Category Archives: Procurement News

And the top 10 industrial supply chains are?

No more inky fingers! We’ve compiled the headlines so you don’t have to. Like what you see? Check out the freshly-pressed Procurious news service – you can find it here.

Gartner announces top 10 industrial supply chains

  • After releasing the core top 25 list at its supply chain executive conference in May, Gartner has in the past few weeks also named its top 10 “industrial manufacturing” supply chains list.
  • Just three companies Gartner classifies as industrial manufacturers made the overall top 25 supply chain list this year, and all somewhat near the bottom of that list. Therefore it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that these take the top 3 positions in the new ranking…
  • Caterpillar comes in on pole position, while 3M and Cummins rank second and third respectively.

To view the top 10 in its entirety – pay a visit to SC Digest

Forrest Review is good news for Indigenous business 

  • Within the last few days, the Forrest Review has been presented to Australian Government. The 256-page report advocates for the Federal Government to purchase at least 4 per cent of its goods and services directly from Indigenous businesses.
  • The report recommends that this should be implemented over a four year period, with an annual increase of 1 per cent per year. Indigenous businesses could be contracted directly or through subcontractors.
  • The Forrest Review also pushes for tax-free status for Indigenous run businesses.
  • Another recommendation focuses on the establishment of a ‘Top 200 Employers’ policy. This recommendation states that the Federal Government should provide the top 200 companies in Australia, with a strong Indigenous employment record, with tailored contracts to increase the proportion of Indigenous employees within their workforce.

Source: Supply Nation
Read The Forrest Review in full – here

Supply chain and logistics vacancies climb 45 per cent

  • Jobs in UK supply chain & logistics are increasing sharply, according to new research from one of the UK’s leading professional specialist recruiters.
  • Q2 data from the Robert Walters UK Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, shows year-on-year openings for supply chain & logistics professionals rising by 45 per cent.
  • With this confidence building across the wider economy, projects that had been put on hold are being implemented, creating fresh demand for supply chain professionals.

Read more at Supply Chain Digital

ArrowStream employee shoots CEO

  • Tony DeFrances – the chief technology officer at supply technology firm ArrowStream, mortally wounded his company’s CEO after receiving a demotion.
  • The firm was in the process of downsizing and had demoted a number of people.
  • Steven LaVoie founded ArrowStream in 2000, and DeFrances had been with the firm “virtually since its inception,” according to the company’s website. ArrowStream was named one of Chicago’s best and brightest companies to work for by a business trade group earlier this year, an honour it had received every year since at least 2012.

Read more at Chicago Tribune

China bans Symantec and Kaspersky

Foreign security software off China’s govt procurement list

  • A Chinese government procurement agency has excluded Symantec and Kaspersky, two foreign security software developers, from a security software supplier list.
  • According to a report from Beijing Youth Daily, all the five antivirus softwares in the list are from China, including Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.

Read more at Ecns.cn and The Inquirer

Price is most important factor for consumers

  • 80 per cent of consumers believe it is important for companies and brands to behave ethically, however the most significant factors when shopping are price, value and quality.
  • The findings come from online sourcing and optimisation specialists Trade Extensions – and reveal UK and US consumers’ attitudes towards ethics and sustainability.
  • Despite consumers’ relatively low ranking of ethical and sustainability concerns, over 70 per cent say they are more likely or much more likely to buy from companies with strong and proven policies on sustainability and ethics.

Read more on Business Wire

And finally…

 Supply chain headache inspires £1m investment

  • A Norfolk glass manufacturing business frustrated with slow suppliers is chartering a fresh route to growth by investing £1m into a new production plant.
  • Alastair Clayton, managing director of Seaglaze Group, said: “When it became clear that the lack of a reliable supply chain was starting to jeopardise our production schedules we decided to take control of our own destiny.”
  • The new factory – based in a 5,000sq ft unit close to its headquarters – will produce toughened glass for the marine industry, creating six jobs.

Read more on EDP24

Australian Egg Corporation left with egg on its face?

The yolk’s on them…

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC for short) has been trying to crack a hard-boiled mystery…

Talk of cartels is usually something we leave to the boys on Sons of Anarchy, but it looks like it’s reared its ugly head and triggered an egg pricing war down under.

