July 27, 2021
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Top Story
Businesses can improve supplier diversity by funding such efforts, extending the mission to tier 2 suppliers and not pitting diversity against other business priorities, write Radhika Batra, Jason Housh and David Schannon of Bain & Co. Procurement organizations should understand that "both mindset and policy changes are needed to work in parallel: unconscious bias must be met with education; supplier development programs should be implemented to bridge any capability gaps," says Alexandra Tarmo of Unilever.
Full Story: Supply Chain Management Review (7/23),  World Economic Forum (7/27) 
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Innovation & Transformation
Procurement leaders can use artificial intelligence to improve supplier research, build a centralized data pool, automate processes and build stakeholder relationships, writes Scoutbee CEO Gregor Stuhler. "For example, procurement can demonstrate to an engineering team how tech-enabled procurement can solve engineering challenges and deliver a competitive edge," Stuhler writes.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (7/21) 
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Industry News
Bed Bath & Beyond takes on supply chain delays
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Bed Bath & Beyond will open a distribution center in Pennsylvania this year and a second facility in California in 2022, both operated by Ryder System with a mix of humans and automation. The distribution centers are meant to mitigate supply chain delays and reduce replenishment times at namesake and BuyBuy BABY stores.
Full Story: Bloomberg (7/26) 
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Ongoing supply chain issues related to the pandemic are expected to bring shortages of goods from backpacks and shoes to pens and folders as back-to-school shopping season kicks off, retailers say. Back-to-school spending is on track to hit a record $37.1 billion this year, according to an NRF survey, as families with school-age children spend an average of $59 more than they did last year.
Full Story: USA Today (7/26),  Reuters (7/22) 
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Governance, Risk & Compliance
The House Armed Services Committee's Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force is recommending that the Pentagon review defense sourcing of semiconductors, rare earth elements, pharmaceutical ingredients and propellants. "The defense supply chain presents a national security risk: a significant amount of material in the Defense Industrial Base is sole-sourced from the People's Republic of China," states a report by the task force.
Full Story: Defense News (7/22) 
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Multinational businesses must understand multiple tiers of suppliers, the types of insurance they'll need and how different regulatory environments affect those considerations, writes Frank Sheridan of Hanover Insurance Group. "Multinational companies traditionally have focused on whether a local jurisdiction has compulsory coverages, but many multinational companies may be unaware of more global compliance requirements, as well as unanticipated tax, reputational and other financial repercussions," Sheridan writes.
Full Story: Insurance Journal (7/26) 
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Hot Topics
Amazon shifts from COVID-19 testing to vaccinations
An Amazon worker receives a vaccine in Turin, Italy. (Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
Amazon will end on-site COVID-19 testing for US warehouse workers by the end of this month unless current health guidance changes, according to a company spokesperson and a Reuters source. The company said in May that it planned to ramp up on-site COVID-19 vaccinations for employees at US fulfillment centers, delivery stations and Amazon Web Services data centers.
Full Story: The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (7/19),  Reuters (7/19) 
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The World Bank and the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative have partnered on a financing program aimed at speeding up vaccine distribution in developing countries, where the vast majority of people have not been inoculated against COVID-19. The program will allow COVAX to procure vaccines in advance, at competitive prices, with financial backing from the World Bank and other development finance institutions.
Full Story: Thomson Reuters Foundation (7/26) 
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News from Sourcing Industry Group
CPOs now stand at a critical crossroads with a significant opportunity to make step-change improvements across today's new procurement agenda. Focusing on breaking down silos allows for smarter procurement strategies that drive innovation, increase agility, and deliver on board-level initiatives -- such as Environmental, Social, and Governance issues.

Read this e-book to: explore the five components of today's new procurement agenda; dive into the challenges posed by siloed approaches and how Business Spend Management can help; understand why now is the time to capitalize on procurement's proven value.
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Uncovering potential savings in GNFR (goods not for resale) expense has become increasingly important, as many US retail and CPG companies have encountered constrained profit margins as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this report, we explore the profit improvement potential offered by GNFR, leveraging proprietary survey findings. We also discuss how services and technology solution providers can help businesses reduce GNFR expense through improved access to data analytics and automation.
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