|In This Issue ...
- Chemical Industry News
- U.S. EPA Ups Reporting Standards for Chemicals, Refining: According to a recent ICIS.com news release, U.S. environmental regulators will require more detailed and faster reporting of chemical production and refining data in 2011. Federal officials say the regulators will also put more limits on confidential business information. Read more.
- Sustainability Is the Root of Personal Care Packaging Trends: Based on recent study findings, Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) researchers expect to see increasing rates of growth in tubes and pouches over the next five years: 38 percent for tubes and 51 percent for pouches by 2015. Additionally, plastic use is expected to dramatically outpace all other packaging materials, showing a 34 percent growth rate by 2015. Read more.
- Industrial Chemicals Buying Guide Swells to 200-Plus Chemical Manufacturers: Recently, the global industrial trade portal for North America and Asia Worldwide Industrial announced the launch of its new chemical marketplace. This tool supports the buying and selling of powder coatings, paints, lubricants, cleaning chemicals, acids, finishes, dyes, inks, stains, regents, paint thinners, carbon products, agents, desiccants, pharmaceuticals, inhibitors, gases and a broad array of other chemicals for various industries. Read more.
- Experts Predict Boom in Bio-Based Resins: While materials like polylactic acid currently get most of the attention, bioplastics experts believe that eventually the majority of bio-based resins will be conventional resins — such as polyethylene and polypropylene — made from renewable resources rather than from petroleum, according to a recent news release. Read more.
- Feature Article
- Chemical M&A Activity on the Upswing: Mergers and acquisitions are picking up as strong strategic buyers seek growth and private equity exits. Who's up next on the selling block? Read more.
- Market Report
- Energy Management 101: Outline a basic strategy for managing your organization's energy spend, and read about some (often overlooked) best practices for ensuring energy management success in today's organizational culture. Read more.
- Announcements: ISM's Chemical Group 2010 Winter Conference — "Economic Recovery — Fact or Fiction: Meet Us at the Alamo for Answers!" — will take place March 4-5, 2010 at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio. Read more.
- Additional Resources: Check out these links to additional resources from the ISM Web site. Read more.
- Contact Us about ISM eDigest: Chemicals
|Chemical Industry News
Increased Chemicals, Refining Standards
U.S. EPA Ups Reporting Standards for Chemicals, Refining
According to a recent ICIS.com news release, U.S. environmental regulators will require more detailed and faster reporting of chemical production and refining data in 2011. Federal officials say the regulators will also put more limits on confidential business information.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that would make multiple changes to reporting rules and definitions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principal U.S. program for regulation of chemicals in commerce.
"The agency said that its proposed rules changes would expand the amount and type of information that refiners and chemical producers or importers would have to report and the frequency of those submissions," ICIS reports. "In addition to chemical manufacturers and refiners, the proposed rules changes would apply to electric utilities, paper and metals manufacturing and the producers of semiconductors and other electronic components."
According to ICIS, the agency said that its proposed changes for the reporting rules — formally known as the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) regulations under TSCA — "would provide improved information for EPA to better identify and, where appropriate, take steps to manage risks associated with chemical substances."
The EPA said the changes, which are scheduled to take effect next year, would meet four goals, including better data for agency regulators, broader public access to industry reports, new information on potential exposures and improved usefulness of information provided.
"Among other things, the proposed changes would make all inventory reporting electronic, eliminating paper document filing and speeding the reporting process," according to ICIS.
Under the proposed reporting rules, a company producing, importing or using 25,000 pounds or more of any chemical or substance in the TSCA inventory would have to report that activity for any year of the most recent four years in which the threshold amount was reached or exceeded.
The proposal would require inventory update reporting every four years, rather than the current five-year reporting frequency.
The agency also said that it would require more upfront explanations from companies that want to claim confidential business information status for data that otherwise would be reportable.
For a range of chemicals or substances covered by special agency rules or orders because of their potential environmental threat, the EPA said it would eliminate the usual 25,000-pounds-per-year reporting threshold and require inventory information regardless of the volumes produced, imported or used.
The complete 113-page proposal is available on the EPA website.
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Personal Care Packaging Trends
Sustainability Is the Root of Personal Care Packaging Trends
According to 2010 Personal Care Package Market Assessment, a recent study by Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), sustainability concerns are manifesting in a variety of ways in personal care product packaging.
Based on the findings, PMMI researchers expect the market for personal care packaging in North America to total between US$70 billion and $80 billion in 2010. Currently, plastics (59 percent) and bottles (41 percent) dominate packaging materials and formats, respectively. However, these researchers expect to see increasing rates of growth in tubes and pouches over the next five years: 38 percent for tubes and 51 percent for pouches by 2015. Additionally, plastic use is expected to dramatically outpace all other packaging materials, showing a 34 percent growth rate by 2015.
"Personal care producers are being forced to seek efficient and cost-effective ways to alter packaging and reduce the overall amount of materials used," says Jack Aguero, vice president of business development and marketing for ProMach, Inc. and chair of PMMI's Business Intelligence Committee. "And," he adds, "tubes and pouches are seen as having a smaller environmental footprint than bottles."
Because forms of personal care products vary widely — liquids, gels, powders and so on — PMMI researchers say this poses challenges for accommodating new package formats. "These challenges will increase as manufacturers move away from traditional packaging approaches," they point out.
"Personal care products are traditionally very diverse in their primary packaging and come with a great deal of secondary packaging to increase shelf appeal," continues Aguero. "Retailers and consumers are demanding more environmentally friendly packaging practices — including reductions in packaging materials, changes in package format and demands for smaller carbon footprints." Because of these demands, there is a need for great flexibility, according to the report.
"With more versatile machinery, you have options for consolidating lines and producing more products on fewer machines, producing a wider variety of packages in a single day and automating complex tasks," Aguero explains. "While the push for 'better, smarter, faster' production won't stop anytime soon, manufacturers need to examine all their options."
But that can be a trade-off, the report notes: A highly flexible machine might not be suitable for specific applications. So, as Aguero points out, it behooves manufacturers to know all their options.
Copies of 2010 Personal Care Package Market Assessment are available by contacting Paula Feldman, PMMI's director of research and surveys, at +1 703 243-8555.
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Industrial Chemicals Buying Guide
Industrial Chemicals Buying Guide Swells to 200-Plus Chemical Manufacturers
In recent months, the global industrial trade portal for North America and Asia Worldwide Industrial, a subsidiary of Industrial Leaders Group, announced the launch of its new chemical marketplace focusing on a wide range of industrial chemicals. The company said the marketplace is designed to buy and sell powder coatings, paints, lubricants, cleaning chemicals, acids, finishes, dyes, inks, stains, regents, paint thinners, carbon products, agents, desiccants, pharmaceuticals, inhibitors, gases and a broad array of other chemicals for various industries.
According to William Chapman, spokesperson for Worldwide Industrial, the chemical products on the site are suitable for industrial, electronic, metalworking, woodworking, plastic manufacturing, food processing, construction, metal finishing, rubber manufacturing, industrial processing, janitorial and cleaning, plan maintenance, corrosion protection and other applications. Chapman said the chemical manufacturers on the company's directory have grown in excess of 200 after the addition of 40 to 50 chemical manufacturers and distributors selected by Worldwide Industrial editors.
"Worldwide Industrial launched the industrial chemicals-focused publication to enable companies to compare suppliers of wax, elements, sodium, general chemicals, silicon, solvents, preservatives, compounds, coatings, paints, lube, pigments, barium, ammonium, reagents and other chemicals used by the manufacturing community," Chapman states.
"Worldwide Industrial plans to introduce a specialized buying guide for those sourcing different types of OEM and custom formulated chemicals and allied products in North America, Western Europe and some Asian markets, especially Japan, South Korea, China and India," he adds.
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Bio-Based Resins Boom
Experts Predict Boom in Bio-Based Resins
While materials like polylactic acid currently get most of the attention, bioplastics experts believe that eventually the majority of bio-based resins will be conventional resins — such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) — made from renewable resources rather than from petroleum, according to a recent PlasticNews.com news release.
"The next generation of bio-plastic resins is already coming," Jim Lunt of Jim Lunt & Associates LLC in Wayzata, Minnesota told PlasticNews.com reporter Mike Verespej. "There's increasing interest and development in making both existing and new monomers from renewable resources. We are transitioning from oil-based to renewable feedstocks."
Braskem SA, for example, is expected to begin making sugar-cane based ethylene that will be turned into polyethylene at its plant in Triunfo, Brazil, starting in August 2011, with annual output projected to be 400 million pounds, the release states. "That will be the first plant to produce traditional plastics resins on an industrial scale using a 100 percent renewable feedstock," Verespej reports.
