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The Bottom Line

A View of the Industry That Pulls No Punches

Five Things to Know about Manufacturing in the Age of COVID-19

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jun 2, 2020 4:52:00 AM
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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts, Contract Management, Contracts

Checking Your Blind Spots in Vendor Negotiations

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Feb 9, 2020 4:30:00 PM

In our experience, whether it’s a packaging, transportation, temp labor, or a telecom agreement, saying “no changes, here’s my signature” is a classic blunder.

Why?

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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts, Contract Management, Contracts

Budget Season: Two Tips for Seeing Vendor Contracts in 2020

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Sep 22, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Staring down the barrel of budget planning for 2020? For many managers working with a calendar-based fiscal year, the dog days of summer also mean the advent of the annual planning cycle. Given all the uncertainties in the past few quarters, odds are that department heads are being asked to “do more with less,” or at least step up output at a faster rate than costs.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts, Contract Management, Contracts

Benchmarking for the Win

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Aug 27, 2019 10:26:16 AM

Does Experience Matter in Vendor Cost Benchmarking

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Topics: Manufacturing, Contract Management, Contract Tracking, Tracking, Vendor management, Benchmarking, Automation, SRM TAB, Auditing

Think You Are a Small Fish? Think Again: Matching Regional Need With Regional Supply

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jul 31, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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Topics: Manufacturing, Strategic Sourcing, Packaging, transportation, converting, converters

Efficiency: One of Packaging and Transportation’s Biggest Hurdles

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jul 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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In any aspect of business, achieving a sense of efficiency—balancing effort, time, and money to achieve the best outcome—is hard work. This is a particularly unique challenge for packaging and transportation. From excess headspace to improperly scheduled routes, to simply being unaware of emerging shipping and packaging solutions, it’s easy for a business to unknowingly lose thousands of dollars and valuable resource hours per year.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Strategic Sourcing, Packaging, transport

How to Navigate Outbound Freight: It’s Much More than Getting Goods from Here to There

Posted by Mark Mrva on Jun 16, 2019 3:00:00 PM

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Topics: Manufacturing, Technology, Freight,, transport

Going Green or Gathering Boxes? The Latest Packaging Dilemma

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jun 5, 2019 11:41:23 AM

Going Green or Gathering Boxes

Remember the days when ecommerce was just starting out and online shopping was viewed as the green option? Rather than idling on gridlocked roads belching exhaust fumes en route to the mall, consumers could complete a few mouse clicks from the comfort of their desk chairs and merchandise would magically appear at their doorstep.

Those promises of convenience have largely played out; the environmental benefits are a murkier picture, however. Look no further than curbside on recycling day for evidence of this new shopping model. Increasingly, instead of 30 widgets packed in one box going to retailers, 30 separate boxes are going directly to consumers – even when consumers place orders for multiple items. Does the carbon footprint of added cardboard and bubble wrap outweigh the reduced auto emissions? The answer isn’t as tidy as initially thought.

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Topics: Paper, Packaging

The New World of Packaging Costs Matters in Your Vendor Contracts

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Apr 29, 2019 10:31:16 AM

The New World of Packaging Costs Matters in Your Vendor Contracts

Interesting times are ahead for companies that purchase significant volumes of pulp and paper, a group that includes virtually any manufacturer with packaging needs. After a decade-long run of price stability, the standard rate for pulp and paper has risen three times over the past two years. Moreover, the rapid growth of ecommerce is driving fundamental changes to packaging models. What used to be a single box of 24 items shipped to a single retailer is often now 24 separate boxes sent to individuals located at various points across the country or globe.

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After The Contract Is Signed, The Real Work Begins

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Apr 23, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Stacked coins adding up to rising bar chart

Negotiating new vendor agreements might be the part of the supplier contract process that garners the most attention, but it’s the careful attention to detail after the contract is signed that promises will deliver hard-fought savings. We don’t mean to say that vendors are always looking to pull one over on you after you have signed on the dotted line. Honest, human errors do occur on both sides of the contract, and maybe more often than we’d like to think.

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Topics: Insider, Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts