Procurement in the omnichannel era

Procurement in the omnichannel era

Gopal Iyer Blog, Retail

Businesses today are undergoing massive changes as a result of three enablers: Globalisation, Technology and Supply Chain. This trend is most evident in the retail industry where globalisation has allowed products to be designed for global taste and be produced at the lowest cost; and supply chain fundamentals have supported businesses with flow of goods, information and money. Technology, on …

Improving supply chain due diligence in private equity

Improving supply chain due diligence in private equity

Jeremy Smith Blog, Private Equity

Be honest, how rigorous is your operational due diligence at bid phase? It seems that the reality is that the business mantra of ‘plan for the worst and hope for the best’ seems to be one that is conveniently overlooked when assessing pricing decisions in a market where a 15% acquisition success rate is viewed favourably and risks feel like …

Brexit – New opportunities for Chinese businesses?

Brexit – New opportunities for Chinese businesses?

Felix Benscheid Blog, Brexit, Retail

With Brexit being the leading creator of uncertainty, especially for European businesses, the undefined current geopolitical situation is heavily influencing international business. Even though some may argue that the impact of Brexit on China will be limited, Brexit and its following agreements will create political and economic opportunities and threats that will not stay unrecognised. The ambiguity on currency fluctuation, …

Deal or no Deal

Brexit: Deal or no deal

William Tickel Blog, Brexit, Retail

If the last 12 months have been any indicator, the only certainty is that we can’t be certain of what will happen in the months and weeks leading us up to March 2019. This said, if the current situation offers us any clues, we should be prepared for the possibility of a post-Brexit-Britain without a Free-Trade deal with the European …

Speed to market

Speed to Market – Challenges and Opportunities

Gopal Iyer Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

Supply chains have now evolved into complex beings, which are networked at multiple levels. These “supply networks” are complex not just in terms of the number of entities, but also in terms of their length. It is not surprising to see these modern day networks extending across the globe, delaying the process and information flows involved. To worsen the issue, …

The omniscient retailer – channels and data

The omniscient retailer – channels and data

Carissa Dzwonek Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Carissa Dzwonek explores how omnichannel retailers can leverage the latest solutions to become all-knowing. Omni-channel retail is nothing new. Any business with a bricks and mortar presence, coupled with an online offer can claim to operate across multiple channels. More advanced organisations develop frictionless offers across channels, enabling them to convert customers effectively, regardless of the device or …

How Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape

How Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape

Emanuel Modrovic Blog, Brexit, Retail

Against the background of a ticking two-year clock, this analysis will argue that Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape by shuffling the cards once more. There are 3 key Brexit-related challenges facing retailers: Currency and financial movements This is an effect that has already been hitting retailers operating in the UK. Movements of exchange rates outside of their typical …

Brexit-Preparing for the After Life

Brexit – Preparing for the afterlife

Gopal Iyer Blog, Brexit, Retail

The June 2016 referendum brought to life even the sleepiest of the analysts, with everyone having their views on how Brexit would reshape the UK economic and social structure – most of them predicting a severe and immediate impact. The more structured arguments signalled immediate impacts on services (Forex, stock markets), near term impact on movement of goods (tariffs, import/export) …

Supply chains, manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Supply chains, manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Supply Chain

Cloud computing, robotics, automation, data exchange… 4C’s Milan Panchmatia considers how businesses can leverage new opportunities in the era of the ‘smart factory’ Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, has the potential to transform the way in which products are created, transported and sold. This new era was ushered in thanks to technologies such as automation, cloud …

Eliminating modern slavery from global supply chains

Eliminating modern slavery from global supply chains

Robin Agarwal Blog, Supply Chain

Slavery is a global issue that affects businesses regardless of their geographic location. International companies involved in clothes manufacturing, farming and mining activities are seen as the most at risk, but the issue can affect almost any industry. The UK Modern Slavery Act has shone a light on the issue of forced labour in supply chains. The Act requires businesses …

“See Now, Buy Now” sourcing and the fashion industry

“See Now, Buy Now” sourcing and the fashion industry

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail

Changing consumer behaviour has led to a revolution in fashion retail. 4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia considers how the “See Now, Buy Now” approach will impact established practices. Generally speaking, businesses which sell directly to consumers tend to be those which need to be most reactive to their demands. The propagation of connected devices has led to an increasingly expectant population, …