Moreover, Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. has already announced plans to use Braskem's sugar cane-derived PE in selected packaging on its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor products, he continues.
According to Brian Balmer, performance materials industry principal for Frost & Sullivan Inc., polymers like PE and PP behave the same regardless of whether they are made from oil or bio-based feedstocks. While some end users might be reluctant to use new materials, he says, "There are all sorts of things that people are developing to make existing polymers from renewable resources."
At a recent plastics packaging conference in Atlanta, Lunt noted that right now both Cargill and Dow have some soy-based polyurethanes; and, a number of companies — including Myriant Technologies LLC in Quincy, Massachusetts, and DNP Green Technology Inc. in Montreal — are making succinic acid.
Myriant is also scheduled to begin building a US$50 million bio-based succinic acid facility in Lake Providence, Louisiana in September, according to the release.
Myriant Business Development Manager Michael Mang told Verespej that the company is investigating a different route for materials and chemicals as it moves forward. "Companies are focused on making chemicals from renewable resources to deliver products with a smaller environmental footprint," he explains. "And, they're going after established markets so it becomes an easy adoption for the customer."
To read the entire release, visit the PlasticNews.com website.
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Chemical M&A Activity
Chemical M&A Activity on the Upswing
By Joseph Chang
The chemical mergers and acquisitions (M&A) engine is firing up and starting to gain a head of steam, shrugging off fears of a global double-dip recession and an economic slowdown in China. To date, 2010 looks to be a solid comeback year for M&A, and prospects for 2011 are looking even rosier than 2010.
Global chemical M&A activity increased significantly in the first half of 2010, with US$29 billion (€22 billion) in deals more than $25 million in size completed, exceeding the total of $25 billion for all of 2009, according to Young & Partners.
The number of these deals per quarter has also trended up since the generation of four deals in the first quarter (Q1) of 2009, leading to 17 transactions completed in Q2 of 2010, notes Young. Through the first half of 2010, 32 deals were completed compared with just 11 in the same period a year ago. M&A activity peaked in 2007 at 54 deals.
"Chemical M&A activity appears to be relatively active — greater than in 2009, but not yet back to pre-2007 levels," says Chris Cerimele, director and head of chemicals at U.S.-based investment bank Houlihan Lokey. "This is despite the continuing uncertainty regarding the timing and strength of economic recovery in various parts of the world. The strength reflects the fact economic performance is a little more stable than it was early last year when the most severe contractions occurred. We are involved in or hearing about transactions across the spectrum — from commodities to specialties."
Telly Zachariades, partner of U.S.-based investment bank The Valence Group, says: "We haven't seen a slowdown at all in M&A activity. Chemical companies are hitting it out of the park in terms of financial results. They have the cash and desire to do deals, and more assets to choose from."
The backlog of deals also bodes well for strong M&A activity going forward. As of June 30, 2010, the backlog of deals announced, but yet to close, stood at nine transactions worth $13 billion — up from five deals worth $6.3 billion at the end of 2009, and "a clear sign of a significant increase in activity," says Young.
On July 19, South Korea's Honam Petrochemical picked up a 72.2 percent stake in Malaysian polyethylene (PE) company Titan Chemicals for $2.94 billion Malaysian ringgit (US$910 million). Honam plans to take full ownership of Titan by November, for a total investment of $1.3 billion.
On the specialties front, German chemical company BASF announced its $4 billion acquisition of another German specialty chemical firm, Cognis, from global private equity firms Permira and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners on June 23, 2010.
Flush With Cash
Many companies are better positioned than ever to make acquisitions, with high cash balances and profitable operations.
"The economic crisis of 2008 to 2009 prompted a major rethink from a cost perspective, as well as strategic positioning and product development," says Tim Wilding, managing director and head of chemicals at U.S.-based investment bank Oppenheimer. "Companies have emerged in much better shape than before — not just with their cost structures, but they are also much more disciplined on the top line in terms of what they do, for whom and at what price. The necessity for survival has led to a huge improvement in operations."
Now that cost realignments have helped bring profits back to healthy levels, strategic buyers have a greater appetite to make deals.
"The psychology of the market has improved significantly. Cost-cutting has taken place during the downturn, and now companies are achieving a higher level of profitability," says Leland Harrs, managing director at U.S.-based investment bank PrinceRidge Group. "Banks are lending again, and there has been a noticeable pickup in interest, dialogue and activity. In this environment, deals can get done."
