Volume 10, Number 3, July 2012
This newsletter is published in cooperation with the ISM Chemical Group.  


In This Issue ...
  • Chemical Industry News
    • Auto Industry Releases Guidelines for Replacing Vital Resin: According to a recent Plastics News report, automakers and suppliers have set up a system to test possible replacements for nylon 12, which will speed development of parts using other materials and reduce the potential for auto production slowdowns.

      More than 30 companies — representing every link in the resin supply chain, as well as automakers — worked with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) to create interim guidelines that will provide a method to analyze and test other materials in place of nylon 12, according to a recent AIAG news release.

      The guidelines lay out specific requirements for replacements in areas such as tensile strength and elongation, chemical resistance, fuel exposure and other key performance issues.  Read more.

    • Green Chemicals Show Game-Changing Potential: According to a recent CNBC report, a new generation of renewable-chemical startups could soon begin breaking the industrial behemoths' grip on the sector.

      Volatile oil prices could allow bio-based chemical-makers such as Gevo and Solazyme Inc. to make inroads on their well-established competition, Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co., said John Quealy, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity.

      "Renewable chemicals can be considered to de-risk the chemical supply chain from persistently high petroleum costs," Quealy stated, in a report on the renewable chemicals industry earlier this year.  Read more.

    • USDA Publishes Guidelines Proposing to Expand BioPreferred Program: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published new guidelines addressing how complex products and intermediate materials and feedstocks will be included in its BioPreferred program — a move that could open up more federal government procurement of bio-based products.  Read more.

  • Feature Article
    • World-Class Supply Management and Collaboration Strategies — A recent study conducted by Cleveland-based MPI Group and sponsored by IBM Analytics assesses 197 chemical and petroleum manufacturers against several key strategies for success. Chief among them: supply management and collaboration.

      In the end, only 11 percent (roughly 22) of the nearly 200 chemical and petroleum manufacturers studied attained "world-class" status in these areas. While this sample was small, three common mind-sets and best practices emerged from this elite group.  Read more.

  • Market Report
    • Get Ready! Our Supply Chain World Is About to Get More Complex — The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon be publishing final rules surrounding the "conflict minerals" portion of the Dodd-Frank law. These SEC rules will have a significant impact for supply management organizations — in particular, the leaders of supply chain organizations of publicly traded companies (SEC filers), who most likely will be required to assist with compliance of the law.

      After reading that paragraph, two thoughts may arise:

         1) Law? What law?
         2) What will my company, or supply management organization, be required to do?

      This article will help you answer both questions.  Read more.

  • Announcements: "Buying the Umbrella Before It Rains" is a two-day risk management conference by Institute for Supply Management™ taking place in Chicago this week. It is designed to provide an overview and practical information to help attendees connect the dots from risk management to their supply chain planning and execution.

    The conference theme focuses on the many facets of risk management and offers takeaways and success stories. Practitioners will share their tried-and-true stories with attendees to help them and their companies avoid pitfalls.  Read more.

  • Additional Resources: Check out these links to additional resources from the ISM website.  Read more.

  • Contact Us about ISM eDigest: Chemicals.


Chemical Industry News

New Guidelines for Replacing Vital Resin

Auto Industry Releases Guidelines for Replacing Vital Resin

According to a recent Plastics News report, automakers and suppliers have set up a system to test possible replacements for nylon 12, which will speed development of parts using other materials and reduce the potential for auto production slowdowns.

More than 30 companies — representing every link in the resin supply chain, as well as automakers — worked with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) to create interim guidelines that will provide a method to analyze and test other materials in place of nylon 12, according to a recent AIAG news release.

The guidelines lay out specific requirements for replacements in areas such as tensile strength and elongation, chemical resistance, fuel exposure and other key performance issues.

Nylon 12 is used in fuel lines, connectors, tubes and other key components. Supplies have been running short in the wake of a March 31, 2012 fatal fire at Evonik Industries AG's plant in Marl, Germany, which destroyed the plant making the feedstock cyclododecatriene (CDT). The plant also supplied CDT to other nylon 12 makers.

Molders and resin-makers have offered a variety of potential replacements, including other nylon materials and acetal and polyphenylene sulfide resins. But without a standard validation and testing system in place, approval of those replacements might have been delayed — which, in turn, could affect automakers' assembly plants.

The interim design validation approved through the AIAG work group should lower many of those hurdles and reduce the complexity of bringing new resins to the table.

