Trade Wars, Not So Easy?

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!” – President Donald Trump on Twitter, March 9, 2019.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars May 27-31: International Trade Uncertainty and Transformation Success

With the Memorial Day holiday on Monday in the US, this is typically a quiet week. I’m actually surprised at how many events are going on… There are already 10 webinars on the calendar for June and I added the first two to July this week, so maybe we’ll have an active summer this year!

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Socially Responsible Intelligent Automation (AI) thru AI-Payables’ from SIG and Global Sourcing Optimization Services (GSOS) on June 20th at 1pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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China: Beyond the Trade War Hype

Globalization has transformed the world into one big economy. Capitalist theory suggests that markets in an open and healthy economy promote widespread well-being by increasing competition and ensuring the availability of goods and services. Increased competition then drives production cost optimization, research and development, quality management, differentiation, innovation, and other positive externalities. Broadly speaking, competition generates wealth.

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Recommended Webinars April 23-27: Transforming Finance, Digital Procurement, Trade Wars and Supply Chains

This is a busy week on the calendar, with 13 webinars taking place. And if you were hoping to make it to an event in the near term, this is the week to do it – next week is back to almost nothing: famine after the feast.

If you like to plan further ahead, I invite you to join me on May 8th for a webinar titled “Managing Your Metrics: Making Sure Your Measurements Deliver the Desired Results” hosted by Supply Chain Radio and TalentStream. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for July 31 – August 4: Direct Talent, International AP, Scenario Planning in an Uncertain World

This week’s three webinars all draw on big trends affecting all companies and industries: changing workforce structure, increased globalization within enterprises, and the impact of uncertainty on planning and risk mitigation. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Risk Management in Supply Chain and Procurement: Preparing for the Storm

Although we’re a few weeks past the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy now, the shake up left experts, businessmen, companies, and customers alike wondering what other events could potentially jeopardize their operation or interfere with getting the product they ordered on time. There are countless risks in a globalized economy, making it a subject of relentless discussion among academics. That being said, some of the biggest companies in the world still do not have a team dedicated to risk management for their supply chain and procurement operations. A recent report by ATKearney and RapidRatings on managing supply risk in uncertain times found that “leaders have struggled to manage the latent risk in their extended supply chains. Most cite lack of bandwidth and budget as the biggest roadblocks. Dedicating scarce resources to prevent or minimize the impact of an issue that might never occur is often not a priority.”

With globalized supply chain operations, risk is growing and managing it is more critical than ever. Some risk factors have been greatly discussed in the industry, and others not so much. Below are a few of the risks threatening global supply chains as well as solutions and action items.


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Book Review: The Industries of the Future

Editor’s note:

It is my distinct belief that as corporate objectives become more general, functional silos dissipate, and millennial professional habits lead to increased talent rotation, the information and skills required by successful individuals and organizations will be broad in nature. Most of the books I review on an annual basis are procurement or supply chain related. That being said, competitive advantage is not discipline specific. In that spirit, I am actively pursuing opportunities to bring general thought leadership to Buyers Meeting Point. Starting… now!

The Industries of the Future, by former State Department Senior Advisor Alec Ross, is a compelling exploration of the conditions businesses and countries need to optimize in order to be successful in the decades to come. It borrows extensively from his time traveling the world in the federal government’s service, which means that his examples are unexpectedly diverse and shared in such a way that is only possible when the author has experienced something first-hand.


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Book Review: Global Supply Chain Ecosystems

…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage. (p. 11)


Global Supply Chain Ecosystems: Strategies for Competitive Advantage in a Complex World by Mark Millar provides a multi-dimensional look at supply chains. The ecosystem concept was originally used by the Financial Times to describe the increasingly complex nature of business in general. When it is applied to supply chain operations, it provides us with the idea that chains are more spherical than linear and non-consecutive.


One of the things I realized early in my reading of the book is that Millar is writing from a much different perspective than the authors we am used to hearing from. His biography lists him as a speaker, presenter, and board member. His view of supply chains in general, and their potential value contribution to the modern competitive enterprise, is more elevated.


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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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Book Review: Can China Lead?

Can China Lead?

Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth

Can China Lead?, by Regina M. Abrami, William Kirby, and F. Warren McFarlan, asks a question that can not be definitively answered but is well worth asking. The authors seamlessly combine their knowledge of China’s history, people, and politics to advise companies looking to engage in commercial interactions with one the world’s second largest economy (As ranked by GDP by the United Nations, 2012). As the authors state in their Introduction, “Chinese businesses compete globally, now going head-to-head with North American and European corporations in telecommunications, heavy machinery, and renewable forms of energy.” (p. x)


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Webinar Notes: Going Deeper and Broader for Borderless Procurement

This week’s featured webinar was hosted by ISM and presented by Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. In ‘Key Procurement Issues in 2013: Going Deeper and Broader for Borderless Procurement’ we heard the application of Hackett’s ‘Borderless Business’ concept to the world of procurement, focusing on the priorities being set by leading organizations for performance and capability building.

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My Procurement is Your Beschaffung and Their Approvisionnement

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

 -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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