Cartel arrangements come about when competing firms instigate anti-competitive measures – in this instance the aim was to reduce the supply of eggs to customers and businesses.

Examples of anti-competitive conduct include price fixing, rigging bids (from suppliers and buyers), sharing markets, and other such practices that seek to control the market and increase the profits of all involved.

Allegations were aimed at The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (along with two egg producers), that implied all were aware of such a scheme.

A presentation made to Australia’s top 25 egg producers in Feb 2012 included slides that pertained to disrupting the supply chain. Messages included:

“Dispose of eggs by either donating eggs to one or many charity groups or dumping/burying eggs.”

“Reduce the number of laying hens by culling birds (there is currently capacity with the major processors). Use of an independent auditor?”

And: “Increase demand? (AEC has invested $1 million above budget to assist ‘move’ volume).”

In related news, Qantas and Virgin Australia Holdings have also wandered into the ACCC’s sights over carbon tax. Read more on The Sydney Morning Herald

Brr! DHL enhances its cold chain logistics

It may be a glorious summer across Europe, but the latest news from DHL might send temperatures south… Enjoy that and stories about Amazon, NHS, Johnson Controls, Apple, plus more – below.

Johnson Controls makes new appointment

  • Johnson Controls has appointed Michael Bartschat as its first CPO to develop ‘world-class global procurement function’
  • Bartschat will report to Bruce McDonald, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
  • The company said Bartschat will “optimise cost and value” of purchased materials, products and services. There will also be a focus on supporting the company’s ongoing transformation to a “true multi-industrial through operational and manufacturing excellence across its business units”.

Read more on Supply Management


Amazon second quarter sales up

  • Amazon.com has announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2014. All-in sales are up 23 percent to $19.34 billion.
  • Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com said: “We continue working hard on making the Amazon customer experience better and better.
  • “We’ve recently introduced Sunday delivery coverage to 25 percent of the U.S. population, launched European cross-border Two-Day Delivery for Prime, and launched Kindle Unlimited, an eBook subscription service.”

Read more on Supply Chain Digital

State of NHS procurement in UK

A Guardian article on poor NHS procurement has sparked fierce criticism from an NHS procurement director. You can read arguments from both sides at this link.

  • Among the narrative we learn that the NHS procurement price comparison shows that some trusts pay over 135% more for certain products, such as white paper.
  • And despite some excellent initiatives, the procurement community as a whole has failed to produce a strategy to deliver the savings that are needed.

DHL enhances its cold chain logistics

  • DHL Global Forwarding has enhanced its cold chain logistics offerings through the transport of shipments at frozen or cryogenic temperatures.
  • Designed for customers from the life sciences and healthcare industry with an increasing need for sophisticated cryogenic logistics solutions, this service is maintained by LifeConEx, DHL’s temperature management specialist, in collaboration with Cryoport, a provider of complete global frozen shipping services.
  • David Bang, CEO LifeConEx said: “It is specifically designed for customers who require that cryogenic temperature be reliably maintained during storage and transportation of their materials. It also relieves them from more precarious shipping methods such as dry ice or use of hazardous liquid nitrogen”

Read more on Supply Chain Digital

US brand scolded over deceptive labeling

  • The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the Made in the USA Brand, LLC, which provides a “Made in USA” certification seal to marketers, has agreed to drop its certification claims.

Read more on Sourcing Journal Online

Ryder selects LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru

  • Ryder has selected LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru as the primary application for supply chain design and vehicle route optimization throughout the company’s global enterprise.
  • Ryder specializes in fleet management, supply chain management and dedicated transportation services and had revenues in excess of $5 billion in 2013.
  • “We selected LLamasoft for its holistic approach to supply chain design,” said Tom Kroswek, senior director of supply chain excellence, Ryder Global Supply Chain Services. 

Read more on MarketWatch

Apple iPad

Apple ramping up supply chain for mysterious new release?

  • Apple is understood to be working on a slimmed-down iPad Mini Air, as well as a 12.9-inch model so says the company’s Far East manufacturing partners.
  • The new small-screen device will use the Air moniker, like the current flagship iPad, and is understood to be 30 per cent thinner than the 2013 iPad Mini. It will feature Apple’s new A8 processor, which is expected to debut in the iPhone 6.
  • As for the 12.9-inch tablet, United Daily News quoted David Hsieh – Vice President of market research firm DisplaySearch – as saying the device should hit shelves in 2015, motivated by increased competition in the segment from Samsung and other vendors.