Ford Motor Co. does not expect the nylon 12 shortage to affect its production, thanks to the efforts at AIAG as well as individual suppliers, said spokesman Todd Nissen.


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Green Chemicals Show Game-Changing Potential

Green Chemicals Show Game-Changing Potential

According to a recent CNBC report, a new generation of renewable-chemical startups could soon begin breaking the industrial behemoths' grip on the sector.

Volatile oil prices could allow bio-based chemical-makers such as Gevo and Solazyme Inc. to make inroads on their well-established competition, Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co., said John Quealy, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity.

"Renewable chemicals can be considered to de-risk the chemical supply chain from persistently high petroleum costs," Quealy stated, in a report on the renewable chemicals industry earlier this year.

In that report, he initiated coverage of both Gevo and Solazyme with "buy" recommendations.

California-based Solazyme makes bio-based crude oil and oil products from algae, while Colorado-based Gevo is producing isobutanol and other chemicals from agricultural crops.

The company is repurposing an existing ethanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota to ramp up production. The plant can produce 18 million gallons of isobutanol annually.

The global chemicals market is massive — worth about US$3 trillion annually, according to the trade group American Chemistry Council — and its products are involved in 95 percent of all manufacturing.

Within the U.S. alone, the group said the chemical industry contributes nearly $720 billion annually to the economy.

Most of that production is in petrochemicals, which consume 24 percent of the economy's crude oil, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Multiple Applications

But renewable chemicals aren't simply greener products shoehorned into the petrochemical industry's operational strategy.

Many are drop-in replacements for their petroleum counterparts, chemically similar enough to swap in for oil-refined products, with no effect on performance or efficiency for the end user.

Gevo president and COO Chris Ryan said his company's green isobutanol has been tested and approved by major car engine manufacturers like General Motors and small engine firms like Briggs & Stratton.

However, longer-term effects of bio-based chemicals are still unknown, said analyst Thomas Hor of Connective Capital, a hedge fund interested in green-investing themes.

"'Drop-in' is very loosely thrown around," he said, of the concept of swapping green chemicals for petrochemicals.

Hor said deeper certification testing will be required, but "once these hurdles are cleared, they [green chemicals] should be on their way."

Green vs. Greener

Still, being similar to petrochemicals creates big opportunities, including displacing other green products that aren't "drop-in."

Isobutanol is a critical component in plastics, but Gevo's bio-based product's biggest use could be replacing ethanol in blended transportation fuels.

Though ethanol is used as a substitute to petroleum, making the fuel greener, it's also a powerful solvent, causing damage in storage and transportation systems.

Gevo's product, however, doesn't pose that risk, said company president Ryan. "We've got the nod from the pipeline (operators) to say there's no reason it can't go into pipelines," he said.

In the end, chemicals are a commodity business, and Gevo's Ryan said he knows being green isn't enough — cost is very important to customers.

"It comes down to a value proposition that makes economic sense," he explained. "Green is the icing on the cake."

Connective Capital's Hor said Gevo management assumes the company will need two to three plants to achieve profitability — a calculation likely based on oil prices and Gevo's own agri-crop input costs.

While there are a lot of variables on the road to profitability, Hor emphasized that "there is potential if the firms execute as planned."

Whether the feedstock is corn or crude oil, startups in the chemicals sector know they're competing with heavyweights.

Giants such as Dow know that renewable chemicals could "represent a hedge or potential arbitrage against persistently high and volatile petroleum costs," said Canaccord's Quealy.

According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the renewable chemicals space could be worth $76 billion by 2015 annually, still a small percentage of the overall chemicals business.

So the big companies "will still own these markets, in our view," Quealy added.

But the chemicals market pie is so big, even small bites can fill up a small company's coffers.

Connective Capital's Hor said a company like Gevo "would claim that the size of their addressable market is $10 billion plus," while others in the sector could plumb even larger markets.

"We've got huge markets ahead of us," said Ryan. "We're pretty optimistic about our business."


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USDA Publishes BioPreferred Program Guidelines

USDA Publishes Guidelines Proposing to Expand BioPreferred Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published new guidelines addressing how complex products and intermediate materials and feedstocks will be included in its BioPreferred program — a move that could open up more federal government procurement of bio-based products.

The 2008 farm bill, which expires on September 30, 2012, requires USDA to determine how such products with bio-based components will be designated for inclusion in the federal purchasing program. USDA is proposing to allow for the designation of intermediate ingredients such as fibers, resins and chemicals so the products made from them could more easily be designated for preferred federal procurement, according to a USDA statement.

