Whether it’s the number of cents in a quarter, the number of years in a silver marriage, or the crucial number of electoral votes dividing the 2000 Gore vs. Bush election, 25 is a magic number. This year, Source One honors the magic number as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

The Sociocultural Category

25. The Elvis Stamp – In 1992, during an era where snail mail and direct mail marketing was overtly popular, the U.S. Post Office decided to place Elvis Presley on their next commemorative stamp, yet needed the American people’s vote to determine which image of Presley to use. By 1993, the stamp of Young Elvis was released, and since then, remains the most sold stamp of all time!

24. The First Car GPS – In 1992, Toyota became the first car manufacturer to incorporate voice-automated GPS navigation into their model, the Toyota Celsior. By the early 2000s, Toyota retired the Celsior, shifting focus to expand the Lexus LS, their luxury brand model that continued to utilize the GPS system. Today, GPS remains a common feature in most modern vehicles.

23. Mall of America – Conceptualized by the Triple Five Group during the 1980s, by August of 1992, Mall of America officially opened its doors to the public in Bloomington, Minnesota. As the largest mall in America – complete with over 520 stores, along with an amusement park – the mall remains one of the most popular, receiving over 42 million visitors annually (that’s 8 times the size of Minnesota’s population!)

22. The Dream Team – Hailed by many as “the greatest sports team ever assembled,” the dream team was the first basketball team to compete in the 1992 Olympics featuring active NBA players, such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, among other notable players. The Dream Team went onto win the gold in the Barcelona games, averaging a 44-point lead among their competitors.

21. USDA Food Pyramid – In 1992, the USDA released the first-ever food pyramid to guide consumers’ food choices. However, the pyramid’s release came with controversy – after grains, meats, and dairy special interest groups lobbied the USDA, the initial pyramid featuring vegetables/fruits as the primary food to consume was replaced with a new pyramid giving greater credence to these industries. Today, the 1992 food pyramid is retired, replaced by the “MyPlate” food guide.   

The Global Political-Economic Category

20.  Dissolution of Yugoslavia – Following continued political oppression and violence against different ethnic groups in Yugoslavia, 1992 saw the continued gradual demise of Yugoslavia, and the rise of new, sovereign states and territories, such as the Republic of Kosovo and Bosnia. Throughout the 1990s, unrest would continue in the Balkans until the early 2000s.

19.  End of Apartheid – In 1992, several preliminary measures are taken to oversee the end of apartheid (discriminatory race laws) in South Africa. At the forefront of this movement is Nelson Mandela, who later becomes President of South Africa in 1994, officially ending the era of apartheid.

18. NAFTA – Officially known as the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA is an economic contract between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico that eliminates trade barriers between these countries to promote free trade. After being signed in 1992, coming into force in 1994, analysts theorize Mexico benefits the most from NAFTA, the U.S. slightly, while Canada endures neither benefits nor losses. 

17. End of the Cold War – With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, by February 1992, then-Presidents George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin formally recognized an end to the Cold War with a joint statement. The two promised a new era of social, political, and economic friendship between the United States and Russia.

16. Election of Bill Clinton – In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected 42nd President of the United States, defeating previous President George H.W. Bush and third-party candidate, Ross Perot. Clinton’s win is often attributed to Ross Perot’s third party candidacy, which decisively split conservatives between Perot’s campaign and Bush’s campaign.

The Technology & Science Category

15. IBM’s Thinkpad – Inspired by their paper notepads bearing the slogan “Think,” IBM heavily marketed their Thinkpad laptop with pre-launch conferences and experimental software for clients, going as far to field-test the Thinkpad with archaeologists stationed in the Egyptian city, Leontopolis. Thinkpad became one of IBM’s more successful products, later becoming noteworthy for featuring one of the first-ever pointing sticks (the small red button in the middle of the keyboard that controls the mouse.)

14. Rise of the CD – Designed as a successor to records, compact disks (CDs) launched in 1982, yet remained undersold against their musical competitor, cassette tapes, for the next ten year. Despite CDs’ versatile design enabling the accommodation of markets beyond music, CDs did not increase in popularity until a 1992 agreement between Sony and Phillips that led to unified CD designs compatible with either company’s hardware.

