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CFOZone Experts

Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> supply chain
Jan 21
2011

Next-gen business intelligence enables deeper cost cutting

Posted by dbedell in Technologysupply chainsocial mediabusiness intelligence

dbedell

As companies start to look at their next round of cost-cutting and efficiency measures, with much of the low-hanging fruit already harvested, next-generation business intelligence and data analytics technology-integrated with a raft of other technology solutions--will provide the backbone to dig more deeply into processes and send and receive information in near-real-time for swift decision-making.

As the crisis progressed, many companies turned to internal cost cutting measures to reduce working capital expenditures and save cash.

Dec 21
2010

Taking sustainability projects out of mothballs

Posted by dbedell in supply chainRiskcorporate social responsibilitycompliance

dbedell

Although corporate social responsibility and sustainability are big buzzwords right now, and have been for some time, actual efforts to implement sustainable practices within the supply chain have not been a priority for many companies over the past few years.

This is, of course, hardly surprising. Given the vast array of changing regulations, increased compliance requirements, and the need to simply focus on basics as markets floundered through some of the toughest economic conditions of the past century, any projects not deemed either necessary for compliance purposes or able to show a very quick return on investment were understandably put on hold.

Nov 17
2010

Warding off supply chain disruptions this holiday season

Posted by annearf in supply chainsuppliersRiskretailersenterprise risk management

annearf

Business disruptions from faulty supply chains are rampant, as my colleague Denise Bedell recently noted . Companies experience an average of five disruptions a year, according to a study from the Business Continuity Institute. 

In the retail sector, those problems are especially high, an average of 10 per year. And the holiday season only serves to highlight that situation , along with the need for companies to do something about it, according to Linda Conrad, director of strategic business risk and global relationship leader with Zurich Global Corporate, a division of Zurich Financial Services. 

Oct 27
2010

Supply chain risks grow

Posted by dbedell in supply chain disruptionsupply chainRiskoutsourcingmanufacturingITCash

dbedell

Companies worldwide are struggling to come to grips with risks and disruptions in their supply chain, according to a survey by the Business Continuity Institute, which found that more than 70 percent of companies had a supply chain breakdown in the past year.

In addition, a significant piece of that disruption arose from outsourced IT and manufacturing processes – and the risk of supply chain disruption related to outsourcing is rising.

Sep 27
2010

Commodity traders gone wild

Posted by dbedell in volatilitysupply chainNicolas Sarkozyhedgingexportsenergycurrency volatilityCommodity Futures Trading CommissioncommoditiesChristine Lagardeagriculture

dbedell

 With French president Nicolas Sarkozy set to take over the G-20 leadership in November, he and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde are clearly focused on an overhaul of commodities speculation practices in major developed economies.

On Monday, Lagarde reiterated this message in an interview on Europe 1 radio, calling on G-20 leaders to coordinate efforts to reduce speculation on commodities and currencies in order to better manage the extreme volatility seen in recent months—and indeed to reduce the wave of highs and lows that often drive these markets.

Sep 23
2010

What are companies outsourcing in international trade?

Posted by dbedell in trade financetradesupply chainRiskoutsourcingletter of creditfactoringcomplianceCash

dbedell

Outsourcing part or all of the trade finance function—and the supply chain—can provide great reward to the average corporate. Most big banks, along with many smaller service providers and trade-related market players, offer such services for corporates.

Companies are increasingly looking to hand off the parts of this function that are not essentially held in-house.

Sep 21
2010

New portal to help suppliers bid large corporate contracts

Posted by dbedell in web portalUPSTechnologysupply chainsmall and medium-sized businessPfizerlarge-cap companyIBMcontract managementCitiCashbiztechBank of AmericaAT&T

dbedell

Small suppliers in the US will soon have an easier mechanism to bid for large corporate contracts, as a consortium of firms have announced the launch of Supplier Connection—a portal geared at simplifying and standardizing the application process for large corporate contracts.

The site, which is expected to launch early next year, is being set up by IBM, AT&T, Pfizer, UPS, Bank of America and Citi. To begin with, it will host applications for bids on their business, but will also open to other companies that want to sign up and participate as it grows.

Sep 03
2010

Transaction banks need better process integration

Posted by dbedell in working capitaltransaction banktrade financetradesupply chain financesupply chaincash flow forecastingcash flowCash

dbedell

The biggest transaction banks are on their way to providing fully integrated working capital solutions, but they still have some ways to go—particularly in terms of systems and processes integration.

Even before the crisis, companies recognized the importance of integrating trade, the supply chain, and cash management to have a holistic view on working capital across the organization.

Jun 24
2010

Assessing internal supply chain weakness

Posted by dbedell in supply chainrisk managementprocurementcomplianceCash

dbedell

Companies spend a great deal of time and effort on assessing and reducing external risks in their supply chain. But just as important is understanding and managing potential internal supply chain disruptions.

The problems that can arise from weak internal supply chain risk management are manifold. For instance, poor market analysis can cause a lack of preparation or flexibility in the face of sudden market changes. Having no policies in place controlling the release of information to vendors and third parties can reduce a company’s purchasing power or bargaining position, should business-critical information be released.  

May 24
2010

Local currency payments increase supplier financial strength

Posted by dbedell in supply chainRiskforeign exchange managementfinancial supply chaincash managementCash

dbedell

Mounting concerns over the euro highlight the importance of currency risk management for companies with operations or exposures outside their home country. One critical component of currency risk management is reducing foreign currency exposure by matching payment funds to the currency of the invoice when you have available liquidity in that currency—so-called payment currency matching. By doing this you reduce the impact of currency fluctuations between the date of invoicing and the date of payment, and you can better predict outgoing cash flows going forward. This is desirable for daily treasury and cash management payments, but also—and perhaps even more importantly—it is important in managing payments to suppliers.

Any global or regional liquidity management program—which brings together a company’s excess liquidity from different countries into a central account for credit and investment management--is aimed at reducing currency risk by ensuring that available local liquidity is used first to make local payments—thus creating a natural hedge by decreasing the amount of local currency that must be purchased to make local payments—before being swept into any regional or global liquidity accounts.

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