March 2019

Monthly Round Up: March 2019

Gain new Supply Management insights with these highlights from the last month. Want a monthly recap sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Taking a contract-centric approach to the strategic sourcing process doesn't have to mean implementing an advanced CRM solution. Oftentimes, it's as simple as bringing your Procurement and Legal teams closer together. Where to start? Bring Procurement up to speed with these essential contracting terms.

Colorado Takes a Major Step Toward Resolving Trucker Shortage
Colorado is going to somewhat creative lengths to address the prevailing truck driver shortage. The Centennial State's Governor, Jared Pollis,  recently signed new legislation that will allow individuals as young as 18 years old to drive trucks across state lines. Other states may soon follow suit.

Tania Seary, Founder of Procurious, sits down with the Strategic Sourceror to discuss the evolving role and responsibilities of Procurement. She suggests that Procurement is often its own worst enemy when it comes to accepting a seat at the executive table. She also calls for a far more holistic understanding of the function.

Source One Senior Analyst Jennifer Engel encourages Procurement to change the way it thinks about so-called 'soft savings.' There's nothing soft, she suggests, about the impact cycle time reduction or supplier-led innovation can bring a Procurement organization. Read to learn more about redefining your metrics and taking a more holistic view of the Procurement function.

Several years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos outlined ambitious plans to introduce a drone-based delivery service. This blog takes a look at the still-in-progress project. What do we know? What's still up in the air? How soon will Bezos' plans become a reality? Are competitors starting to outpace the eCommerce giant? Read to find out.

Did you know March is National Procurement Month? That's right, in addition to peanuts, noodles, sauce, and Irish-American heritage, Procurement gets a moment in the spotlight as Q1 draws to a close.

While everyone at Source One advocates for the function's value all year round, now is the perfect time to reflect on what it is we love about our work. The Strategic Sourceror asked several Source One team members why they chose a career in Procurement.

Their answers paint a picture of what an exciting and ever-changing world the Procurement space is. Check them out:

Why Procurement? 

My background was in Apparel Design and although I was able to let my creative mind soar, it was somewhat limited to a specific clientele, industry, and product offering.  Procurement allowed me to take a more holistic approach in understanding business operations and the demands of both my customers and their customers across hundreds of categories andindustries.  I love being able to learn about multiple products and services and work with different faces all the time.  Every engagement is so unique as well even when revisiting the same product or supplier team.  Procurement has given me a chance to be an entrepreneur who brings a strategic approach to how companies engage with their suppliers while encouraging end users to be more efficient and cost conscious in how they use the products and services required to running their business.     

I started working in Procurement to build new skills and gain exposure to more areas of Corcentric's service offering. It's an exciting field where every day and every engagement brings something different.

- Amber DiCarlo, Analyst

Procurement brings global best practices together. One common objective for any company is to generate value, and procurement starts by optimizing costs and reporting on any savings achieved. Procurement delivers tangible benefits that can offer companies achievable results. Those laurels rests on procurement’s ability to understand the fundamentals of not just a business, but multiple businesses. This culminates in the result-driven process that procurement operates. That's what made me want to work in procurement.

- Michael Vu, Analyst 

Why Not? 

Want to learn to love Procurement? Reach out to Source One's team to start driving the function into its next strategic era.

"To me," says Charlotte de Brabandt, "the definition of a true leader is someone who identifies talented professionals and pushes them. This leader should push them until the young talent is even better than the leader themselves." She goes on to suggest that this is the type of leader she aspires to be.

She's well on her way.

Earning ISM's Megawatt Rising Star award and accepting a spot on the organization's Thought Leadership Council, she's distinguished herself as a role model for the next generation of Procurement professionals.

Recently, she joined Gravitas Detroit Founder and ExecIn moderator, Jan Griffiths on the Source One Podcast. Together, they advocate for a new kind of leadership and discuss the ways Procurement can adapt itself to empower young professionals in the years to come.

Adaptation and Evolution

Griffiths and de Brabandt agree that the benefits of a great mentor are limitless. de Brabandt recalls the influence of her father who encouraged her to define and pursue a decade's worth of goals at a young age. Mapping out her aspirations at age 10 instilled a sense of ambition and a feeling of purpose that has driven de Brabandt throughout the years since.

Purpose became a recurring theme throughout the conversation.

Introducing this reason for being, Griffiths suggests, is an essential part of becoming a truly inspirational leader. To her mind, it's what separates true inspirational leaders from run-of-the-mill managers.

"When I speak to people who are just getting started in their careers," she says, "I often ask - 'what's the most important thing that a boss can do for you?'" She gets one answer more often than any other. "They say talk to me, spend time with me, make me feel like I matter and I'm connected to something."

More than anything, Millennials and members of Generation Z are eager to serve a higher purpose and do something that really matters to them. While there's still a lot of work to do, Griffiths remarks that more and more organizations are beginning to recognize the value of purpose.

True leaders are starting to consult with their teams, gather feedback, and work alongside them to drive purposeful initiatives.

Changing Priorities

de Brabant believes that purpose will only grow more important as young professionals evolve into leadership roles. Currently, millennials face a fair amount of push-back as they look to exert control and drive initiatives. Their priorities are not typically aligned with those of more senior professionals in Supply Management. 

