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The Bottom Line

A View of the Industry That Pulls No Punches

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

After The Vendor Contract Is Signed, The Real Work Begins

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

Vendor Contracts

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

Potandon Produce Embraces Data-Driven Business Evolution, Wins Big in Vendor Negotiations

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jan 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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Potandon Produce is a powerhouse with a brand that continues to grow in more ways than one, making landmark partnerships and paving the way for businesses that will follow in their footsteps.

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Vendor Relationship Best Practices to Maximize Value

Posted by Strategic Resource Management on Oct 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

All manufacturers want to get the best possible deal from their suppliers. However, the definition of “best” is subjective. Every partnership has different goals and non-negotiable points. We’ve found that before starting the contract negotiation process, a cross-functional team is well advised to invest the time to decide what it wants and needs from the relationship.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts

How Can Small Manufacturers Tap Into the AI Revolution?

Posted by Lawrence Pruss on Aug 22, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on everyone’s mind in the manufacturing industry. The nation’s largest companies are investing in this technology, and countless startups are working feverishly to stake their claim to various use cases. While AI is often positioned as a threat to human jobs, it can actually enhance how humans serve customers in many ways.

The big corporations have an inherent advantage in harnessing AI to their benefit. AI runs on data, and they simply have more of it. They have hundreds of thousands of customers. They also have more resources – both dollars and full-time employees – to utilize and monitor AI. This doesn’t mean there’s no hope for smaller businesses, though. Data can be pooled and anonymized across groups of smaller manufacturers, generating many of the same powerful insights.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts

Don’t Get Boxed In By Increasing Pulp & Paper Costs

Posted by Gene Ciemny on May 30, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Don’t Get Boxed In By Increasing Pulp & Paper Costs

Last year, in a blog post we warned of an imminent trend of rising pulp and paper costs that would soon hit the pocketbooks of any manufacturers relying on corrugated boxes to ship their products. It’s no fun to say I told you so (well, sometimes it is…) but the past year has proven us right.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Vendor Contract Management: Why Paper Supplies Will Remain Tight

Posted by Jeff Moeller on Jan 30, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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The continuing explosion in online retail sales was one of this holiday season’s major headlines. While there has been plenty of debate over its impact on shopping malls and other brick and mortar outlets, another downstream effect is rarely discussed—one that can be seen on your curb every recycling day.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Never Sign a Vendor Contract Amendment Without Vetting It

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Jan 16, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Amendment-215155-edited.jpgVendor contract amendments can look simple and harmless – a brief paragraph, perhaps up to two pages, addressing some routine items. They often even include an upfront payment to recompense for your troubles, an unexpected “bluebird” that might help offset the inevitable budget worries. Don’t be lulled into complacency. These few sentences can carry significant implications and should be inspected just as closely as your original vendor contract.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

How Vendor Contract Management Can Help You This Budget Season

Posted by Ben Mrva on Jan 9, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Budget.jpgFor anyone working at a company with a calendar-based fiscal year, chances are that department heads are being asked to “do more with less,” or at least to increase output at a faster rate than costs. As anyone with budget responsibility knows, it’s no easy task to fund realistic pay increases for appreciated employees let alone accommodate growth in other expense areas.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Less is More: A Case Study in Manufacturing Vendor Contract Management

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Dec 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

 

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If your organization utilizes a strategic sourcing partner, that relationship should extend beyond ensuring the prices you pay vendors are consistent with what is being charged across the industry. A skilled sourcing expert can identify opportunities for process improvements that may have no influence on the invoice but will have a material impact on your bottom line.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Strategic Sourcing, Vendors & Contracts