Has the purchasing profession made strides over the last 7 years? – Part 2

Posted: November 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Gem, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , | No Comments »

business man with a dollar symbolFollowing the results of responses to the first area probed in our Purchasing Effectiveness Survey which focused on Senior Management’s view of Purchasing, we continue with results from the second area (leaving money on the table). 

Here are the results.

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Nickel: a metal in transition

Posted: November 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Indonesia, Metals, Nickel, the Philippines | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

NickelNickel for delivery in three months advanced 7.4 percent last week to settle at $16,450 a metric ton last Friday on the London Metal Exchange, the biggest jump since last month. The commodity has gained more than 18 percent this year.

Even if prices has risen sharply recently, nickel prices are expected to remain in positive territory through 2015, as the ban on Indonesian raw nickel continues and as exports from the Philippines drop due to seasonal changes.

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Are Green Supply-Chains More Expensive?

Posted: November 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gem, Greening the Supply Chain | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

SurveyThis is the second article discussing the results of our ongoing survey examining what Supply-Chain professionals in North America are thinking and (more importantly) doing about greening their supply-chains.

The first article, How important is a Green Supply-Chain in North America?, focused on the perceived importance of a green supply-chain, homing in on senior management’s expectations, as well as our own attitudes towards suppliers with green credentials.

The survey asked how strongly participants agreed or disagreed with the following statements:
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European and Chinese Steel Prices Fall

Posted: November 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Europe, Iron ore, Metals, Nickel, Steel, USA | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Steel cold roll coilSteel prices in China have fallen from $607 per tonne (£385) in January to $542 (£344) in October. In the US the price has dropped from $861 (£546) to $839 (£532) over the same period.

According to Mintec, the European steel price for cold rolled coil fell from $727 per tonne (£461) in January to $625 (£396) in October.

Loraine Hudson, market analyst at Mintec, said: “The Chinese steel market is having a significant impact on the world market, as it is by far the largest producer and consumer of steel. The Chinese market has witnessed overcapacity in the steel sector, resulting in steel prices dropping domestically. Despite weak demand growth, production has been increasing throughout most of this year.

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Made in the USA: A Case for Reshoring

Posted: November 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gem, Labor | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Reshoring USA

Reshoring Gives Economic Hope to Manufacturers

Offshore outsourcing has become one of the hot button political issues of the day. Especially in light of the U.S. economic downturn, there is a desperate need for more jobs for American workers, while at the same time companies are looking for ways to save money to keep themselves afloat. But now it looks as though reshoring might be an idea that makes sense for both sides, making reshoring a trend that just might stick.

The OffShore Outsourcing Controversy

Off-shoring in the manufacturing, customer service, and tech industries has been happening for some time now and opponents feel there are far more negatives than positives to offshore outsourcing (delays, hidden costs, quality control), while others see nothing but an effective strategy for keeping costs down.

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Uranium price soars as Japan restarts nuclear reactors

Posted: November 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Uranium | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Uranium prices soar as Japan restarts nuclear reactorsKyushu Electric Power Co. received final local approval last Friday to resume power generation at its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. All reactors in Japan have been shut since the March 2011 meltdowns crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The uranium spot price jumped 5 percent last weekend to $39.25 US per pound of U3O8. The trend continued this week with prices climbing to their highest level in 16 months but there are other factors besides Japan driving the uranium market higher, including the possibility of a supply deficit in the next three years.

The Solactive Global Uranium Total Return Index, which tracks 21 companies in the uranium mining industry, rose the most since December 2008. The index is still down 80 percent from its highest closing price in 2011.

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Iron ore: rust in peace

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Australia, Commodities, Iron ore, Metals, Steel | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Iron ore turns to rustThe party’s over for iron ore” declared an ANZ research team returning from a trip to China after discovering demand conditions that were more challenging than thought, while analysts at RBC Capital Markets slashed their price forecasts for this and next year.

Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao rose 0.1 percent to $75.87 a dry ton yesterday, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The commodity slumped to $75.38 on Nov. 6, the lowest since September 2009.

Pummeled by a deepening supply glut, iron ore prices have dived an eye-watering 45 percent this year and there’s no respite ahead for the metal, according to Citi, which forecasts double-digit declines in 2015.

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Use Peer Pressure to Drive Down Costs

Posted: November 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Gem, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Drive down costsDriving down costs by ‘coaxing’ voluntary behavior change. Anyone who survived the social pressure cooker of high school knows about the power of peer pressure.

For purchasing professionals trying to drive down cost, the good news is that peer pressure can have the same impact in corporate corridors as it did in the blackboard jungle.

from The Power of Peer Pressure in Propurchaser’s Negotiating Nuggets.


Natural gas rallies on ‘polar outbreak’ forecast

Posted: November 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Natural Gas, USA | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Natural gas: polar outbreakCold weather boosts consumption of natural gas, which heats about half the homes in the country. This winter’s first bout of cold weather is raising expectations for a repeat of last year, when frigid temperatures spurred record gas demand.

On Thursday, natural gas for December delivery shot up 5% to $4.404 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a four-month high.

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Unexpected US manufacturing activity rise in October

Posted: November 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: PMI, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

ISMThe ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers index increased to 59.0 last month from 56.6 in September. The top-line index is back to its August reading, which was the highest since March 2011. In October, 16 of 18 reporting industries reported growth.

Other manufacturing PMIs around the world slowed in October, a few falling into or staying at readings that indicate contraction. China‘s two factory readings were barely above 50 last month. The total eurozone PMI was slightly expansionary, but the readings for France and Italy showed contracting activity. The UK PMI was one of the few indexes to accelerate in October.

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