How important is a Green Supply-Chain in North America?

Posted: October 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: CSR in purchasing, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain | Tags: , | No Comments »

Green supply-chainWe certainly hear a lot about the importance of reducing the amount of carbon our species is releasing into the atmosphere. But we don’t hear much about what this really means to our profession: in other words, how important is a ‘green’ Supply-Chain in North America?

To answer this question we recently sent out a 14-question survey to hundreds of Supply-Chain professionals. The results are in and you may find them interesting.

Three Key Findings.

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The new oil order

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Commodities, Energy, Oil, Saudi Arabia, Shale gas, USA | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Shale oilThe massive growth of shale oil production decreased OPEC capacity in setting oil prices. In a context of limited demand growth, oil prices are currently in the $80~$85 price range and unlikely to exceed $80 next year.

The major factor in declining oil prices is to look on the supply side, says Michael Hsueh in the latest oil report published by Deutsche Bank. Libyan production increased from 0.24 million barrels/day in June to 0.78 mb/d in September. At the same time, Saudi Arabia production has plateaued around 9.7 to 9.8 mb/d. As for OPEC 30 mb/d quotas, if they were still generally followed at the beginning of the year, they were exceeded by 0.7 to 0.9 mb/d in September, said the German bank.

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Nickel: glut or shortage?

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Indonesia, Metals, Nickel, the Philippines | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

NickelIn intraday on Friday, nickel prices hit a seven-month low of $14,980 a tonne. Stocks in LME warehouses hit another all-time high of 378,132 tonnes. Nickel at one stage was looking like being the star of 2014 in base metals, but its big rises have been eroded and it is now just 9 per cent ahead for the year.

Nickel prices have sunk to their lowest level since March, as slowing economies in Europe and China rattle investors, while a financing scandal in China has prompted companies to dump tons of nickel and other metals on the market.

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Benchmark Your Organization’s Purchasing Effectiveness

Posted: October 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gem, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , | No Comments »

Purchasing survey

Dear Colleague

Back in 2003, we created a simple, on-line survey to help Purchasing Professionals gauge their organization’s overall purchasing effectiveness.

The goals were to first measure attitudes and practices, and then offer concrete suggestions for making improvements. The initiative was successful: almost 3,000 people participated.

One of our readers had a great idea – why not re-do the survey? We could compare new results to the original numbers and see if there’s been a shift in attitudes and practices, over the past 7 years.

These 7 areas are covered and answers range between strongly agree and strongly disagree.

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Hardwood Prices to Rise

Posted: October 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Commodities, Lumber, USA | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

HardwoodAgainst the backdrop of rising raw materials prices, most of the American hardwoods flooring manufacturers have been forced to raise prices on finished goods. Some announced hikes at the beginning of the summer, while others increased prices in September.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hardwood prices are now over 40% higher than they were in 2009. Several factors have fueled this dramatic surge in prices.

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When Warehousing Goes Green

Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: CSR in purchasing, Energy, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , | No Comments »

Green buildingWhen considering the greening of any supply chain it is easy to ignore the impact of warehousing and distribution centres.
Transport miles are often shown to potential consumers, but what about the environmental cost of storage?

Understandably, the main focus in distribution centres is often the streamlining of the distribution process. This video of the Ocado distribution centre makes this optimisation geek very excited. But it is not difficult, and not necessarily expensive, to improve the green credentials of your warehousing.

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The rise and fall of oil price

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Commodities, Energy, Oil, Saudi Arabia, USA | No Comments »

Oil productionThe price of oil has plummeted by more than a quarter since June but will Opec, which holds 60% of the world’s reserves and 30% of supplies, cut its own production to try to lift prices?

Will the cartel allow a further slide from the current price, which fell to just under $80 a barrel at one point last week, in the hope of making it impossible for US drillers to make a profit from their wells, and so driving them out of business?

There is a surplus of geopolitical risk in the world, but a greater surplus of oil. Something had to give, and that something has proved to be the oil price. Its dramatic 25%t plunge reflects the reality of a new era in world oil, one defined by a resurgence of North American supply.

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Don’t Sweat the Details – It’s the Direction that Counts

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Gem, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

DirectionYears ago, while working for Green Giant, I phoned our steel can sales rep to ask for a 4% reduction. We had information suggesting steel prices had fallen 8%.
He certainly wasn’t very happy and, as expected, argued against any decrease.

“Are you saying you’re still purchasing steel at the same price as before?” I asked. “That would be surprising.”

“Um… no, of course not”, he said, “but look – let me get back to you.”

To learn more, follow the Negotiating Nugget on Propurchaser.


Commodities slide to 5-year low

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Agricultural, China, Commodities, Economic Indicators, Energy, Energy, Metals, Oil, Precious metals, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

SteelRaw materials slumped 7.1 percent this year, headed for a fourth annual decline and the longest slump since at least 1991, amid concern that economic growth is weakening as global equity markets lost $1.5 trillion last week.

Data yesterday showed that U.S. retail sales fell 0.3 percent last month on a broad pullback in consumer spending in the world’s largest economy. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) fell as much as 0.2 percent to 116.78, the lowest level since mid-2009, and was at 116.87 at 11:25 a.m. in Singapore.

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Chinese steel exerts downward pressure on U.S. prices

Posted: October 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Europe, Metals, Steel, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

SteelIn the U.S., current domestic hot-rolled steel prices are a whopping $209 per ton higher than the Chinese export price. As a result, Chinese steel exports have risen to record levels.

China’s exports of steel products rose to a fresh record last month, up sharply from a year earlier, as steelmakers burdened by China’s slowdown boosted cheap exports to make up for price cuts at home.

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