepare for the impact this extreme weather could potentially have on varying industries.

Chile serves as an example
Governments are already taking precautionary measures. In Chile, congress has approved a bill that dictates regulations within the fishing industry set to deal with the effects of natural disasters, reported The Fish Site. In the past, ships and boats have faced total destruction due to storms, which has essentially halted fish supplies.

This new bill will assure that fishermen and relevant repair people have time and resources for the speedy rebuilding of necessary equipment.

Raul Sunico, the Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, pointed to natural disasters when expressing his support of this bill.

"In the last five years the fishing industry has been hit by three major natural disasters in which hundreds of fishermen have lost their tools so this project will be a huge help to support recovery ... but also creates permanent rules to address future situations of this kind."

Governments should work together with supply chain management heads to enact similar pieces of legislation that protect industries that are vital to their national economies. Having preventative measures in place before disaster strikes can result in increased efficiency in recovery efforts and potential cost reduction.

The benefits of supply chain transparency

In 2010 California took the lead in supply chain transparency with The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. The law set out to provide consumers with an abundance of information about the efforts and accomplishments companies have made to remove unethical sourcing and labor from their supply chains.

According to a resource guide on the law created by Kamala D. Harris, California's Attorney General, the law came out of a desire for well-informed purchasing choices from California consumers. Previously, companies were less open about where and how their products were sourced. The law does not insist upon sustainable sourcing within supply chains but rather demands that companies are upfront about how their products are created and distributed.

The law requires companies to release information pertaining to five distinct topics.

  • Verification: This requires companies to reveal the extent to which they work to determine and evaluate risks of human trafficking within their supply chains and their verification methods for this process.
  • Audit: Companies must disclose whether or not they audit suppliers to assure they are keeping up with company requirements regarding illegal sourcing and human trafficking.
  • Certification: Businesses are compelled to state whether they require their suppliers to certify that all company materials are free of illegal slavery and trafficking via international and country-specific laws.
  • Internal accountability: This statute ensures that companies reveal whether or not they have a system in place for determining if all relevant employees are following company rules regarding human trafficking.
  • Training: The training topic requires businesses to divulge the existence or lack of a training program for employees involved in supply chain management about how to decrease the risk of unethical sourcing in the chain.

California starts a trend
Back in 2010, California was the only state with a supply chain transparency law in place. However, in recent years these efforts have reverberated across the U.S. and even extended to parts of Europe.

While some companies that base themselves in states or countries without these laws in place may be reluctant to take measures towards transparency, the risks associated with a lack of transparency are considerable.

According to Sustainable Brands, a lack of supply chain transparency can have a negative impact on shareholder confidence, overall consumer loyalty and the general business performance of a company.

With the continued rise of technology it is increasingly hard to hide unethical sourcing from consumers. In a different article from Sustainable Brands, founder of the Tronie Foundation Rani Hong noted the increased push towards sustainable sourcing due to this consumer knowledge.

"In the 21st century with digital transparency - no one can hide any longer. Many more companies are looking at human rights violations. And there's an increase in consumers asking the question - who is making my [products]? WalkFree, a research partner, found that 66 percent of U.K. and U.S. consumers would be willing to switch if they knew a brand were involved with human slavery," said Hong.

The case for transparency
Whether or not its state of operations has laws or guidelines regarding supply chain transparency, companies should recognize that reviewing their current policies can improve many aspects of their business. Moral implications aside, ensuring that there are no forms of illegal or unethical sourcing within a businesses' supply chain can boost overall sales and business image.

In a world of global sourcing and increased international supplier interaction it can be difficult to weed out every form of unethical sourcing. However, it is well worth the resources to give it a try. With consumers consciously seeking out ethical brands for their purchases, the time and effort can come back to your company in the form of increased revenue and customer retention.

U.S. industrial production continues to drop

The Federal Reserve recently announced another month of decreased U.S. industrial production. September numbers show a 0.2 percent decline, according to Reuters. August was no better, with a dip of 0.1 percent in production numbers.

Overall manufacturing output dropped 0.1 percent and mining production saw a full 2 percent reduction. However, the largest decline was in oil and gas well drilling, which dropped 4 percent, despite increased production in July and August, said the source.

The only hope came from the automobile industry. While overall manufacturing did see a drop, the production of motor vehicles and their parts saw a 0.2 percent rise.

The global economy and the strengthening dollar
According to Supply Chain 24/7, this dip in production numbers is no new occurrence. Industrial production in the U.S. has been on the decline since December of last year. While the numbers stayed relatively steady from December through April 2015, an unexpected dip in May production signaled a negative shift.