The new regulation also allows for the designation of complex assemblies that contain one or more components made from bio-based ingredients.

"These proposed guidelines are another example of the way the BioPreferred program is being tailored to supplement production of products from new farm-based sources, supporting economic expansion and creating jobs from the farm to the finished product," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.

Vilsack also noted that USDA just celebrated the anniversary of one year of voluntary USDA bio-based product certification and labeling. As of March 2012, USDA has certified more than 670 bio-based products from more than 200 companies. He pointed out that those USDA Certified bio-based products are available to consumers and are now appearing on the shelves of supermarkets and other businesses across the country.

The proposed guidelines have a 60-day public comment period.


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Feature Article

World-Class Supply Management and Collaboration Strategies

A recent study identifies the best practices of elite-level chemical and petroleum producers.

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh

A recent study conducted by Cleveland, Ohio-based The MPI Group and sponsored by IBM Analytics — Building a World-Class Supply Chain: New Insights from Chemical and Petroleum Producers — is among the largest ever devoted to future directions in manufacturing. Researchers assessed more than 2,500 manufacturers against several key strategies for success. Chief among them: supply management and collaboration.

Among these 2,500 manufacturers, 197 were identified as "chemical and petroleum producers" using NAICS codes that encompassed categories of both "chemical manufacturing" and "petroleum and coal products manufacturing."

The study defines world-class supply management and collaboration as "developing and managing the supply chains and partnerships that provide flexibility, response time and delivery performance to exceed the competition."

In the end, only 11 percent of the nearly 200 chemical and petroleum companies studied — about 22 in total — reported themselves as "world-class" in the areas of both supply management and collaboration. While this sample was small, three common mind-sets and best practices emerged from this elite group of companies.

1) They Recognize Supply Chain Management as a Core Strategy

When examining chemical and petroleum producers' ability to attain superior performance with their supply chain strategies, MPI Group researchers found that the bulk of their success depends on the importance they place upon the strategy.

When asked to gauge the importance of supply management and collaboration to their organizations' success five years down the road, chemical and petroleum producers ranked both factors on a scale of "1" (not important) to "5" (highly important). In the end, 1.5 percent rated them a "1"; 6.7 percent rated them a "2"; 22.6 percent rated them a "3"; 31.3 percent rated them a "4"; and 37.9 percent rated them a "5."

Although nearly 38 percent indicated supply chain management and collaboration would be "highly important" to their organizations' success over the next five years, only 11 percent of these companies were able to attain world-class status in these performance areas. The well-intentioned remainder — a discrepancy of about 27 percent — cited common barriers to execution: namely, lack of resources, best practices and tools.

Of course, these ratings also indicated that the majority of chemical and petroleum producers studied (about 62 percent) weren't onboard with the criticality of supply management and collaboration to their organizations' near-term success. This finding took researchers a bit off guard. "It's surprising that they aren't interested in working closer with their supply chain partners and developing collaborative relationships," they noted.

Meanwhile, the 11 percent of chemical and petroleum producers that did attain world-class status reportedly enjoy a few key payoffs for their prioritizing of supply management and collaboration in their supply chains: improved productivity and customer satisfaction.

2) They Tangibly Support Supply Management and Collaboration Efforts

Researchers found that about one-fifth (22 percent) of the 197 chemical and petroleum producers studied devoted less than 1 percent of their workforces to supply management. Similarly, 30 percent of these producers invested less than 1 percent of sales (three-year average) into information technologies, or IT — specifically, hardware and software.

In contrast, nearly half (46 percent) of the 11 percent of world-class chemical and petroleum producers devote more than 5 percent of their workforces to supply management investments in both human resources and IT. This is compared to just 23 percent of producers furthest from world-class status.

Additionally, 28 percent of the 11 percent world-class chemical and petroleum producers invest more than 5 percent of sales in IT, compared with just 14 percent of the chemical and petroleum producers furthest from world-class status.

"Supply chain performance and management demands visibility into actionable information, as well as employees able to make real-time decisions via dashboards, scorecards, analytics and so on," the researchers explain. "Without information available to dedicated employees, how can the supply chain be improved?"

3) They Rigorously Monitor Performance

By taking proactive performance monitoring steps — regularly reviewing cost, delivery and performance compared to set standards, for example — world-class chemical and petroleum producers in the areas of supply management and collaboration are continuously improving visibility into supplier and customer relations, as well as optimizing supplier networks.

