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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

After The Contract Is Signed, The Real Work Begins

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

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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

5 Tips to Maximize Value in Vendor Relationships

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

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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

Corrugated Contracts: Three Reasons To Take A Closer Look

Posted by Jim Kurtz on Jun 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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My colleague Gene Ciemny recently wrote about the increase in pulp and paper costs after an extended period of price stability.

While there are common threads across contracts in different industries, there are also important distinctions in market dynamics, industry customs and terminology specific to various industries. Let’s explore some of the key factors to consider in vendor contract negotiation for paper.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Vendors & Contracts

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