Reuters cited the dwindling global economy combined with a strong dollar as the core of the problem. Overall, the demand for goods manufactured in the U.S. has slowed due to these two factors and as a result industrial production has taken a hit.

The dramatic dip in oil prices is not helping the situation either. Reuters noted that capital investments in the energy sector have been undermined by these lower prices.

What does it mean?
The commerce department recently reported a smaller than expected rise in retail sales. These retail numbers combined with those of the U.S. industrial production suggest an overall slowdown of growth for the U.S. economy, explained Reuters.

Supply Chain 24/7 contributor Greg Robb believes these numbers pose a bigger problem. Robb calls this extended period of decreased growth a U.S. technical recession.

With the production rates seeing a fairly consistent decline since May, Robb makes a fair point. However, Supply Chain Digest suggests that while the Federal Reserve numbers aren't inaccurate, they have previously painted a much bleaker version of reality.

According to the US Purchasing Managers Index released by the Institute for Supply Chain Management in July 2015, U.S. industrial production is still growing just at a slower rate than in the past.

Neither Robb nor the SCDigest Editorial Staff are wrong here, they are merely viewing the decrease in production numbers through different lenses.

However, for supply management heads and distributors everywhere this means that while there may be a slight decrease in demand, there is no need to panic.

Kia and Fiat announce mass recalls due to safety issues

Kia and Fiat Chrysler both announced major recalls last week due to internal safety issues with specific vehicles. Both companies will begin recall measures in November.

Kia recalls Sorento Crossovers
Sorento Crossover SUVs were the Kia vehicles affected in this latest recall, according to USA Today. The company is set to recall 377,000 Sorentos due to a malfunction in braking features.

According to the recall statement by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, excessive force placed on the Sorento gear shift lever could result in a crack on the brake-shift mechanism. As such, the vehicle could potentially shift out of park without notice.

The problems apply strictly to Sorentos manufactured between October 2009 and January 2013, but are limited to model years between 2011 and 2013, per the statement. The recall is set to begin in late November, as Kia works to notify all affected owners. The cars in question will have their brake-shift interlock mechanisms replaced at the expense of Kia.

Fiat Chrysler recalls more than 1.7 million trucks
Fiat Chrysler has had its hands full with car recalls in 2015, this year alone the company has recalled over 1.7 million vehicles, according to The Associated Press. The problems lie in the air bags and steering systems of the affected cars.

The most recent recall pertains to 2015 Fiat 500L vehicles with a manufacture date ranging between late April of 2015 and early May, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall report.

The report cites problems with the folding of air bags located in the front of the vehicle during manufacturing. This folding malfunction can result in improper airbag deployment or a lack of deployment altogether. The company plans to begin the recall process on November 6 of this year.

Supply management heads at both Fiat and Kia manufacturing warehouses will need to plan sufficiently for this influx of demand regarding affected parts. Additionally, heads of Fiat and Kia will need to overview spend management reports to determine how these new recalls will affect previous budgets going forward.

This blog is brought to you courtesy of Jeanette Jones of Cottrill Research.

Pharma resources are plentiful and cover a broad array of topics. The biggest challenge is knowing where to go, given all the excellent open access and subscription-based resource options available. Provided here are selected, key resources for procurement and supply chain professionals to turn to when researching pharmaceutical issues and topics. 

Background Information
Understanding the Pharmaceutical Value Chain, by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics highlights activities in the pharmaceutical value chain. Country comparisons show the differences between and within markets depending on the type of medicine, channel of distribution, reimbursement regulation, or geographic region.

Supplier Identification
CMOCRO is a free global search tool that helps in finding contract research or manufacturing organizations. Its tag line is "Pharmaceutical Supplier Search Made Easy." You can search by technical capabilities, research service, facility status, location and more. There are 16 supplier categories including API/Biologics/Reagents, Formulation/Manufacturing, Discovery/Preclinical, to name a few. Each category is then broken down into additional detailed subcategories There is keyword search capability and you can compare up to 20 suppliers side by side via an easy to view chart.

Other directories to consider are Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Resource Directory and ThomasNet.com Pharmaceuticals Suppliers.

Market Intelligence
Pharma & Medtech Business Intelligence and Scrip Intelligence are respected fee-based resources for news and market intelligence and analysis. Pharma & MedTech Business Intelligence is owned by Informa. Perhaps the most well known offering is The Pink Sheet, which provides in-depth analysis on regulatory agencies policy developments; reimbursements trends; M&A activities; and provides updates on R&D, drug development and product approvals, and compliance and manufacturing issues. Other key publications include The Gold Sheet (U.S. and international pharmaceutical manufacturing QA/QC requirements), The Tan Sheet (news and analysis of the nonprescription pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries), and IN VIVO (biopharma, medtech, and diagnostics industries strategic business coverage).