Read more on Cable.co.uk

Digital supply chain (in)security

Dave Lewis, a contributor who writes for Forbes, has penned a thoughtful piece on the dangers (and effects) digital technology could have on supply chains the world over.

You can read Lewis’ piece in full here – but in it he cites a Gartner report that predicts “by 2017, IT supply chain integrity will be identified as a top three security-related concern by Global 2000 IT leaders” is actually a real concern in 2014.

Elsewhere Lewis warns companies: “Don’t forsake security in a effort to make a deadline. The cost could be higher in the long run.”

Is Britain on the verge of a supply chain crisis?

Here’s your weekly digest of supply chain news, procurement bulletins, and ethical issues. Eyes forward for another sweet-tasting instalment…

Britain on the verge of a ‘supply chain crisis’

We certainly hope not… But if these results are anything to go by, then businesses in the UK could be faced with a crisis of faith.

  • Nearly three-quarters of supply chain professionals surveyed by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply admitted that they had “zero visibility” on the earlier stages of their supply chains.
  • “Consumers and business leaders have entered into a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ pact,” said David Noble, the institute’s chief executive. They “are content to remain ignorant of the malpractice that could be operating throughout their supply chains,” he said.
  • It has been 18 months since supermarkets were found to be selling “beef” that included horse meat… Half of supply-chain professionals say the scandal has not led to risks being taken more seriously.

Read more at the Financial Times

Vereshchagin Dmitry/Shutterstock.com

Demand for display supply chain is strong

  • Morgan Stanley has recommended four Taiwan-listed stocks in the display supply chain in the third quarter due to increasing demand for ultra-HD televisions and inventory buildups for the iPhone 6.
  • With better utilization of capacity, favorable product mixes and enhanced operating efficiency, most display suppliers are forecast to improve their margins in the second quarter, Morgan Stanley said in a research note last week.

Read more at Taipei Times

Supply concerns cause ‘significant’ risk in nickel prices

  • Nickel prices have increased significantly over the past six months driven by fears over the future availability of the commodity.
  • The price of the metal rose as high as $19,429 per tonne in May – up from $15,653.81 per tonne in February – according to figures from the London Metal Exchange

Read more at Supply Management

Startup surges by stressing ethically-sourced clothes

  • With the surge of fast fashion companies such as H&M or Topshop in recent years, online retailer Cuyana’s message to women — buy fewer, better-quality items of clothing — is a breath of fresh air to some consumers.
  • “The market is flooded with all these cheaper options,” said co-founder Shilpa Shah. ”Our mentality now is if I love that dress maybe I should buy two because the first one is going to fall apart.”
  • Cuyana works directly with suppliers and shortens production time to three to four months. For each collection they source exclusively from suppliers that produce the materials and garments in-house, cutting out another step in the process. Simplifying the supply chain allows Cuyana to sell a leather bag for $250 that would normally retail at $500 to $750 through a luxury retailer like Bloomingdales, said co-founder Karla Gallardo.

Read more at Upstart Business Journals

Huawei go green

  • Huawei has announced plans to promote a greener supply chain as the company releases its 2013 Sustainability Report.
  • A pilot scheme currently underway among 24 suppliers will be extended to cover more suppliers gradually, by which time environmental performance will become a prerequisite for future commercial relationships.
  • “For Huawei, it is not enough to be commercially successful. We strongly feel that we must make social contributions in the 170 countries worldwide where we operate and be committed to minimizing our own carbon footprint as well as that of our customers and supply chain partners.”

Read more at Zawya

Chocolate stock image

Wellington chocolate maker achieves Fairtrade first

  • Wellington Chocolate Factory is the first New Zealand chocolate maker to sign up for the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programme for cocoa, which connects farmers with the growing number of businesses that want to buy their cocoa fairly and sustainably.
  • “It’s a great way to ensure the supply chain isn’t contaminated – and it actually helps us make better-tasting chocolate.” said Rochelle Harrison, co-founder of the Wellington Chocolate Factory.
  • Molly Harriss Olson, CEO, Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand: “This new programme offers a major opportunity for farmers to sell more of their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, and in the first three months of the programme, international sales of Fairtrade cocoa have grown by 20%, adding an estimated €1.8m in Fairtrade Premium to support farmers and their communities.”