13. JPEG File Format – Following the development of the World Wide Web, technology designers realized the need to send image files between early computer technologies. Thus, in 1986, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) arose, purposed with creating a file format that would compress images in a way compatible for easy download and storage. By September 1992, the group published the JPEG file format.

12. First Photo Published Online – Following the commercial launch of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners Lee in 1991, and the launch of JPEG in 1992, that same year, Lee published the first-ever online photo. The photo featured the Les Horribles Cernettes, a girl-band who sang parody songs, and who were also friends with Lee.

11. First Text Message – During a 1992 Christmas party, a 20-something-year-old engineer by the name of Neil Papworth connected his computer to cellular provider Vodafone’s GSM network. Through this connection, Papworth transmitted a text to the 901 mobile phone of Richard Jarvis, Vodafone’s director at the time. The message’s contents? “Merry Christmas.”

The Financial & Business Category

10. The Rise in Biotech – Riding on the coattails of the technology-science category, is the rise in the number of biotech companies. In 1992, a number of biotech companies manufacturing novel pharmaceuticals to combat disease went public. In turn, today, this industry is a multimillion dollar business based around strategic and tactical investments.

9. The Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act & the Small Business Technology Transfer Act – Signed into law in 1992, both acts work together to allow small businesses to receive federal aid from government agencies with large research and development budgets. This aid is then used by small businesses to collaborate with research institutions to produce technologies with commercial potential.

8. Small Business Credit and Business Opportunity Enhancement Act – Also passed in 1992, this particular Act amended an earlier bill, this time providing greater loan support for small businesses while also assisting small businesses that participated in federal procurement practices, and more.

7. The GATT, U.S. Protectionism, and the WTO – As the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades phased out by the mid-1990’s (replaced in ’94 by the World Trade Organization), in 1992, a study conducted by GATT found a rise in the number of complaints that the U.S. was dumping prices to protect home industries.

6. The Rise in Outsourcing – A practice in conflict with the U.S.’s 1992 relative protectionism, outsourcing, or contracting certain services to other parties out of the office, grew in popularity by the mid-1990s due to its ability to lower costs. As famous management consultant, Peter Drucker, advised, “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!”

The Consulting & Sourcing Category

5. Green Procurement & Energy Star – With growing awareness of green procurement (the implementation of environmentally-friendly resources in business activities) by 1992, the EPA & DOE established Energy Star, a program encouraging businesses to use energy efficient services and products. Today, procurement practices that subscribe to Energy Star green procurement guidelines are awarded the Energy Star label, and frequently reduce their business costs.

3. R/3 – During the summer of ’92, Germany software company SAP released their software R/3, a new version of their old software, R/2. SAP created R/3 to readily coordinate common procurement business resources and practices, such as production planning, billing, order fulfillment, and more, later paving the way for cloud-based technologies pertinent to the strategic sourcing industry.

3. The Rise of Oracle Corporation – Despite its formation in the 1980s, Oracle underwent a period of growth and change throughout the ‘90s that led to its rise as an IT conglomerate. For instance, in 1992, Oracle began producing full application implementation methodology in their software, paving the way for their database management systems utilized in various procurement practices and consultation firms.

2. The Rise of Cisco – Like Oracle, Cisco arose in the ’80s and grew in the ‘90s. Starting in 1992, Cisco began acquiring Ethernet switching companies, one of their predominant business ventures until technology breakthroughs and innovations in the 2000s. Today, Cisco supports a wide-range of technologies and software relevant to strategic sourcing businesses, including fog-based computing.

1. Source One Management Services– Established in 1992, from Day 1, Source One has led by example in defining best-in-class procurement and consultation practices. Today, Source One’s expertise persists in areas such as e-sourcing (whyabe.com), spend analysis (spendconsultant.com), spend management (Managing Indirect Spend), providing proposals from leading thought experts (strategicsourceror.com), and more. 
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