Scrip Intelligence is a subscription-based pharmaceutical news and market analysis resource that covers these topic areas: Therapy Sector, Generics, Business, Policy & Regulation, and Research & Development. Key products and services in the subscription include 24/7 full access to intelligence content; daily email alerts; Ask the Analyst service; weekly key event round-ups; access to over 130 healthcare SCRIP Insights reports; and SCRIP Market Data Pharmaceutical Companies League tables (ranking of the world’s leading pharma companies by sales, R&D, spend, operating profit and more).

Other resources for consideration in the pharma market intelligence space are BioCentury, FirstWord Pharma, and EP Vantage.

Red Book, a subscription-based publication by Truven Health Analytics, provides comparisons of drug and non-drug items and lists average wholesale price (awp) for brand name and generic drugs. The International Drug Price Indicator Guide, which is open access, provides prices from pharmaceutical suppliers, international development organizations, and government agencies. The Guide allows you to search for drugs via name, letter, therapeutic class.

Regulatory Resources
Pharmaceutical companies operate in highly regulated environments. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the supervision and regulation of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (among other products) in the United States. Resource sections of interest on FDA's website include Search Drugs@FDA, for FDA approved drug products; Orange Book, which updates new generic approvals daily; and National Drug Code Directory, which is "a current list of all drugs manufactured, prepared, propagated, compounded, or processed by it for commercial distribution." For international regulatory bodies, GlobalEdge's Pharmaceuticals: Regulatory Agencies and PharmaWeb's Government and Regulatory Bodies directories are both comprehensive in coverage.

Professional Associations
Professional associations are important providers of market and industry information and are the entities that develop and enforce industry standards. Key pharma associations include European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), Distribution Management Association (HDMA),
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association.

Industry News Publications
Publications, either in print format or available online, are essential sources for staying on top of developments in your area of interest. Most publications have an accompanying website where (open access) daily updates are posted. You can access Pharmaceutical Business Review for the latest news and insight for production and manufacturing, contract research and services, drug research, automation, regulatory affairs, and packaging sectors. Pharmaceutical Executive covers strategy, marketing, sales, R&D, regulations, finance, meetings and IT. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing focuses on drug scale up, manufacturing and packaging. Pharmaceutical Technology provides features on process development and manufacturing, formulation, drug delivery, ingredients, regulation, analytics, packaging, supply-chain, and outsourcing. Drug Discovery & Development covers technologies, tools, and business/regulatory strategies drug research and development productivity. Med Ad News/PharmaLive provides "top lists'" and special features covering the areas of business, marketing, therapeutics, FDA, FTC, and R&D. And last, FiercePharma is a free daily monitor focusing on pharmaceutical company news and the market development of FDA approved products.
Three tips for a successful procurement transformation
Leaders in procurement met at the 2015 CIPS Annual Conference to conduct a panel regarding successful procurement transformation, Supply Management reported. Panel members had a wide range of advice for those in attendance, including the necessity of clear communication regarding the project's overall vision and the importance of equipping everyone involved in the transformation with the right tools.
Members of this year's panel aren't the only ones with insight into how best to execute a successful transformation for your company's procurement strategy. Here are our top three tips:
1. Step back: When looking at procurement transformation it is best to view the commitment as a marriage opposed to a dinner date. The road to success will be long and detailed, so take a deep breath before you dive in. It is important to use our first tip before the process even begins: Take a step back and make a game plan. Evaluate your entire procurement process in the past: Where can you improve? How can you do it? What are your realistic goals? Spend Matters contributor Nancy Clinton sees this as taking a holistic view and suggested and evaluation of your overall metrics can help serve as a road map for your intended journey.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate!: The panel members touched on this key point at the CIPS Conference because this is the most important tip of all. Communication needs to exist on a bunch of different levels. One panel member saw procurement transformation as a political campaign. In order to be successful, company members from top to bottom need to be convinced that these drastic changes are a great idea. As a leader, you must communicate the long-term benefits of these shifts. The true indicator of success in procurement transformations is not the implementation but rather the level to which these changes become regulated readily and the results they create.
3. Keep your pace: At risk of repeating ourselves, it is important to stress that procurement transformations are a long process with many steps and subsequently many victories and failures. It is important to maintain a steady pace in your road to transformation and to celebrate the wins without losing site of your overarching goals. Clinton suggested maintaining a balanced level of transparency throughout the process as a means of change management. Let those involved know how much has been accomplished, how much needs to be done and what the strategies are to ensure an even level of understanding across the board.