Read more at Wellington.Scoop

Geoprise Technologies updates its GM-X system

  • Geoprise Technologies announced the general availability of GM-X Version 5, its robust supply chain Trading Execution System for manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
  • The new system targets the ever-growing need to transact business at top speed, reliability and efficiency beyond the traditional confines of offices, plants and warehouses.
  • The GM-X package has been successfully deployed by several European and American online retailers as the backbone to their front-end Web sites since 2008.

Fast fashion not welcome at Berlin Fashion Week

Join us as we recount some of the biggest news stories making headlines across the world.

CatwalkPhotos/Shutterstock.com

Fast fashion bumped-off Berlin catwalk

  • 2014 Berlin Fashion Week kicked off on July 8,  and sought to highlight the latest trends in the clothing industry.
  • This year, the main events are the Green Showroom and the Ethical Runway, where brands with a strong social and environmental production record will present their new collections.
  • The Fashion Week’s focus on ethical and “green” collections is a sign of the industry’s growing awareness about the social and environmental impacts of clothing production.

Read more at Deutsche Welle

Child labor probe

  • Samsung has temporarily suspended its business relationship with one of its suppliers after finding evidence of suspected child labor violations at its facilities.
  • The move comes three days after US activist group China Labor Watch released a new report that detailed children working on assembly lines at Samsung supplier Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, China.
  • The group’s report alleged that several of the seasonal workers in the Dongguan plant were minors who work 11 hours a day, 7 days a week, without overtime pay.

Read more at Cnet

BMW’s Mexican move

  • BMW to build vehicle assembly plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico
  • The decision underscores Mexico’s increasing importance as a car manufacturing hub following the recent announcement of Daimler and Nissan establishing a joint venture at Aguascalientes.

Read more at Supply Chain Brain

Supply chain needs

  • Brazil’s federal government in the coming weeks should conclude a study of the wind power sector’s supply chain in order to identify bottlenecks and investment needs.

Read more at Recharge News

President Obama

More safeguards for suppliers

  • President Obama and the White House recently announced the “SupplierPay” initiative.
  • SupplierPay is the private sector equivalent of the Federal Government’s QuickPay initiative. Like QuickPay, SupplierPay seeks to lower the working capital cost of small business suppliers by having large businesses pay small suppliers quickly.
  • The initiative also encourages companies to enable financing solutions to help small suppliers access working capital at a lower cost.
  • Apple, AT&T, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Toyota were among the first twenty-six companies to adopt the SupplierPay pledge.
  • Additionally, the USHCC has applauded Johnson & Johnson for joining President Obama’s Supply Chain Initiative

Read more at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Shipping & logistics industry comes under attack

  • Weaponized malware was delivered into shipping and logistics enterprise environments.
  • It originated from a Chinese manufacturer responsible for selling proprietary hardware for terminal scanners used to inventory items being shipped or transported in and out many countries.
  • The threat has been dubbed “Zombie Zero”

Read more at Supply Chain 24/7

Small and medium enterprises news

  • The government of New South Wales in Australia has announced greater opportunities for SMEs to bid for public contracts.
  • Under a change which came into effect on 1 July, state agencies are now required to look for at least one quote from an SME for contracts worth up to AUS$1 million (£547,000). This will cover around $1 billion (£547 million) worth of deals.

Read more at Supply Management

Research and whitepapers

  • HFS Research has published its very first blueprint report on supply chain management BPO

Behind the scenes of Starbucks global supply chain

As the Seattle-based company seeks to find a foothold in Chennai, interest in the high-street staple has piqued.


A Behind the Scenes Look at Starbucks Global Supply Chain

This insightful piece of film isn’t new but it still offers a fascinating peek behind the scenes of the world’s largest coffee houses.

Cast aside any aspersions you may have and see how Starbucks manages to make 70,000 deliveries a week look easy…

Starbucks global supply chain manages its activities through four distinct functions, namely: Plan, Source, Make and Deliver. Watch the video to see what processes go into achieving each one, and leave your thoughts below.