U.S.-based Solutia, which restructured and emerged from bankruptcy in February 2008, has made two major acquisitions this year and is actively looking for more. It acquired Etimex Solar, a producer of ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) solar encapsulants, on June 1, 2010 for $314million, and Singapore-based window films maker Novomatrix for $73 million on May 3 this same year.
Look for Belgium's Solvay to be a major buyer of chemical assets. Having sold its pharmaceutical business in February for €5.20 billion, it's sitting on more than €5billion in cash, outweighing its €2.60billion in long-term debt.
Well-capitalized and growing companies from emerging economies will also look to buy Western assets, says Philip Kassin, senior managing director at U.S.-based investment bank Evercore Partners, and former director on the supervisory board of Netherlands-based chemical major LyondellBasell.
Foreign buyers are seeking access to the U.S. market. "Reliance Industries looked at NOVA Chemicals before it was bought out by IPIC [Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co.] and tried to buy LyondellBasell," says Kassin. "Brazil's Braskem also bought Sunoco's polypropylene [PP] assets."
He adds, "We think this will continue. Chinese companies also have expansionary desires and will look to globalize their business by acquiring technologies and assets abroad."
PET Assets On the Block
One high-profile asset being evaluated for sale is U.S.-based Eastman Chemical's polyethylene terephthalate (PET) business. The June 2010 announcement may have spurred a ripple effect.
U.S. PET producer Invista is also considering the sale of its polymer and resin assets in North America, confirmed spokesperson Jodie Stutzman on July 21, 2010. This includes PET, dimethyl terephatlate (DMT) and specialty polymers.
"Hopefully this creates a real opportunity to consolidate the PET industry and start to deal with the current supply/demand imbalance," Wilding says. The PET market has been characterized by overcapacity and a high degree of cyclicality.
Private Equity Sales to Accelerate
Heading into 2011, private equity firms are likely to accelerate their sales of chemical assets, Wilding believes. "2011 will be a busy time for exits by private equity, as market conditions improve and the timing aligns to meet their internal objectives," he says.
U.S.-based Hexion Specialty Chemicals' ink resins business is also on the selling block, according to sources. Hexion, which is owned by U.S. private equity firm Apollo Management, declined to comment.
The ink resins business, which includes the assets Apollo Management bought from U.S.-based Eastman Chemical in 2004 for $215 million, has around $300 million in sales, notes one source. The business produces acrylic, polyamide, polyester and phenolic resins for printing inks.
In the M&A heyday through much of the 2000s, fueled by cheap and available financing, private equity firms acquired a large amount of chemical assets. And with most private equity firms having a three- to five-year time period for holding an asset, the timing might be ripe to sell.
U.S.-based biorefiner of pine chemicals Arizona Chemical has been put up for sale, while private equity owner Rhone Capital pursues an initial public offering (IPO) in parallel. U.S.-based Rhone Capital declined to comment, and Arizona Chemical did not respond to a request for comment.
One source estimated that Arizona could fetch around $1 billion in a sale based on a seven-times multiple of estimated annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $140 million for 2010.
The Big Picture
Overall, Peter Young, president of U.S.-based investment bank Young & Partners, says there are clear signs of a pickup in chemical M&A volume, with a thawing of credit, a stabilization of economies around the world, increasing buyer confidence, more realistic price expectations by sellers, higher confidence in earnings and cash flow forecasts, and high cash balances. "We expect the M&A market to improve substantially in 2010 over 2009," he says. "The evidence can be found everywhere — in dollar volume, number of deals and deal backlog."
Joseph Chang is the global editor of ICIS Chemical Business.To contact this author, send an e-mail to email@example.com (Editor's note: This article contains excerpts from the article, Chemical M&A Activity Accelerates, which appeared in the August 16, 2010 issue of ICIS Chemical Business.)
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Energy Management 101
The Beginner's Guide to Energy Management
By Walter Quade, CPSM, C.P.M., C.P.P.O.
Today's energy markets continue to confuse many of us, who previously felt we — as professional managers or those who speculate in the futures market for financial profit — had a firm grasp on trends as they impact the future of our organizations. The past few years have reminded us how little we really understand regarding the future. This has been proven in the variability of the stock market and the energy markets.
While not intended to be all-encompassing, this article gives sourcing professionals a basic strategy for success in managing your organization's energy spend. It provides a reasonable methodology for your organization to begin an energy program, as well as some often overlooked lessons learned regarding the basics of managing and planning for success in today's organizational culture.