Researchers gauged the ability of all 197 chemical and petroleum producers to respond to unexpected customer demands for existing products. About 22 percent of the world-class-status producers (again, a level attained by only 11 percent of these companies) identified their supply chains as "highly advanced, responsive" extended enterprises under these circumstances. Only 8 percent of companies furthest from world-class status claimed the same.

Additionally, world-class chemical and petroleum producers were far less likely (12 percent) to indicate the presence of major or minor delays, compared to 46 percent of producers furthest from world-class status.

"Many companies react to problems after they arise," the researchers point out. "They lack systems that support predictability while giving them the ability to monitor and improve their returns from supply management and collaboration."

The Bottom-Line Benefits of World-Class Status

As MPI Group researchers determined, chemical and petroleum producers that focus on supply management and collaboration as a strategy can expect to be rewarded for those efforts in the form of improved performances compared to their industry peers.

"But, they can only truly reap the benefits and returns by implementing a handful of best practices," they conclude. "These are: developing trusted working relationships with supply chain partners; supporting supply management and collaboration with staff and executives, business systems and investments; and monitoring supply chain performance so that the company can solve problems and make improvements.

"They need to get ahead of the challenges before they escalate and migrate throughout the supply chain — and possibly, on to customers."

RaeAnn Slaybaugh is a senior writer for the Institute for Supply Management™. She can be reached by email.


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Market Report

Get Ready! Our Supply Chain World Is About to Get More Complex

Experts anticipate the SEC will release final rules surrounding the sourcing of certain conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo by year's end. Is your organization prepared to comply?

By Robert J. Engel, C.P.M.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon be publishing final rules surrounding the "conflict minerals" portion of the Dodd-Frank law. These SEC rules will have a significant impact for supply management organizations — in particular, the leaders of supply chain organizations of publicly traded companies (SEC filers), who most likely will be required to assist with compliance of the law.

After reading that paragraph, two thoughts may arise:

1) Law? What law?
2) What will my company, or supply management organization, be required to do?

This article will help you answer both questions.

Tackling the What's and Why's

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (more commonly known as "Dodd-Frank") is widely viewed as an instrument of financial reform and spells out significant changes for the supply chains of many SEC filers. Within Dodd-Frank, a bipartisan agreement was reached to include a conflict minerals provision that requires significantly increased transparency for thousands of companies. To ensure compliance, many organizations will be required to undertake significant supply chain due diligence and investigative action during 2013, and beyond.

Right now, you may be thinking:

  • What are conflict materials?
  • Why a law?
  • What are the drivers?

The term "conflict minerals" primarily refers to gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, as well as their derivatives, which originate within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries. The profits from these minerals in the DRC region are widely acknowledged to support brutal violence and repression.

Specifically, this provision of Dodd-Frank will require many companies to disclose, annually, if they use conflict minerals that are necessary to the functionality or production of a product they either manufacture or contract to be manufactured.

While these minerals aren't all household names, they can be found in common consumer and industrial products — jewelry, mobile telephones, computers, videogame consoles, digital cameras, industrial products and other items that use electronic circuits and components. When you think about all of the products in these categories, you begin to realize the magnitude and the impact of the conflict minerals provision.

The provision's intended goal is to create transparency in the supply chain that will, hopefully, drive markets toward creating substitution of materials or encourage sourcing of these minerals from areas other than the DRC. Uniquely, there's no prohibition for continued use of conflict minerals from the DRC; nor is there any "penalty," per se, imposed on those that continue to use these conflict minerals in their products. Simply put, the conflict minerals provision only wants to know whether or not you source these minerals from the DRC.

But, What's Next?

Dodd-Frank provided high-level direction to the SEC, and the SEC is now developing the nuts and bolts of the final rule surrounding implementation of the conflict minerals provision. Public comment on the proposed rule has been conducted by the SEC, and it was expected that the final rules and requirements would be issued in 2011 — which clearly didn't happen.

The SEC has received not only public comment, but also many nongovernment organizations (NGOs) representing various industry sectors have lobbied hard to ensure that what emerges as the final ruling isn't "over burdensome" to their members. At the time of this writing, we anticipate the final ruling will be issued mid- to late-2012.

Once the final ruling is published, SEC year-end filers would have to make the necessary disclosures in conjunction with their annual financial filings. As you can imagine, the effort required to fully comply could require many months of work, primarily in a due diligence review of the entire supply chain to determine where these conflict minerals are sourced and used. Those most impacted would be required not only to disclose their use of conflict minerals in their annual report, but also to furnish an audit or certification of their conflict minerals report as an exhibit to their annual report.

Does the Provision Apply to My Company?

By now, you're probably wondering how to determine whether or not the conflict minerals provision applies to your company — and if so, what the reporting requirements will be. This is where it can get a little confusing and tricky. But, a two-step flow chart process should provide clarity:

Step 1: If your organization is an SEC filer, the provision applies. (Proceed to Step 2.) If not, then the conflict minerals provision doesn't apply to your company.

Step 2: Determine what information your organization is required to report. If your company determines that it definitely sources/uses these identified conflict minerals — and they originate in the DRC — you'll likely be required to complete a comprehensive supply chain due diligence report. This report must include a description of the products manufactured and facilities where the DRC conflict minerals are used. Additionally, you'll likely be required to enlist an independent company to provide certification of your due diligence process, and then file that report with your annual report.

If your company is uncertain if it sources/uses these identified conflict minerals, the requirements are the same as listed above. However …

If your company determines that it definitely doesn't source/use these identified conflict minerals from the DRC, then the requirements for due diligence and reporting are less stringent. First, your organization must disclose in its annual report how it arrived at this conclusion and how it was determined that these conflict minerals are definitely not sourced. Second, your company must post this disclosed conclusion on its website, as well as list the specific website in its annual report.

Additionally, the SEC has noted that companies can't circumvent the requirement by stating that they "contract manufacture" their products; it's almost certain that the final ruling will address this issue to prevent organizations from outsourcing their manufacturing to bypass the law.

As you can see, a tremendous amount of work will be required by many companies to comply with the provision. Many have already taken a proactive approach and implemented actions to begin the due diligence process, even though the final rules and procedures from the SEC haven't been issued yet.

Recent upward conflict mineral price fluctuations indicate companies are sourcing these minerals from locations other than the DRC. For example, the price of tantalum has increased, fueled at least somewhat by increasing demand to source them from non-DRC regions.

For many supply management leaders, budgeting the time and dollars to meet the requirements of the conflict minerals provision will be a challenge. A key question to ask is: Does our organization have the necessary "bandwidth" of additional staff time to precisely determine where and how these minerals are sourced? For many, the answer is probably no. As such, it pays to be proactive in the upcoming budgeting process and include room for due diligence work.

Many organizations and websites offer additional information on this complex subject. Two of the most comprehensive are Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition and Global eSustainability Initiative.

Robert J. Engel, C.P.M. is one of the original founders of The Procurement Centre, a supply chain management professional services company that was acquired by Resources Global Professionals — a publicly traded company (NASDAQ) — in 2002. Engel is now the senior practice leader for the supply chain practice of Resources Global Professionals and a 35-year veteran of the supply chain profession. His roles have ranged from procurement, to materials management, to logistical activities, to contract management for both domestic and international functions. To contact this author, send an email to author@ism.ws.


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Announcements

ISM Risk Management Conference, July 26-27: "Buying the Umbrella Before It Rains"

For many industries, the supply chain is the No. 1 arena for risk susceptibility. In the past few years, we have seen natural disasters dramatically impact international supply chains. Think of your own supply chain and where gaps can be found — anywhere from supplier weakness to economic uncertainty and fluctuating markets.

"Buying the Umbrella Before It Rains" is a two-day risk management conference by Institute for Supply Management™ — taking place in Chicago July 26-27, 2012. It is designed to provide an overview and practical information to help you connect the dots from risk management to your supply chain planning and execution.

The conference theme focuses on the many facets of risk management. Discover how organizations successfully confront risk using innovative tools and processes, and make those solutions part of your risk management survival kit. This program includes takeaways and success stories to apply to your enterprise. Practitioners will share their tried-and-true stories to help companies avoid pitfalls.

If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that we must be prepared if we want to succeed.

Who Should Attend

This event is ideal for supply management professionals engaged in developing and supporting corporate risk management initiatives. Supply management professionals may also want to invite those outside of supply management, in an effort to gain buy-in and to build the foundation for organizational success.

Risk management initiatives are often holistic strategies that involve the entire organization. Strong risk analysis can improve negotiating postures, contract writing and gap analyses. If you're involved in any of these areas, consider attending this conference to strengthen your position.