Would you recommend any changes to the Starbucks formula?

12 things you need to know this week

What’s been top of the news agenda?

Facebook, Tesla, John Lewis, and the Renault-Nissan alliance have all made headlines, so we’ve gathered all you need to know into one handy weekly news digest. We’re useful like that…

Crowdsourcing (UK)

  • One of the UK’s biggest organisations is considering using crowdsourcing for indirect procurement to help drive innovation from suppliers
  • The John Lewis Partnership believes that crowdsourcing can help to identify a very specific problem, issue or opportunity and gives a platform to offer a prize for the best solution

Read more on Supply Management

Top Procurement Challenges

  • An Ardent Partners report has highlighted that the biggest challenge for Chief Procurement Officers in the coming year is staff or talent
  • 57% of CPOs believe that flat headcount, stagnant skills capabilities, and / or greater staff responsibility represent their greatest challenge in 2014

Read more on CPO Rising

Australian Industry Changes

  • A study by IBISWorld has revealed the expected industry patterns for the coming financial year
  • Industries expected to rise over the year include Online Education, Building Societies and Mortgages; industries expected to fall over the year include Grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle farming, Automotive electrical component manufacturing and Petroleum refining and petroleum fuel manufacturing

Read more on IBISWorld

Procurement Relationships (UK)

  • The new CPO of Fujitsu for UK and Ireland, Clive Rees, has stated that the focus of Procurement shouldn’t just be on cost reduction, but on relationship management too
  • He has encouraged his team to be seen at stakeholder meetings, change the way the Procurement function is viewed internally and get more value from internal and external relationships

Global Fraud Survey (UK)

  • EY’s Global Fraud Survey has found that more than one in 10 firms globally have experienced a “significant fraud” in the past two years
  • However, when surveyed, 46 per cent of respondents in the UK said offering entertainment to customers to win or retain business was acceptable

Renault-Nissan alliance. Image Wiki Commons

Procurement Alliances (Europe)

  • The procurement function of the Renault-Nissan alliance has reported savings of €1.036 billion (£824 million; US$1.4bn) savings in 2013
  • The Alliance is looking for further synergies in future, but Purchasing was the biggest contributor for cost reductions, cost avoidance and revenue increases last year

Automotive Industry

  • Tesla are set to become one of the major players in the US automotive industry, according to Morgan Stanley
  • Four states are vying for the right to be home to the company’s US $5bn factory and General Motors have even begun to look at Tesla’s culture and success to see if they can replicate it

Read more at Sourcing Guy Blog

Supply Chain Data

  • An article on Supply Chain 24/7 has assessed how to turn Supply Chain data into actionable information
  • According to the article, there are three main ways to use the data – Reporting, Scorecarding and Benchmarking, each providing different levels of information for the organisation to use

Read more at Supply Chain 24/7

Questioning in Leadership

  • Asking the right questions is a valuable skill for leaders to have, but just as critical is how the questions are asked
  • Asking questions in the right way can engage and motivate people, but equally asking them in the wrong way can create a negative mood or blame culture
  • HBR gives an insight into five questions that leaders shouldn’t ask, and the way that they can phrase these questions to get the best answers

Read more at Harvard Business Review

Business Breakdown

  • Coles has admitted to threatening suppliers with sanction if they refused to pay to take part in a new supply chain program
  • The Federal Trade Commission has accused T-Mobile of illegally earning hundreds of millions of dollars by overbilling customers
  • Europe’s privacy regulators are investigating whether Facebook broke local privacy laws when it conducted a highly criticised social experiment in January 2012

Read more at Spend Matters

Former U.S. President Clinton launches peanut supply chain in Haiti

Although we’re talking peanuts, there’s nothing nutty about our top story…. Also on our weekly smorgasbord, Coca Cola (and partners) look towards Africa, and a ruling by the FAA means Amazon’s drone delivery programme may never get off the ground…

A supply chain with no allergies

The former U.S. President – together with Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra – have announced a new enterprise that will provide help to roughly 12,000 small farmers in Haiti.

It is hoped that the Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation will help to improve nut yields in coming years.