She identifies feedback, flexibility, clarity and inspiration as the must-haves for both rising millennials  and the members of Generation Z and Alpha who'll follow them into the professional world. While it will undoubtedly prove challenging for many leaders to abandon the old way of doing things, de Brabandt encourages leaders to look at the transition as a valuable opportunity. It's a chance, she suggests, to reflect and recommit themselves to purposeful

It's clear these priorities will need to change sooner rather than later. Though we tend to look at cross-generational friction and collaboration from the millennial perspective, the next generation is already flooding the workforce. They're more diverse, more tech savvy, and more ambitious than any group before them. Empowering them could be as simple as starting a conversation.

"The next transformation," de Brabandt concludes, "will flourish with good communication and the ability to build relationships. Leaders need to establish a sharing community and give their teams the sense that they belong to a family."

Subscribe on iTunes today to listen to the first half of the conversation. Don't forget to check back in next week for the conclusion.

March 29, 2019

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

New Podcast:
Empowering the Next Generation in Procurement
Jan Griffiths joins the podcast once again to advocate for new, more purpose-driven style of leadership. This time around, she's joined by ISM Megawatt Rising Star Charlotte de Brabandt. de Brabandt provides a millennial's perspective on Procurement's talent question and discusses key milestones in her professional development. Both discuss the steps businesses should take to empower and inspire emerging professionals.

New Blogs:
Your Definition of Spend Under Management is Wrong
Benjamin Duffy, Future of Sourcing, 3/23/2019
Our own Senior Analyst, Benjamin Duffy, breaks down and defines a term commonly misused by many procurement professionals. Visit his feature on Future of Sourcing for more about what 'spend under management' is NOT and how to identify it in your organization through a 'strategic spend management' lens.

The Key Reasons Spend Analyses Fail (that Often Goes Overlooked)
Brian Seipel, Sourcing Innovation, 3/26/2019
Procurement consultant, Brian Seipel, guest writes at Sourcing Innovation about how to better understand your organization's spend. If you spend time in your organization on spend analyses but still fail at strategic sourcing, visit Seipel's guest blog where he'll walk you through many steps in the process that you may be overlooking like back-end processes and scoping.

Upcoming Events:

ISM 2019 | April 7 -10 | Houston, TX
Less than a month until ISM 2019, Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Annual Conference, sponsored by Source One! Mix, mingle and learn from thought leaders and your peers in the Supply Chain industry. Get engaged in multiple breakout sessions and discover new solutions that are available with over 100 leading industry suppliers featured at the event.

AOTMP 2019 Conference | April 7-11 | Orlando, FL
Members of Source One's IT and Telecom Procurement team will join some of the best minds in the Telecom/Mobility/Information Technology Industry. We'll melt minds with VPs, Directors, Executives, and Senior Managers from major IT companies like Dell and SAP.

ExecIn | April 8 - 9 | Houston, TX
The premier Supply Chain leadership experience is less than a month away! An exclusive sub-conference for C-suite Supply Chain professionals taking place the second and third days of ISM2019. This event entails elite keynote speakers, collaborative and thought-provoking discussions and insights on the relevant industry topics. If you have interest in this invite-only event be sure to reach out to Carole Boyle at

APICS Dinner - Chicago | April 18 | Chicago, IL
Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst, Jennifer Engel, will be speaking at an APICS Dinner in Chicago about the importance of End-to-End Supplier Relationship management and how to Drive Value through Segmentation. Engel is trusted by her clients to deliver transofrmative supply management initiatives and she will share her expertise in a presentation that advocates for SRM programs and provides attendees with insights to gain visibility, and establish a more collaborative supplier network.

A tomato fight is brewing between two of the world's largest producers of the all-purpose fruit, a battle which may lead to a disrupted supply chain for grocers and restaurant owners who sell them by the dozens to customers.

The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced it intends to introduce tariffs on Mexico-grown tomatoes, in an apparent reversal of an agreement the neighboring nations have maintained for more than 20 years, The Wall Street Journal reported. Back in 1996, U.S. government officials penned a deal assuring Mexico it would not apply anti-dumping tariffs to tomatoes originating from there, so long as the country's producers agreed to sell their harvest at market value. The agreement has been renewed several times since then, which covers fresh and chilled tomatoes but excludes tomatoes used for processing purposes.

Florida lawmakers, interest groups at the forefront
However, farming interests groups within the U.S. - led by the Florida Tomato Exchange - have spoken out against the agreement, stating local farmers have gotten a raw deal. Concurring with the Florida Tomato Committee was Senator Marco Rubio, who, along with the Sunshine State Rep. Ted Yoho, introduced a bill in February that sought the pact's end.

"Fairly traded imports can and do enrich Americans' lives, but unfair trade practices can eviscerate the jobs and production that define dignified livelihoods and sustain our communities," Rubio explained in a press release. "The U.S. tomato industry has been the canary in the coal mine for domestic fruit and vegetable production over the last three decades. Immediately terminating the suspension agreement will reinvigorate the anti-dumping investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico and send the message that the U.S. will ensure vigilant enforcement of our existing trade laws and trade agreements."

Dumping, as it's more colloquially known, refers to international trade practices that seeks to monopolize a certain export by selling goods well below market value. This incentivizes consumers to buy more from the company that's selling at rock-bottom prices, thus cornering the market by reducing competition.
"Tariffs could be introduced as early as May 7."
What happens next?
Should an alternative agreement not be installed within the next 90 days, tariffs could be introduced as early as May 7, the Journal reported. Organizations like the Border Trade Alliance and Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, staunch opponents to the Commerce Department's decision, are hopeful that a new deal will be ironed out. In a statement, the FPAA said American consumers will feel the pinch, given many tomatoes sold in grocery produce sections derive from Mexico.