Why You Should Attend

This conference is an opportunity to gain insight from supply chain professionals who have been in the trenches. Featured speakers include the chief risk officer from General Motors — who will share tools and examples from his experiences at this Fortune 500 company.

Other speakers represent the American Red Cross; Gartner, Inc.; R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; Avery Dennison; and many more world-class organizations. Each session includes practical tools, assessments and takeaways so you can develop your risk strategy — or fine-tune your existing plan.

Don't wait until disaster strikes; be prepared for what may be around the corner.

Attendees will earn 9.5 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

Visit the ISM website for complete conference details — information, agenda, registration and more.


Sign Up Now to Receive Updates on the 5th Annual ISM Sustainability and Social Responsibility Conference

The 5th Annual ISM Sustainability and Social Responsibility Conference is scheduled for November 1-2, 2012 in Manhattan Beach, California. Sign up on the ISM website — name, email address and mailing address — to receive program information via e-mail as it's available.

Presentation slide decks from the ISM's 4th Annual Sustainability & Social Responsibility Conference — which took place November 7-8, 2011 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida — are also available.


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Additional Resources

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:

ISM Conference Blog: Highlights From ISM's 97th Annual International Conference and Educational Exhibit

The ISM Conference Blog — written by staff writers who were on hand in Baltimore in May to report live from the event — offers detailed breakdowns of the event's many insightful and innovative sessions, seminars and workshops. They also covered various award ceremonies and luncheon speaker summaries — including, of course, the keynote session delivered by CNN's "Situation Room" anchor Wolf Blitzer.

Session summaries/blogs include:

  • "Cost-Modeling Applications in the Decision-Making Process: A Service Outsourcing Example"
  • "Influencing and Sourcing Nontraditional Spend Categories"
  • "Intel's Journey to Affordability: Indirect Spend Management Competitive Advantage"
  • "How to Reduce Small Package Transportation Costs in a Challenging Economy"
  • "A Culture of Ethics"
  • "Tackling the Talent Challenges of 2012"
  • "Non-Manufacturing Economic Growth Will Continue Through 2012"
  • "Being Prepared Is Good Business: The American Red Cross"
  • "Joe Cavinato, Ph.D. Named Winner of the 2012 J. Shipman Gold Medal Award"
  • "Manufacturing Best Practices in a Services Environment"
  • "Uncovering and Managing Supplier/Supply Chain Risk"
  • "Forecasting: What's in the Crystal Ball?"
  • "A Sustainability Community of Practice"
  • "True Partnership Is an Evolution"
  • "A Transformation at Emerson"
  • "Creating Magic With Creative Services"
  • "Services Procurement Panel"
  • "Maximizing Results While Maintaining Flexibility"
  • "Asking Strategic Questions for Better Results"

Looking Beyond the Present

In May, Baltimore served as a fitting location for Institute for Supply Management™'s J. Shipman Gold Medal Award presentation. Joseph L. Cavinato, Ph.D., C.P.M., accepted the highest honor conferred by ISM at a recognition lunch held on May 8, 2012, in conjunction with ISM's 97th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit. It was a pleasant coincidence for Cavinato to accept his Shipman Medal at the Baltimore Convention Center. He was just a few city blocks away from the site of one of his first jobs when he embarked on his career years ago.

How (and Where) You Negotiate Matters

Today's procurement professionals often find themselves conducting negotiations in a variety of mediums. Some complex negotiations take place in the same room as the supplier's representation, in teams or as individuals. Others happen remotely, via telephone or email.

Each mode of negotiating has unique variables which procurement practitioners must consider; otherwise, they may hand over an advantage to a skilled opponent.

Moving Lateral to Move Up

In today's organizations, it's not always true that the only way to move is up. Sometimes the best way to advance your career in the long run is to take a lateral move in the short run. Career advancement opportunities are frequently offered to those who have a broad base of knowledge within the company or industry, and who have developed a critical skill set. This is particularly true for leaders in the supply chain field.

Career ROI: Advice From the C-Suite

For one military and civilian supply chain executive, arrogant and mission-centric models of leadership were the wrong fit. Instead, he chose to "get on the ground" — and out of the office.


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Contact Us

If you have editorial suggestions or would like to participate in upcoming editorial, contact RaeAnn Slaybaugh.

If you would like to sponsor this e-newsletter, contact Trish True or Kathy Braase, or call 800/888-6276.

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