Clinton said the idea is to “empower farmers to meet the nutritional needs of people.” The project has potential to “scale up Haiti’s peanut supply chain to meet the growing regional demand for peanuts without relying on imports,” Giustra said.

Via Associated Press

Procurement Skills (Global)

  • In the second part of the summary of ‘Skills for the Modern Procurement Pro’, seven final skills have been identified by CPOs for procurement professionals
  • The full list totals 14 skills including Operational Procurement, Supply Risk Management and Leveraging Technology to Drive Business Value

Read more at CPO Rising

Making Procurement Work

  • Raconteur offers their top ten pointers for procurement professionals
  • Their infographic covers both the skills that procurement professionals should be focusing on, as well as tips on how to link corporate and procurement objectives

Read more at Raconteur

Innovation (Europe)

  • The Public Procurement of Innovation Platform has published an online guide to increase subject knowledge of innovation in public procurement
  • The guide is aimed at providing procedures, definitions, answers to common questions to enable stakeholders to engage in innovation in public procurement

Contract Audit (UK)

  • The UK National Audit Office (NAO) has questioned the early award of eight contracts worth £16.6bn for renewable energy projects
  • The NAO believe that the early award was unnecessary and may have cost UK taxpayers more in the long term

Medicine in Africa

  • Coca Cola and its partners, the US Agency for International Development, the Global Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, plan to invest $21 million to get medicine to remote parts of Africa
  • The scheme provides support to government agencies managing the procurement and distribution of medicines and vaccines, from the private sector to forecast demand, ensure availability and maintain cold chain equipment

Read more at Supply Management


Procurement in the Cloud

  • Phillip Allouche, the Global Head of Procurement Solutions at Xchanging, provides some insights as to why procurement technology is moving to the Cloud
  • Amongst other benefits, CPOs are now seeing a significant reduction in the cost of hosting technology applications in the Cloud, alongside a reduction in risk

Read more at Cloud Computing Intelligence

Supply Chain Risk Management

  • 76% of organisations in a recent Accenture survey have identified supply chain risk management as either important or very important
  • The top three sources of risks were identified as information technology, cost and pricing factors and the global economy
  • Analysis revealed three tips for a high ROI in risk management as making risk management a priority, centralising responsibility for risk management and investing aggressively in risk management

Read more at Supply Chain 24/7 


People Management

  • Good managers will look beyond the ‘usual suspects’ when promoting internally or pulling task forces together
  • The article looks at how managers can expand their talent pool to get results and reduce ‘bottlenecks’ in resourcing

Read more at Harvard Business Review

Mobile Procurement

  • Organisations need to make sure that they are in a position to move into the international market before they do so
  • Mobile procurement platforms can be used to assist in this process and to connect with suppliers across borders

Read more at Spend Matters

Supply Chain Delivery

  • The FAA (USA) have officially clarified that the commercial use of drones is illegal, including for the delivery of packages for a fee
  • This may throw a spanner in the works of Amazon’s plans to use drones for deliveries around the US, as currently this would fall under these regulations

Read more at Mashable

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Supply chains need to take action to fight ‘fast fashion’

The fast fashion dilemma

The move toward ‘fast fashion’ is putting major pressure on those working in the procurement departments.

Fashion can cycle in and out of retail stores across the globe in a matter of weeks; putting those in procurement under constant pressure to ensure their supply chain is clean.

For many professionals working in this field, it’s a perpetual battle to balance the insatiable appetite for the latest dirt-cheap fashion with the constant demand that retailers stop the rag trade. Though perhaps not surprisingly, it’s pretty much impossible to find anyone willing to go on the record about how they tackle this issue to ensure their fast fashion supply chain is clean.

There are industry whispers that many procurement missions to places like China can result in more questions than answers. Often, a myriad of ‘agents’ acting on behalf of other sections of the supply chain make it extremely difficult for those in procurement to truly understand who they’re hiring, and whether they’re the sort of ethical supplier you’re hoping for.

This cry for help was found sewed into a Primark garment earlier this week.
This cry for help was found sewed into a Primark garment earlier this week. Darren Britton/Wales News Service

Most recently in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a warning about a dangerous dye found in jeans on sale in Australian stores.

Tests uncovered clothes with high concentration of the dyes, which sparked recalls of more than 121,000 items from retailers including Myer, Target, Rivers, Trade Secret and Just Jeans. A number of children’s clothes, including jeans from Myer, Just Jeans and Target, were included in the recall.