"Even a 5 percent reduction in supplies of Mexican tomatoes would result in consumers paying up to 25 cents more per pound at supermarkets, or up to $790 million more per year for tomatoes," according to a statement obtained by Supply Chain Dive from the FPAA board of directors.

While technically a fruit, tomatoes are the second-most consumed vegetable in America by volume, behind potatoes, based on data collected by the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. In 2017, the average American consumed 20 pounds worth of fresh tomatoes and 73 pounds of the processed variety, such as marinara sauce, paste or tomato soup.
Business giants like Amazon and Uber have yet to bring their drone-based plans to fruition. While we're still probably years away from flying deliveries, drones have made a real impact elsewhere. In the world of sustainability and green supply management, they've helped take ambitious initiatives to the skies.

Check out a few sustainable drone applications below.

The following guest blog comes to us from Christina Morrison of

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) has become ubiquitous since it rose to prominence in the 1970s. Businesses in every corner of the market—from agriculture to transportation—have rapidly adopted RFID technology to help identify and track goods, collect tolls, take payments and even time runners crossing the finish line at marathons. The versatility of this impressive tech has experts predicting that it will explode into a $40.5 billion market by the year 2025. Since it’s only expected to grow, business owners need to embrace it before they’re left in the dust.

Some Great Uses for RFID in Small Businesses

When you think of RFID, you probably picture complex systems in big company fulfillment centers and warehouses, but the technology is actually more accessible, affordable and easy to integrate than you might expect, even on a relatively small scale. And this is awesome news for the savvy small business entrepreneur because adopting the tech can help you scale your business and grow your profit. Some of the best supply chain related small business RFID applications include:

       Inventory management and accuracy
       Asset and material tracking
       Tracking in- and outgoing shipments
       Employee badges, access and security
       Production tracking and assembly
       Anti-theft and anti-shrinkage efforts
       Automated procurement and purchasing

Why It’s Worth Adopting

We already know that RFID, coupled with the appropriate supply chain software, can revolutionize the way you do many of your day-to-day tasks, but is it revolutionary for the better? There are many measurable benefits to adopting RFID that can help you optimize the supply chain, protect your inventory and boost your business.

    It Increases Inventory Accuracy—Keeping an accurate inventory is key to ensuring that customers are happy and your supply chain is efficient. RFID technology is one of the top technologies for inventorying, with studies showing that the tech increases inventory accuracy from anywhere between 65 and 95 percent. Inventory mistakes become almost entirely nonexistent when you pair your RFID system with a good materials management software. Accurate inventorying helps boost customer satisfaction and supports your business goals by helping you lessen lead times, improve fulfillment, forecast demand and prevent items from being over- or understocked.
    It Helps You Track Your Shipments—It’s no longer enough to give customers or clients a general idea of when their order will arrive. In this day and age, the vast majority of consumers (88 percent, to be exact) expect real-time order tracking. RFID ensures that everything that enters and exits your facility is tracked accurately, letting your customers and partners know when items are being processed and when they’ve been handed off to a shipper. Your shipping company can help guarantee that your goods are tracked at every point until they’ve reached their final destination.
    It Simplifies Procurement—For a real dream team, pair an advanced procurement software with RFID hardware. Together, these technologies simplify every facet of procurement. They can even automate the procurement process by automatically reordering products, goods or materials as needed without your team needing to bother with managing and monitoring stock levels. We all know that procurement—getting quotes, writing up contracts and endless research, among other tasks—is one of the more time-consuming facets of production, so letting tech do half the work for you is a true game-changer.
    It Protects Your Investment—Lost warehouse inventory, misplaced stock, unbalanced numbers. It sounds crazy, but goods go missing more often than you might expect. One of the simplest ways to protect your stock is to track its every move, from the minute it arrives in your facility (and, most likely, before then if your suppliers use RFID) to the second it arrives at its destination. Retail establishments often use small, easily concealable RFID tags to prevent theft. You can also use RFID to identify and authenticate employees or to block off access to certain rooms or areas. Think of your up-front RFID spend as an investment to protect your assets.
    It Helps You Get More for Less—Your RFID and software are the bones of your operation. They’re flexible enough that they can work in just about any environment, adjust to any supply chain plan and accommodate constantly scaling businesses. More specifically, RFID sensors can help you create a flexible manufacturing process that ebbs and flows as needed. For example, you could use these sensors to alert your manufacturing equipment to change its process based on the size or shape of a given item. You can also transfer all RFID systems to a new facility, if needed.
    It Helps Boost Efficiency—If you are still not convinced of the many benefits of RFID, consider it from an efficiency standpoint. At its core, this technology provides supply chains with a higher level of transparency at all rungs, which means more and more accurate data aggregation. Looking at the analytics can help you cut out any efficiencies in the supply chain and understand where things are moving quickly or lingering for too long. Of course, being able to tag large quantities of items also eliminates the time-consuming act of manually counting and tracking, so it’ll help you get bigger daily jobs done quicker.

Well Worth the Investment When Properly Paired

There’s case study upon case study proving the many tangible benefits of RFID in supply chain and manufacturing, and its ubiquity is well-earned. But it’s important to note that RFID technology can only go so far on its own, and that it needs the appropriate software to bolster it. But, in general, this is great news for those looking to adopt a new RFID system because the software behind it helps you tailor the technology to your specific needs. Spending the time to identify the best solutions for your business will help ensure that you get a big ROI when you go RFID.

When delivery is what's for dinner but hot meals arrive cold or well after their expected timeframe, dissatisfied customers don't necessarily place the fault solely at the feet of the driver or delivery app service, according to a newly released survey.

Close to 62 percent of respondents said that when they have problems with their delivered food orders, they blame both the person who is bringing the order to them as well as the restaurant that prepares it, a recent survey conducted by market research team Zion & Zion found. This is especially true when pizzas, Chinese food and other traditionally hot meals are cold, with nearly 72 percent of customers co-blaming.

"Millennials are most likely to co-blame."
Finding fault with both parties seems to be particularly common among 18- to 35-year-olds, otherwise known as millennials. Indeed, 67 percent of the millennials surveyed by the market research firm said they held eateries and delivery companies equally responsible, compared to 54.6 percent among non-millennials.

Approximately 1,100 consumers across the country participated in the survey.

Poised for further growth
Delivery service is a multi-billion dollar industry that an increasing number of independent and franchise restaurants are offering, especially with the dawn of food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Grubhub. Even fast food chains, such as McDonald's, now offer delivery to customers where available, due in large measure to the ease with which customers can have their orders brought to them with a few a clicks or swipes on their smartphones. The golden arches is in good company, noted John Glass, restaurant analyst at Morgan Stanley.

"Consumer demand for online delivery is growing rapidly," Glass explained.

Altogether, delivery currently yields approximately $30 billion in annual sales for restaurants, or 6 percent of total market share. But that total could balloon to as much as $220 billion as early as 2020, based upon Morgan Stanley research.

Optimization strategies
Although delivery typically represents the final destination in the restaurant industry supply chain, these numbers show that it's a key source of present and potential revenue for eateries and customer satisfaction. Some of the more common ways restaurants aim to optimize the supply chain is by making certain guarantees to customers, promising, for example, that menus items will arrive 30 to 60 minutes after orders are placed or they're free. To keep dishes warmer longer, drivers will frequently use warming bags that are insulated or are battery-powered to maintain a constant temperature.

Phoning restaurants directly still accounts for a plurality of the food delivery market at 47 percent, but delivery apps are gaining steam. According to Morgan Stanley Research, in 2017, roughly 18 percent of prepared food items were ordered through delivery service apps or websites. That's up from 15 percent in 2016. Thirty-four percent were via restaurants' online websites or mobile apps, down slightly from 35 percent a year earlier.

This may explain why more household-name and independent restaurants are assuming an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, by partnering with Uber Eats and Grubhub to share in the profits.

With the countdown to ISM2019 in full-swing, what better way to prepare for the premier supply chain event of the year than  by spotlighting one of the keynote speakers, Carly Fiorina.

Born in Texas, Carly attended Stanford University, later going to UCLA Law School before dropping out to pursue a career in business. While working as a secretary for a real estate firm in the 1970s, she managed to break the glass ceiling, becoming one of the company’s female brokers.

By the 1980s, Fiorina moved on from real estate and into Telecomm, joining AT&T. Eventually, she worked her way up the food chain, becoming the company’s first female senior VP overseeing hardware and systems; gradually, she become head of AT&T’s North American Operations. In 1996 she oversaw the IPO for Lucent Technologies, an AT&T spinoff that debuted at a record $3 billion. Fiorina’s success enabled her rise into CEO of Hewlett Packard, becoming one of the first woman to head a Fortune 20 company.

Fiorina’s ascent did not escape controversy: her three major strategies as CEO included replacing profit sharing with bonuses for meeting company financial goals, limiting operating units from 83 to 12, and limiting back-office functionality. This change in culture led to layoffs and drastic backlash; despite these difficulties, Fiorina claimed her decisions were intended to help move HP forward into the digital age.

Besides business, Fiorina also gained exposure on the political stage: besides volunteering for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, she also performed unpaid work for the Pentagon, and ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to Democratic candidate Barbara Boxer by 10 percent. Most recently, Fiorina ran for president in the 2016 election against conservative candidates such as Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, among others.

Interested in learning more about Carly Fiorina and her business acumen?  Don’t miss her presenation at ISM2019.

Headed to ISM in April? If you're a senior supply chain executive, you won't want to miss ExecIn. The two day sub-conference features a high-impact agenda for non-consulting organizations with an annual revenue of over $1.2B. Including private keynote presentations and sessions centered on talent and supply management strategy and trends, ExecIn is a must-attend component of ISM2019! To learn more about participating, contact Carole Boyle (  

IBM, GSK, and Source One Are Practicing Next-Generation Procurement

Released just last week, Hackett's 2019 CPO Agenda identifies digital transformation as an imperative. Introducing next-generation solutions, the report suggests, is essential if Procurement wants to evolve its service offering while continuing to drive down costs. 

CPOs are bullish on the potential benefits of new tools. 60% expect they'll make a "high" to "very high" impact within three years. Comparatively few, however, are currently realizing any sort of an impact. 

Procurement's Next Generation is Closer Than You Think

In their search for the next big thing, many organizations fail to recognize the potentially game-changing technologies that are already available to them. At next month's ExecIn Forum, experts from Source One, GlaxoSmithKline, and IBM will demonstrate some of tools they've employed to bring Procurement into a new era. 

Transformative Procurement Technologies You Can Implement Tomorrow will see Source One's Senior Data Scientist, James Patounas and VP of Operations, William Dorn showcase the Qlik Sense dashboard. In addition to exhibiting some of Qlik Sense's features, Dorn and Patounas plan to detail the ways it has empowered and enabled the Source One team. 

"Qlik Sense," Dorn remarks, "has made it possible for our team to turn 25 years of worth of data and market intelligence into actionable insights. It provides for more strategic, intelligent decision making and dramatically boosts our efficiency."

Dorn, Patounas, and the entire Source One team have long advocated for the value of a closer relationship between Procurement and Data Science teams. Qlik Sense, they suggest, has made it easier than ever to not only advocate, but demonstrate the power of data-driven Procurement. 

Patounas elaborates, "With real-time access to good data and the tools to derive insights from that data, Procurement is capable of taking the lead in transformative initiatives. Qlik is a perfect example of the tool that's robust enough to provide genuine insight and user-friendly enough for just about anyone to leverage."

Source One's analytics team will share the stage with IBM's Procurement Data and Analytics Officer, Marco Romano and GlaxoSmithKline's Global Category Lead for Digital and Tech Innovation, Jasdeep Sandhu. 

IBM's forays into new Procurement technology make headlines almost every day. From their work on predictive analytics to their series of blockchain-powered partnerships, they've continually stood at the vanguard of supply chain evolution. 

Romano has taken an active role in driving IBM's initiatives and Procurement's digital transformation as a whole. He'll discuss the work he's done to bring data scientists and Procurement professionals together as allies and demonstrate some of the solutions that have supported recent engagements. 

IBM's not the only organization that's turned blockchain's boundless promise into genuine results. During his portion of the presentation, Sandhu will describe the way this much-discussed technology has transformed GlaxoSmithKline.

Sandhu, this year's ISM Megawatt Rising Star, has established nearly a dozen blockchain pilots in his time with the British pharmaceutical giant. He also heads a think tank comprised of hundreds of thought leaders from throughout the organization. Together, they've established a new standard of visibility and produced more than 3 million euro in savings.

Think Procurement solutions are all hype and no substance? Think again.

Join Procurement Executives 

ISM2019 is less than two weeks away. Headed to Houston? You won't want to miss the ExecIn Forum. In addition to next-generation solutions, this exclusive two-day event will feature thought leadership discussions on topics like Procurement's talent gap, the value of empathetic leadership, and the changing shape of the CPO's role.

The ExecIn Forum is reserved for senior-level professionals from non-consulting organizations with more than $1.2 billion in revenue. If you qualify, reach out to Carole Boyle ( today to reserve your spot. 

Don't forget, all conference attendees are invited to visit Booth #438 to meet Source One's award-winning team and discuss their approach to elevating the Procurement function. 

How are UK and EU Companies Reacting to Hard Brexit?

Brexit is potentially ending a little later than expected as European Union (EU) leaders recently agreed to a short delay for withdrawal. As of this week, the deadline is April 19 – a more nearly three-week delay from the initial deadline of March 29. This buildup has created a quagmire full of uncertainty as British Parliament rejected the “meaningful vote” for withdrawal under Theresa May’s plan twice, declined to leave the EU without a deal, dismissed allowing backbenchers to set business of the House, denied extension for a second referendum, and disallowed a third meaningful vote from being called.

Suppliers are rightfully confused about how this will all turn out for the United Kingdom (UK) and its supply chain networks.

On the subject of imported goods, there arise the additional complexities of cross-border regulations. To import goods from the EU into the UK, companies must now register for a UK Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number which designates businesses for the import and export of goods into or out of the EU. Moreover, a Value-Added Tax (VAT) number must be generated for value added tax purposes. On the other side of the spectrum, to import goods from the UK into the EU, UK companies will need to incorporate their businesses within the Union or designate a European Union-established, third-party provider to act as importer. This may require sourcing out customs brokerage service providers to clear Customs. Consequently, companies will face major delays as they scramble to comply with these regulatory mandates.

Moreover, capacity at ports and entryways into the UK or EU will be another lingering issue. Customs declarations are expected to increase dramatically at these ports that service import-export exchanges. Dover will be especially relevant because almost all its business exchanges are with the EU. Close to 2.9 million freight units passed over Dover in 2017, and Dover remains the busiest international port with close to twice as much passenger traffic as the next five UK ports combined. Similarly, ports on the EU side such as the Ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg will anticipate similar levels of regulatory development. Even as the UK and the EU increase resources to alleviate congestion, these ports of entry will likely stagger as sheer volume impede the speed of business.

One noticeable issue that has arisen is the UK pallet crisis. Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have recently realized that the UK has a shortage of pallets that adhere to strict EU regulations. At present, movement between EU member states, including the UK, are exempt from the International Standards For Phytosanitary (Regarding Plants) Measures 15 (ISPM 15). Companies in the UK are currently using pallets that lack these provisions. The material handling space will require revamping as companies must spend more to replace their inappropriate pallets. This is especially troublesome for the UK manufacturing industry which will see risk and uncertainty from delays.

Another logistical issue that has developed is the surge of requests for trucking permits for unimpeded access to the EU. $544 billion worth of goods move across the border supported by the trucking industry, and manufacturers and retailers need reassurance that their business is not limited. Their freight and logistics needs for cross-border business depend on unimpeded access in order to prevent disruptions along all of their supply chain. Already, the UK Department of Transport receives more than 11,000 applications. Permits are expected to increase significantly should Brexit come to fruition as companies consider trucking as an avenue to conduct business.

We are approaching the three-year anniversary of the first Brexit talks. Logistical dilemmas, however, continue to materialize as companies face increasing pressure from UK and EU mandates on cross-border business. Therefore, companies must keep an eye on the minutiae of their logistics network if they hope to pull ahead of this quagmire. Just as the Brexit talks will soon face a delay, business supply chains may suffer significant delays on the road ahead.

Much like cacao and coffee beans, palm oil is a ubiquitous ingredient with a history of problematic procurement. Unlike coffee and chocolate, however, palm oil is not especially visible to most consumers, and most are probably unaware of just how many goods they purchase that contain the oil.

An edible vegetable oil derived from the fruit of palm oil trees typically found in tropical rainforests, palm oil is used in a wide variety of both food and non-food products, ranging from peanut butter and ice cream to shampoo and crude oil. Procurement of palm oil has been blamed for a whole host of problems, according to Lifehacker, including deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, the endangerment of the orangutan population and an increase in the usage of child labor.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed 15 years ago to address some of these issues with a certification program for recognizing sustainably and ethically produced palm oil. Yet in the decade-and-a-half since, it's become apparent that certification alone will not completely change the buying habits of palm oil purchasers.

This topic was further explored by experts from the RSPO and Environmental Defense Fund, who recently gathered with other organizations at the Responsible Business Summit in Brooklyn, New York, to discuss the best ways to make palm oil sustainable at scale.

The limitations of certifications

In the last few years, there has been a realization among environmental groups, certifiers and certain large palm oil purchasers that even making a concerted effort to buy from certified suppliers will not actually have a profound impact on what conditions are like in palm oil producing countries, particularly when it comes to issues like fair farmer compensation and enforcement of local regulations around land use.

"There has been, I think it's fair to say, a loss of confidence in certification schemes' ability to actually end deforestation," said Ethical Corporation editor Terry Slavin, who moderated the Responsible Business Summit's discussion on palm oil sustainability, according to Supply Chain Dive.

"The problem really stems from people viewing the certification as a silver bullet. Certification is a tool in the toolbox you [use to] help address these issues," replied Daniel Strechay, director of outreach and engagement and U.S. Representative at the RSPO.

Strechay added that companies should depend less on certification and more on holistic approaches to improving their supply chain.

McDonald's Global Sustainability Director Rachael Sherman said that the global restaurant chain would prefer to rely solely on RSPO for its sustainable palm oil monitoring and compliance work, but that such a process would prove insufficient, since certification does not necessarily improve the deeper systemic issues at work.

Peanut butter is one of many products that often includes palm oil as an ingredient. Peanut butter is one of many products that often includes palm oil as an ingredient.

Gulf exists between good intentions and meaningful actions

Another problem explored in the discussion was the divide between commitments and results.
"A lot of companies have very nice policies that they're not implementing and they're not implementing with urgency," said Strechay.

Though it is now happening at a slower rate, deforestation is still growing, which Stretchay partly attributes to this failure to implement, as evidenced by the price that growers continue to command for palm oil.

According to Stretchay, only 62 percent of certified non-deforestation palm oil receives a premium price in the marketplace, meaning the supply of sustainable oil is greater than the demand, which leads to lower prices of sustainably produced oil. But if the many purchasers who claimed a desire to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains actually followed through, demand would be much higher, and the percentage of certified non-deforestation palm oil selling at premium prices would consequently exceed 62 percent.

"That's a problem," said Stretchay. "That to me says that we have to have a bigger commitment from the downstream to implement these policies."

"Commitments are great. Commitments don't always get to action," concluded Katie Anderson, supply chain manager for the Environmental Defense Fund.

More modern strategies also more complicated

The "jurisdictional approach" is one new method corporations are beginning to favor as a way to actually improve conditions on the ground by collaboratively working to influence local authorities. Essentially, this strategy involves efforts to insert certification standards that curb deforestation into the actual local legislation of affected areas.

Because an intimate understanding of local figures and dynamics is needed for this approach, it obviously represents a much higher degree of complexity than just buying certified products. According to Anderson, the method "allows companies to be assured that simply sourcing from a certain jurisdiction is enough to assure no deforestation and relieves the burden of continual audits."
Sabah, Malaysia, which produces roughly 10 percent of the world's palm oil, has become the poster child for this new way of doing things. A group of RSPO members have worked with local officials and nonprofits there to codify sustainable practices in state regulations, and are targeting 100 percent RSPO certified procurement by 2025.

"Companies are starting to commit to sourcing from Sabah because of that effort - because they are taking the step to take the jurisdictional approach," Strechay said.

The panel noted, however, that multiple variables can complicate the jurisdictional approach, as changes in governments and personnel shifts are often occurring. Yet Anderson said that her work, primarily focused on the beef industry in Brazil, has been succeeded by utilizing the jurisdictional approach, and McDonald's currently has three to four pilots across several different commodities to see what addressing jurisdictions at a more systemic level can accomplish.

ICYMIM: March 25, 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.

Is the Trucker Shortage a Myth?
Staff Writer, ThomasNet, 3/22/2019
A writer at ThomasNet uses reports from Barron and The Bureau of Labor Statistics to debunk the popular trucker shortage myth. Apparently, there's certain data that can be "problematic" and where most deduce a trucker shortage from the data like turnover rates and spikes in pay, it could actually be epxlained by something else. However, do not write off shortages altogether. Visit for the whole story.

