Purchasing Articles

A Machine Maker Invests to Close the Skills Gap

ThomasNet News

Does a skills gap exist in North American manufacturing? The answer appears to depend on perspective. Those who analyze manufacturing are skeptical, saying that, except in extraordinary cases, low-growth data on jobs and wages do not signal a crisis, much less a reason to be concerned about workforce skills. Manufacturers say there is one, explaining that they have a difficult time finding workers with the skills to operate advanced machinery. Read More

Industrial Services: Trends and Benefits of Subcontracting

Beroe Inc.

The idea of subcontracting is increasingly getting popular over time due to the fact that companies want to focus on their core business and outsource these additional services to a specialized player that is capable of providing better quality service with higher technical expertise and skilled workforce. Read More

Economy Recovers, Procurement Rethinks Role

Susan Avery

Ultimately, what does The Hackett Group 2014 Procurement Key Issues mean for procurement? “CPOs are starting to think about how to meet these expectations,” says Patrick Connaughton, a senior director. “It’s going to take a new type of procurement executive to drive this level of change. Ultimately, it means companies are going to have to invest in training and recruiting on a different level than they had in the past.” Read More

Big Chip Buyers Plan to Buy More

John Hall

Last year was a solid rebound period for semiconductors, fueled in part by demand for emerging new consumer “smart” electronics applications in the housing industry and surging demand for power chips in appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers. And 2014 is looking even stronger, according to analysts interviewed by My Purchasing Center, as booming wireless and Internet-enabled technologies fuel greater demand for faster chips and robust memory. Read More

Wild Cards in Palm Oil Outlook

Doug Smock

A severe early-year drought in Malaysia, a key producing nation, has reduced inventories and threatens to push prices up as much as 10% from current levels of around $800 per metric ton. Buyers are watching the narrowing price spread between palm oil and alternative oils, such as soybean oil. Read More

Surge in Biofuels Demand Could Affect Process Equipment Deliveries

ThomasNet News

To develop enough capacity for biofuel blending requirements in 2022, producers will need to add hundreds of plants. That’s the opportunity. The challenges may come from demand-induced shortages of key production equipment, as producers ramp up operations like site selection, design, permits (which includes evidence of sustainability), and construction. Shortages could include pumps and valves, Read More

ISM2014: A Good Bet for Procurement

Susan Avery

In an interview recently with My Purchasing Center, Tom Derry, CEO at the Institute for Supply Management in Tempe, Ariz., noted an uptick in conference registrations, not, he said, because of the location of ISM2014--Las Vegas--but because of the strength of the program. Read More

A Better Way to Negotiate

Guest Editor

A supplier has little choice but to agree when confronted with the facts. After all, raising prices when their costs go up is common practice. Refusing to accept the same logic when costs go down would paint the supplier as greedy and unfair, something far worse for business than simply agreeing to a (reasonable) price decrease. Read More

Avoiding Pitfalls When Merging Projects

Guest Editor

By combining projects, the Sourcing team is able to leverage a larger aggregate spend and can increase efficiency within the organization. That is the good news. The bad news is that the increase in project sponsors and other stakeholders increases the chance that complications will arise. Read More

Kaizen: Small Changes, Spectacular Results

Susan Avery

Kaizen Kreativity is a fundamental field manual or guide, in which DePaoli simplifies the methodology for the reader, shares success stories, and points out mistakes he’s made using Kaizen. He wrote the book for both novice and experienced users. Read More

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