This situation will no doubt have caused major headaches for someone working in procurement, somewhere along the line. It’s also an example of why it’s so important for those in procurement to know where and how garments are being made.

After all, it doesn’t take much more than a few questions to be asked and some information to be shared on social media for a major brand to cop a beating over a supplier that’s possibly a long way down the supply chain.

However, some of the big brands have been working hard to clean up their act.

H&M, which is now in Australia, wants to prove to consumers that it’s doing the right thing. According to media reports, H&M has put a plan in place to avoid sourcing fabrics from endangered forest and also promote the use of fabrics that come from Forest Stewardship Council certified plantations. The company will also work to build traceable and sustainable production of these fabrics in its own supply chain.

For other major brands, the answer lies in innovation.

Stephen Denning, supply chain expert and author of the book Radical Management says brands like Zara have solved the problem of how to get disciplined execution with continuous innovation. “The way they lay out their factories, the design team is right in the middle of the factory, so that the whole process of learning from the manufacturers and vice versa is horizontal,” Denning was quoted as saying in The Business of Fashion.

People of Procurious, where do you stand on this “fast fashion” fixation? Make your voice heard and  leave your comments below.

Are limes leaving a bitter taste in your mouth? Find out why…

*We never claimed to be experts of all-things green, but we can tell you a thing or two about supplies…

The past seven days has delivered bad news for Tequila fans… Beats headphones were banned from World Cup, and adidas have been eyeing-up sustainable solutions. It’s all going-off…

Here’s the news in-brief:

Supply Chain Prices

· Heavy rains and a poor winter crop has caused a spike in the price of Mexican limes, quadrupling since the beginning of the year

· Mexico exports 467,000 tons of lemons and limes each year globally and these prices will affect the USA in particular

· It’s also bad news around the rest of the world for anyone who drinks tequila or Corona…

Read more at Spend Matters

Sustainability (Germany)

· The adidas Group announced a strategic partnership with bluesign technologies to drive sustainable solutions in their supply chain

· The partnership will include environmental auditing on chemical management processes, as well as provision of information on the use of sustainable materials in manufacturing

Read more at Sustainable Brands

Ethics (UK)

· The UK government has been called upon to create a program reinforcing the requirement for ethical standards in public service contracting

· The Committee on Standards in Public Life also called upon government departments to consider ethics as a “professional commercial capability requirement” in all contracts

Technology (UK)

· Procurement professionals should fully embrace new technology as part of the transformation from a transactional to strategic function

· ‘The Buying Game’ roundtable in Manchester said that there needed to be a shift in culture in order for professionals to get full benefit from the technology

Read more at Supply Management

Consumer News

· The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has won a court case against Australian supermarket Coles

· Coles’ claim that all their bread was baked fresh in store daily, was successfully challenged as some of their par-baked products were actually produced off-site

Read more at ABC News 

Technology (USA)

· Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, has written an open blog to all companies allowing them to use the company’s patents in their own products

· Musk believes that by sharing the technologies it will drive more companies to produce electric cars to the benefit of the environment

Read more at Supply Chain 24/7

Beats have been banned in stadiums around Brazil

Brand Marketing

· FIFA have banned Beats headphones from inside stadiums at the Football World Cup in Brazil

· Beats, owned by Apple, are popular with public and athletes alike, but as Sony are a partner sponsor of the tournament, the move has been made to protect their market

Read more at CNet

World-class Procurement (Canada)

· Kurt Albertson of The Hackett Group has highlighted how organisations should be focusing on innovation to grow their revenue

· However, an issue cited was how innovation is being defined, with a number of different definitions offered by CPOs

Read more at Purchasing B2B

Child Labour

·  As World Day against Child Labour (12th June) was marked, Human Rights Watch challenged companies to prevent child labour throughout their supply chains

· Throughout the world, there are still organisations conducting business with companies using child labour either knowingly or through not asking questions of their own suppliers

Read more at Huffington Post 

E-Invoicing

· Billentis has released its 2014 e-invoicing report

· The full report is available on the Billentis website and covers, amongst other things, China’s attempts to use e-invoicing to combat tax evasion