Resilinc EventWatch: Top Risks to Supply Chains in 2018 Were Extreme Weather, M&A Activity, Brexit and Explosions Alex Behrens, Spend Matters, 3/20/2019
Natural disasters and business mergers prove to be great threats for the Nation's Supply Chains, given a look back at 2018. Behrens uses a Resilinc report that examines the most significant events in supply chain disruption of 2018 to open our eyes to real threats. He follows with by preventive planning strategies including tariff uncertainties. Visit for more details.

Latest Procurement Technology Not Adopted Very Fast, LevaData Finds
Tom Cosgrove, Spend Matters, 3/18/2019
LevaData conducted a study proving most procurement professionals understand the advantages of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), but seems to drop the ball when it comes to implementing or adopting these tools. LevaData, a cloud-based cognitive sourcing platform that offers market intelligence and supply chain cost management solutions, reports statistical findings from their study on how companies are underperforming using old methodology and where they should be. Visit Spend Matters, as Cosgrove breaks down key takeaways from their study.

The following guest blog comes to us from Kate Began of

The year 2013 doesn’t feel like it’s all that far in the past, but to Amazon, it might as well be ancient history. That was before Alexa, before Whole Foods, long before HQ2. The company was certainly already a titan of industry, but it hadn’t quite yet achieved the world-conquering status it’s known for today.

That probably makes it all the more frustrating for Jeff Bezos that Amazon’s drone delivery program, which he revealed the existence of in a 2013 60 Minutes interview, still has yet to get off the ground. With every year that passes, the retail industry and the world wonder anew why the drone service, called Prime Air, still hasn’t launched.

What do we know about this somewhat mysterious program, and what are we still in the dark about? Let’s take stock: 

What We Know

1. It’s not dead.

Despite its years of delays, Prime Air definitely still seems to be in the pipeline. An Amazon spokesperson told AP reporters in 2018 that the company was still committed to making drone delivery a reality. Prime Air’s page on Amazon is still live, although it hasn’t been updated in some time. 

2. 30-minute delivery is still the goal.

Amazon’s ambitious 30-minute delivery target that they’ve promised since 2013 is still, as of right now, the company’s goal. However, as we’ll see later, there are several technical considerations that could make this figure a bit misleading, particularly the current technological limits of drone battery sizes. 

3. The drones will fly autonomously.

The video accompanying the pilot test of Amazon’s UK drone service in 2016 showed actual footage of an autonomous drone making a delivery to a customer. Amazon is choosing to rely on the power of GPS and their own collision detection systems rather than on human remote pilots. How this decision will interact with the many regulatory hurdles they face remains thoroughly unclear. 

4. Five pounds is still the delivery weight limit. 

Anyone hoping for instant delivery of an office chair—or even a pair of bulky boots—will have to settle in for a long wait. The Prime Air website indicates that five pounds is still the maximum weight for a package to qualify for drone delivery. The combined weight of the battery, motor, electronics enclosure and rotor assembly accounts for a great deal of a drone’s weight already, leaving little room for packages. Although Amazon would no doubt love to be able to deliver heavier items, this is another area where current technical limitations make it infeasible right now. 

5. It’s been tested.

Amazon has drone laboratories in several countries, and it has tested drone deliveries in the U.S. and U.K. Just how extensive and successful these tests have been, however, is uncertain. Amazon is a notoriously secretive company, however, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it didn’t share the results publicly.

6. No one else has pulled ahead yet, either.

With Amazon struggling to get the rotors turning on Prime Air, several other companies have tried to strike first on drone delivery. None seem to have made sufficient headway yet to challenge Amazon for dominance of this not-yet-existent market, with most of them still tangled in the same regulatory thickets. 

The only one of these companies that actually implemented any of their plans in 2018? Flytrex, which began using its drones to deliver burgers on the greens of a North Dakota golf course. Clearly, the baby steps phase isn’t over yet. 

What We Don’t Know

1. When it will go live.

As of right now, there’s still no real indication of when Prime Air will launch. Aside from the occasional statement from their spokespeople, it’s been radio silence from Amazon since the service was tested in the U.K. 

2. What the regulatory environment will look like.

Laws and regulations are still probably the biggest hurdle Amazon will have to clear to get Prime Air going. Currently, U.S. law prohibits drones from being flown beyond their operator’s sight range (also known as BVLOS flying, or Beyond Visual Line of Sight.) That’s obviously an issue for a program that has an intended delivery radius of 10 miles. 

FAA regulations prohibit flying drones at night or close to federal buildings, and they also limit drones to a weight of 55 pounds. That weight limit is a particular issue because of another technical challenge: Amazon still doesn’t appear to have found the battery solution it needs to make the program truly scalable. 

3. How Amazon will solve the battery issue.

Regulatory red tape is the biggest short-term obstacle to Prime Air, but drone battery life could prove to be a bigger long-term headache. According to some analyses, the battery weight necessary for a 30-minute round trip flight is near the upper limit of what’s possible for a 55-pound drone. (Engineers from Tesla to Toyota have been working on cracking the lithium ion battery life conundrum but have so far had limited success.) Even with advances in material technology, such as polycarbonate enclosures, the weight of the battery itself will likely continue to be a serious limiting factor. 

4. Where the services will be available.

Considering that one of the most frequently-cited advantages of drones is their ability to reach rural areas, this one is actually pretty important. With each drone having such a limited range, it’s likely that the initial rollout, if and when it happens, will be limited only to certain high-density areas that already have Amazon distribution centers. 

