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Discovering the Importance of Cold Chain Logistics (ATSC Blog)

This content was posted on the All Things Supply Chain blog on September 28, 2020

Back in the late winter / early fall of 2020, the whole world became intimately familiar with the detailed innerworkings of the supply chain profession. As products such as meat, toilet paper, personal protective equipment (PPE), and cleaning supplies went from available to scarce overnight, consumers learned about warehousing, distribution centers, production schedules, and lean inventory management practices. Although these discoveries were largely the result of temporary system disruptions, they still increased consumer knowledge.

As we emerge from the peak of the COVID-19 crisis and move to ‘the new normal’ of long-term adjustment and recovery, people are about to discover a whole new type of supply chain operation: cold chain logistics.

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What drives the difference in direct spend management?

This content is made possible by SAP Procurement

“Direct and indirect spend management are not the same thing, nor should they be treated as such. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is focused on simple document transactions.”

- Jennifer Ruscelle Petersen


If procurement loves anything, it is categorizing spend. We categorize through multi-level taxonomies, nuanced processes, and expertise-based team assignments. Different types of spend represent different forms of value to the enterprise and are associated with different types of market leverage and efficiency.

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Dear Procurement… I need to make a profit! (Thinkers360)

This content was published on the Thinkers 360 member blog on July 23, 2020

If you’re a small business owner, you’re certainly not alone in being fed up with “us” – meaning corporate procurement. That seems like a funny thing to say these days, as I’m not really in procurement anymore. I am on the small vendor side and I completely sympathize with your procurement overhead struggles.

That said, I think I can connect the two sides of my experience – being in corporate procurement and running my own B2B business – to provide some actionable advice that you and others may be able to use to protect your bottom line while aggressively growing the top line.

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WARNING: Handling Dangerous Cargo (ATSC Blog)

This content was posted on the ATSC blog on August 24, 2020

On August 4th, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to approximately 6 million pounds – that were being stored in a facility at Beirut’s port caught fire and exploded. The human toll of the blast was enormous; the accident killed at least 163 people and injured 6,000 more. Tremendous damage was done to structures at and around the port and surrounding areas. The fact that the storage location was facing the sea is probably the only thing that saved the city of Beirut from total destruction.

The shipment originally arrived on a vessel from the country of Georgia in 2013. Although it was just pausing en route to Mozambique, it was seized and held in the port because of outstanding debts that were claimed in the Lebanese court system. The ship was deemed un-seaworthy in 2014 and the cargo was unloaded into “Hangar 12” where it would remain for nearly 6 years.

It is clear to supply chain professionals that this was a supply chain fail but rather than being one huge failure, the Beirut port explosion was the result of a chain of failures...

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Re-establishing the Enterprise’s Risk Appetite (ATSC Blog)

This content was published on the ATSC Blog on July 27, 2020

Since risk is a reality in business, and ‘certainty’ is an extremely expensive proposition, an enterprise’s appetite for risk has always been measured on a sliding scale. Companies with a low appetite for risk prefer steady predictability to meteoric growth. Companies with a high appetite for risk are willing to experiment and even accept the possibility for failure in pursuit of huge returns. The diversity of global companies and industries allows for both appetites; the question for each leadership team is what their current appetite is and how that affects short term decisions vs. long term planning.

There are many factors that go into determining a company’s risk appetite. Even the most straightforward decisions, such as the background of a job candidate or an alternate component design will be made based on the internal culture around risk.

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