Selecting the Energy Management Team
Any great energy management strategy begins with a competent team. While I'm sure some of us are competent engineering and purchasing professionals, two (or more) heads are indeed better than one when developing programs of this nature.
The team should include members of your organization's operations, finance and engineering groups, along with a designated purchasing professional. Additionally, it's a good idea that the purchasing professional be high-level enough to ensure that some leverage is available if disagreements arise along the way.
Typically, obtaining team consensus depends on how open-minded the team's members are. When assembling your team, ensure that members are open to free discussion and that no individual has an overbearing or aggressive personality. This fosters an honest, open approach to making decisions based on fact.
The next — and most critical — step in managing energy spend is to solicit upper management's participation in setting and concurring with your short- and long-term goals, strategies and objectives.
Gain commitment from upper management by scheduling meeting/briefings with these executives, or by developing a monthly or quarterly situation paper detailing the current status of the market and how your results are measuring up against your plan. This should be accompanied with a biannual full summary and adjustment of your strategy to marketplace changes, along with an evaluation of your group's results to date.
It's during this segment that the energy management team must continue to reinforce the fact that managing is not synonymous with guessing about the future for financial profit, and the results from these paths can often be at opposite ends of the spectrum. Both your energy management team and upper management must be reminded that financial speculation will, at times, deliver enormous rewards. But, when luck moves against you, the penalties often exceed historical rewards.
Developing the Strategy
To emphasize the value of this team and strategy, develop realistic goals for the short term and beyond, including:
- Cost projections
- Alternative energy choices
- Demand reduction goals
- Projections on the future costs of the various alternatives on a BTU and commodity unit-of-measure basis.
Short-term plans should be extremely precise and quantitative. Longer-term strategy should include movement to alternative types of fuel, along with directions for new and upgraded facilities.
Organizations lacking sufficient internal resources should consider looking externally for professional direction and recommendations from outside category experts. These resources abound; in many cases, they can be enlisted at a reasonable price. Typically, energy represents a substantial percent of an organization's costs. As such, it's very easy to quantify the opportunity cost and payback associated with efficiently managing this sector.
Conduct a detailed analysis based on cost projections. What are the most efficient sources of energy, from a BTU standpoint? In what areas do opportunities exist to shift consumption to lower-cost commodities? Once these base decisions are made, take the opportunity to look forward to minimize the variability of the marketplace in the short and long term.
Undertake some analytical work to review your organization's acceptable risk profile, and lay out a strategy to enable you to lock in prices in the futures market. As mentioned earlier, the objective of this exercise is not to guess what the future may bring, but to manage your organization's spend.
To this end, upper management's input is important and needs to be understood. Your risk profile should be reviewed and agreed upon by all management executives involved, as well as documented to eliminate any slips in memory.
A second area of review would be to look for opportunities to buy direct, cutting out the middleman. As electricity prices have escalated around the nation, many co-generation facilities have sprung up, offering electricity through methane gas, landfills, solar, wind turbines and geothermal generation.
Direct deals with ethanol and biodiesel refiners in particular are relatively easy to secure in this young industry. Exploring this option allows you to obtain competitively priced green energy for your organization. Through its policy groups, your energy management team might want to look at your organization's use of renewable energy programs and green energy credits. The team can set very specific goals to promote socially responsible perceptions in the market. The federal government has underwritten many programs that make renewable energy competitive with conventional energy products.
Effectively Communicating the Results
The energy management team must continually communicate the results and any strategy modifications to upper management to keep them informed and engaged as part of the process. Successes and setbacks should receive equal emphasis to build and retain their buy-in.
When communicating results, energy costs can be baselined on a BTU and commodity basis, with a base year selected that represents the beginning of your program. From that point, a brief evaluation of where the energy management team has been, where it's going and what it has accomplished becomes easy to assimilate.
As a final note, remember to keep upper management current on the current financial status of this program versus your projections. This gives them ample time to adjust their business plans.
The Big Picture
Make sure you use the team concept to share success with all participants. We all work in social groups that can help us succeed or lay the foundations for our failure. By using some of the basic guidelines outlined in this article, you can plan for success in this increasingly important cost area.
Walter Quade, CPSM, C.P.M., C.P.P.O. is director of commodity management in the Department of General Services for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To contact this author, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ISM Chemical Group 2010 Winter Conference Rapidly Approaching
The Institute for Supply Management™ Chemical Group 2010 Winter Conference —
"Economic Recovery — Fact or Fiction: Meet Us at the Alamo for Answers!" — will take place March 4-5, 2010 at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio.
