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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Webinar Notes: The End of Outsourcing? RPA is Here to Stay

These notes are from an August 18th webinar by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA). The primary speakers were Barry Matthews Managing Director at Alsbridge, and Eric Shander, Vice President of Global Technology Services at IBM Global Services.

I’ve been covering all of the Robotis Process Automation (RPA) events based on IRPA’s recently released ebook meant to educate people about RPA. The most important things to know are that RPA is best suited to logic-based, repeatable tasks currently performed by in house employees or third party outsourcers. In some cases, robots can even provide governance or oversight of other robots. The other thing to know is that these aren’t mechanical robots – they are software robots: programs designed to handle tasks and learn over time.

The piece of this particular event that I found the most compelling was the potential for negative impact, or the ‘bad and ugly’ as they put it in the webinar. Let’s face it, as much as people decry the impact of offshoring, RPA’s cost structure and scalability raises a significantly larger concern about job loss. The honest truth is that RPA will have an effect on jobs, but it may not be quite what people think.

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Book Review: Logistics and Supply Chain in Emerging Markets

Logistics and Supply Chain in Emerging Markets (Kogan Page, 2014) by John Manners-Bell, Thomas Cullen, and Cathy Roberson adeptly captures the interconnectedness of global economies and commercial activity while also studying a number of countries and industries independently.

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Webinar Notes: Procurement in 2020 – Four Trends Shaping Our Future

This week’s webinar notes are from a December 2013 event presented by Coupa and CFO.com with featured speakers from Deloitte and Blackstone Group. The event is available on demand on CFO.com and if you are interested in the content, there are two Deloitte whitepapers you can download:

While the four trends defined by Deloitte’s John Mavriyannakis are new topics for procurement, he did offer some interesting updates, added to by practitioner commentary by Blackstone’s Scott Whitehill.

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Webinar Notes: “Seven Trends That Will Impact Supply Management In 2012”

This week’s featured event was sponsored by TradingPartners with key speaker Andrew Bartolini, the Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners and Editor of the blog CPO Rising.

Beyond the high quality of the presentation itself, I appreciated the global perspective on procurement's activities and opportunities for responsibility and value creation. This was the kind of event that I think would open a lot of C-level eyes to the value of the function that they already have in house. You can request a copy of the slides or listen to the presentation on TradingPartners' site.

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