Practical Insights (Blog)

Act Now to Protect Margins in a Rising Commodity Market

In light of strong growth predictions for the global commodity market in 2018, Rex Clothier, EVP Strategic Procurement at Maine Pointe, considers the steps CEOs need to take now to protect margins and enhance EBITDA growth.




Topics: Strategic Procurement supply chain transformation digital supply chain

Unlocking Value in Your Supply Chain

James Gurulé discusses how organizations are addressing their burning platform with a cross-functional approach.

Let’s begin with a pop many leading businesses can you think of that are as dominant today as they were 20 years ago? Of course, there are some, but these are challenging times for even the biggest and best-managed organizations. Rapid economic and technological changes mean an approach that worked pretty well for you yesterday might not be working quite so well today and could be catastrophic by tomorrow. 

Topics: Strategic Procurement Total Value Optimization

Busting Three of Procurement's Biggest Myths

There are some procurement ‘facts’ that we hear over and over again in our meetings with company executives. Do any of the following sound familiar?

  1. “We’re a big company, that means we get the best prices.”
  2. “We did a sourcing study just last year and got 1% savings. There’s nothing more there to be had.”
  3.  “What we buy is very unique, there are no other credible suppliers.”

The very fact that everybody’s saying the same thing means it must be true, right? Wrong. The truth is that none of these is accurate, not one. In our experience, there are almost always additional savings to be made; you just need to know how to look deep into your value chain to unlock them.

Topics: Strategic Procurement

Cutting Out the Middleman in Global Sourcing

Disintermediation or ‘cutting out the middleman’ is an important issue in modern supply chain management and could even be the key to the future success of your business. Intermediaries may make life easier, but they also limit your ability to secure the best deal with the best suppliers at the best price. However, while moving away from agents and brokers can lead to lower costs, it can also add to the complexity of your procurement function.

Topics: Strategic Procurement Food & Beverage

Organizational Change: Is Your Organization's Culture Stuck in a Rut?

Even the most successful companies can find themselves stuck in a rut when it comes to their organizational culture. You may be communicating well with your stakeholders but, if your internal communication isn’t up to par, performance will undoubtedly suffer.

Topics: Strategic Procurement Food & Beverage Organizational Change

Post Acquisition Integration: Driving procurement synergies and improvements across five business units

CEOs with experience in doing mergers and acquisitions are all too aware that the real challenge often begins after the deal closes and they turn their attention to the work that’s needed to drive the expected value from their acquisitions. Success is governed, less by what you buy, but by what you do with it after you’ve bought it and how well you do it. 

Topics: Strategic Procurement Private Equity

Increase Your Competitiveness through Supply Chain Disintermediation

The fortunes of an organization can rise and fall on the relationships it has with its suppliers. Companies who fail to actively manage their supply chain place their business at risk of becoming uncompetitive in their market or paying inflated prices to incumbent suppliers for lower quality goods. In this situation, disintermediation or 'cutting out the middleman' is an attractive concept for many companies who want to drive competitiveness, improve product time-to-market and get the best possible deal via global sourcing.

Topics: Strategic Procurement Private Equity Total Value Optimization

Breaking through functional and cultural barriers to drive value post-acquisition

Most PE firms expect to encounter some teething problems when it comes post-acquisition integration. Left unattended, the problems caused by cultural and functional silos will grow, causing significant challenges within the newly acquired company. However, with the right management approach, it is possible to break down silos to bring about sustainable change and prepare the business for sale.

Topics: Strategic Procurement Private Equity Total Value Optimization

Breaking down the silos between operations and procurement functions

Most executives today recognize that a ‘silo’ mentality within an organization is a barrier to growth and efficiency, yet many still struggle to synchronize procurement, operations, manufacturing, logistics and fulfillment operations to anticipate demand and effectively meet customer requirements. There are many benefits to breaking down silos, the most obvious is that you will save money but more importantly it will enable you to improve both your supplier and customer relationships.
Topics: Strategic Procurement Private Equity Logistics Total Value Optimization

Restore Customer-Supplier Relationships Through Procurement Excellence

Procurement is always facing new challengesThese include increased global competition, unpredictable external factors and an increased expectation that organizations will have mature sustainability practices in place. To mitigate these pressures, and stay ahead of the competition, companies need to develop best-in-class procurement practices with the ability to rapidly respond to market shifts. So what happens when your organization is hit by a crisis that threatens its customer-supplier relationships?

Topics: Strategic Procurement