For this conference, each attendee will earn nine Continuing Education Hours that can be applied toward their recertification of the Certified Professional in Supply Management™ (CPSM™), Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) or reaccreditation of the Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.).
"We have assembled a panel of speakers who will give you insight to the latest trends in the economy, energy, key commodities and the latest in procurement technology," says Paul Kane, C.P.M., chair of the ISM Chemical Group. "This information will be useful when dealing with changes in the chemical marketplace which occur seemingly on a daily basis."
The conference fee is US$495 per person, which includes a Thursday evening dinner. This event will be held at the Tower of the Americas, providing time to socialize and network.
Hotel accommodations for the 2010 ISM Chemical Group Winter Conference are available at a discounted rate of $169 for the nights of March 3-5 if your reservations are confirmed by February 1, 2010.
Download the full conference brochure online. Questions can be directed to Paul Kane, C.P.M. or Pat Hurd, C.P.M..
Register now for ISM's 11th Annual Services Conference
"Innovative Supply Relationships: Creating Value for Services Procurement" is the theme of this year's ISM Services Conference, which will take place December 2-3, 2010 in Phoenix. Last year's Services Conference received one of the highest approval ratings in the 10-year life of the program. This year's event promises to be even better.
Earn 10.25 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs). The cost is US$795 for members and $995 for nonmembers. Both groups can save $100 when they register for both the Services Conference and this year's pre-Conference seminar: "Strategic Services Procurement: Applying Strategic Sourcing Principles #4457", November 30-December 1, 2010 in Phoenix.
- Collaborative Relationship Development With Strategic Suppliers — Grace Puma from United Airlines outlines how transformation and continued savings, even during the economic pinch of the past few years, have been achieved in part through collaborative relationship development with strategic supplies.
- Comprehensive Services Procurement — Mary Finaldi from Deloitte Services and Dan Ashton from Ariba explore the optimization of services spend in areas such as consulting, print and marketing services.
- Service Contracts: Why Is Market Rate a Bad Market? — Clark Terrill from Live Nation focuses on asking the right questions during the negotiations process.
- Suppliers Saved My Bacon — John MacLean from American Airlines delves into the challenges American Airlines has faced in the last decade. Learn how American's suppliers helped the airline stay solvent and restructure.
- Creative Services Sourcing at Disney: Engaged With Passion — Steven G. Miller gives participants an inside look of how Disney professionals engage with each other and suppliers to source creative services that help "make the Disney Difference."
All sessions will take place at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort at 11111 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Arizona 85020. For reservations, call +1 602 866-7500. Be sure to mention ISM group code "IVG" to receive the special room rate of US$139 single/double, with high-speed Internet and resort fee included. The cutoff date for the ISM room rate is November 8, 2010. Rooms sell out quickly, so be sure to reserve yours early by visiting the ISM website.
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A Wealth of Information at www.ism.ws
Visit ISM's website, www.ism.ws, for more supply management resources. The site provides published articles, conference presentations and reference materials that pertain to supply managers in all industries. Here are some items that might be of interest:
A September 2010 Inside Supply Management® article, Engaging Suppliers to Excel, discusses how, amid recent economic challenges, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has found ways to deliver top-quality, innovative and highly sensitive products to its customers — often for less cost.
An article in the latest edition of ISM's eSide Supply Management e-magazine — Listening. Communicating. Connecting. — looks at why it's critical that supply management professionals are able to communicate clearly (and often) with our suppliers these days, and how to do it.
Managing Supplier Risk for Competitive Advantage — the cover story in the August 2010 edition of ISM's monthly print magazine — explains how organizations that do well in managing supplier risk can maintain, and even strengthen, their competitive position. The key, it asserts, is to stay ahead of potential problems by taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach.
Customer Relationship Management (which appeared in the September/October 2010 edition of eSide) talks about how, as a concept, customer relationship management has taken on an increased level of focus for many procurement groups around the globe as the function continues to grow from tactical support groups to strategic business partnerships. In turn, developing and managing relationships with internal customers has become critical.
Another August 2010 Inside Supply Management® article, Draft Effective Warranties, examines why, in an effort to draft and negotiate warranties into contracts, a supply management professional must understand the law of warranties, how to incorporate these terms and clauses into a contract, and how to negotiate warranties into contracts.
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