Of course, that presents its own problem: How does a drone deliver a package to a person who lives in a ten-story apartment block? Like most questions about Prime Air, Amazon has yet to provide clarity on this, and all there is to do is wait and see. 

If you’ve been hoping and praying for a drone to deliver you bath bombs on demand, you may have to wait a little longer. And with some of the technical challenges that still remain, it may look somewhat different than you expect when it finally does launch. But, hey—it’s Amazon we’re talking about. They regularly do the impossible, and if it takes them a little while longer to ready the necessary infrastructure, the company could emerge with a stronger position when it does finally pull back the curtain. 


Kate Began serves as the Sales and Marketing Manager for Polycase. Kate oversees the customer service representatives, assists with product development and leads the marketing efforts from the Avon, Ohio headquarters. Kate has a Business degree from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Before joining Polycase, Kate was an investment banking analyst.

You don't get to be a leading Procurement Services Provider without developing  a team of talented and dedicated professionals. Source One's internship program aims to identify, empower, and inspire tomorrow's industry leaders.  Many of our most successful analysts and consultants joined the team as interns, and we're constantly on the hunt for the next addition to this expert team. 

Source One provides emerging professionals with hands-on experience in supply management, client services, business development, and more.  Our close-knit culture and diverse service offerings make for a fast-paced and consistently rewarding internship experience. Contributing to Source One's from day one, our Supply Chain interns quickly build skills that will prove crucial in whatever field they choose.

Hello all! I’m Mark Cylinder, I’m currently a senior studying Supply Chain Management at Temple University. I’m originally from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. During my free time, I enjoy exploring the Philadelphia craft beer scene, thrifting, and attending live music & stand-up comedy shows. Of course when I want to settle down for a relaxing night you can catch me watching of a few of my favorite shows such as The Office, Rick and Morty, Fringe, and Game of Thrones.

Prior to joining Source One, I was a Co-Op at Pinnacle Foods where I worked as a Logistics Coordinator. As a coordinator, I communicated between warehouses, carriers, and customer service reps on a daily basis. I would appoint and monitor various types of carriers to ensure on time delivery to our customers. Along with my Co-Op, I also worked at Sadler Food Products as an Operations Intern. My responsibilities included working as the customer's point of contact, receiving & picking, and analyzing spoilage and inventory reports to increase operational effectiveness. Throughout my internship and Co-Op experience I have been fortunate enough to gain a strong understanding in logistics.

I want to understand all aspects of supply chain management. Source One is giving me that chance by providing the opportunity to reach outside of my current scope of logistics, and really get a deeper appreciation of procurement and analytics. I am positive that when I am finished with my internship I will be a well-rounded supply chain professional ready to transition into the working world. I’m looking forward to seeing what other experiences lie ahead, and where the future will take me!

Hi there! I’m Tiarra Ortiz-Lucas, a graduating senior from Drexel University. I’m 22 years old and I live in Philadelphia. I do, however, spend a good deal of time in Delaware since my church and some of my family are out there. My interests outside of work include art, fashion, movies, design---anything creative really. I praise dance and do chalkboard murals for my church. I was always the kid that was excited to do a poster or any type of visual project.

When I began my college career I was a pre-med student with a focus in Psychology, but I made the switch over to Business Marketing in an attempt to choose a path that allowed me to incorporate creative, strategic thinking and artistic expression into my career and make it more than just a hobby. I majored in Marketing and minored in Communications because I enjoy the strategic storytelling element of marketing. It's fun to find unique ways to connect with your audience. As I finish up the last of the classes to complete my minor I am finding my place here at Source One, a Corcentric Company, as a Marketing Intern.

In my experience prior to Source One, I worked as a Project Management Co-op for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Before that, I was a Social Media Marketing Co-op at Bentley Systems. There, my tasks involved conducting and analyzing market research, developing a social strategy and schedule, and creating written and visual content for all the social channels. I will be using my previous experience and skills I am learning from my last few classes to help me as I cultivate content and strategy for Source One's communications efforts.

Want to take the next step in your professional journey with Source One? Check out our Careers page to learn about joining our industry-leading team. 

March 22, 2019

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

New Podcast:
Recognizing the Value of Soft Skills
We invite Source One Director, Jennifer Ulrich, to discuss the debate about hard & soft skills and the need to have a balance of both. There's confusion and misconception over what a hard or soft skill really is, whether a soft skill can be measured, and if that now makes it a hard skill. We discuss the problem with silos that stem from the demand of tech-based skills, as well as the training versus capability of certain skills. Ulrich also gives her thouhts on soft skills that are necessary to have for strategic procurement and risk management. Visit and subscribe to our podcast channel to hear more!

Upcoming Events:

ISM 2019 | April 7 -10 | Houston, TX
Less than a month until ISM 2019, Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Annual Conference, sponsored by Source One! Mix, mingle and learn from thought leaders and your peers in the Supply Chain industry. Get engaged in multiple breakout sessions and discover new solutions that are available with over 100 leading industry suppliers featured at the event.

ExecIn | April 8 - 9 | Houston, TX
The premier Supply Chain leadership experience is less than a month away! An exclusive sub-conference for C-suite Supply Chain professionals taking place the second and third days of ISM2019. This event entails elite keynote speakers, collaborative and thought-provoking discussions and insights on the relevant industry topics. If you have interest in this invite-only event be sure to reach out to Carole Boyle at