The future of retail supply chains

The future of retail supply chains

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia examines how retailers can adapt their supply chains to take advantage of new opportunities. The retail industry is one of the fastest changing on the globe. New technologies are being developed at a rate never seen before and the level of competition in the field is greater than ever. Small, agile companies are finding ways to …

The challenge of ethical sourcing for fashion brands

The challenge of ethical sourcing for fashion brands

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia examines how global fashion companies can balance sustainable supply chains with the need to grow their business. Supply chains are increasingly fragmented and complex. Rapidly changing demand, economic uncertainty and higher levels of competition, mean businesses are constantly having to review their supply lines. Nowhere is this truer than in the fashion industry. Here companies are …

Lean supply chains - Walking the tightrope

Lean supply chains – Walking the tightrope

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Supply Chain

Milan Panchmatia examines how supply chains have been affected by recent natural disasters and how businesses have sought to minimise future risks. Globalisation has provided businesses across the globe with countless opportunities to reshape their supply chains and reach out to new customers. In some sectors, the sheer number of suppliers available has allowed leading organisations to completely alter their …

Procurement Leaders: What Theresa May’s Brexit speech means for procurement

4C Associates In the press

Theresa May, the Britain’s prime minister, made a speech last week that sought to provide more detail about the kind of relationship the country will have with the European Union (EU) after it leaves. It specifically explained how the Government will manage the transition from a central player in the EU to a solidly independent trading nation. It left a …

The reverse supply chain challenge

The reverse supply chain challenge

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

Online shopping has resulted in a wealth of opportunities for retailers, but also an array of new challenges. In this post, 4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia considers why retailers need to take a closer look at their reverse supply chains. It is no secret that online retail is booming. According to figures from IMRG and Capgemini, UK retailers made £114bn from …

Businesses in the age of the internet of things

Businesses in the age of the internet of things

Jeremy Smith Blog, Procurement

4C Associates’ Jeremy Smith considers how the internet of things is changing the way businesses and consumers interact. The internet of things is not a new concept. The idea of countless devices connected to each other via the web has been around since the late 1990s. In fact, Kevin Ashton, Executive Director of Auto-ID Center, coined the phrase in 1999 during …

Finance Digest: 5 Steps to successful supply chain finance

4C Associates In the press

Regardless of the size of a business, freeing up capital to grow is often a priority, especially for those businesses with ambitious expansion plans. The solution is often a supply chain finance (SCF) programme to help maximise working capital and kick start growth plans.  Also known as supplier finance or reverse factoring, SCF is a set of solutions to optimise …

Why would anyone want to be a CPO?

Why would anyone want to be a CPO?

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Procurement

Rising risk levels, a lack of relevant skills and managing transition – Milan Panchmatia explores why anyone would choose to be a CPO. As procurement’s role evolves, this needs to be reflected in way it operates within the business. Savings and other traditional measures of success remain important, but no longer encompass everything the function brings. Delivering value – be …

Horse meat scandal – what’s changed?

Horse meat scandal – what’s changed?

Philip Joss Blog, FMCG, Supply Chain

When horse DNA was first found in beef products being sold in Britain, many felt we had reached a high water mark. There was a general feeling that food supply practices had become unsustainable and lacked transparency. Major retailers withdrew ten million burgers from their stores within the first few months of the news leaking. Two elements are widely believed …

Supply Chain Digital: What B2B procurement can learn from the launch of Amazon Dash

4C Associates In the press

The recent launch of Amazon Dash demonstrates an ever-increasing demand for speed, simplicity and ease amongst consumers – and with businesses also run by consumers, this level of service will soon be expected in the B2B world too.  Jeremy Smith , Director at 4C Associates on how sometimes speed and urgency can outweigh cost. Read full article here.

Supply Management: Coke to implement asset-light supply chain strategy

admin In the press

Handing over its assets to a few long term bottling partners and re-franchising its distribution needs, should help Coca Cola to boost operating margins, save costs and impress shareholders. But will this new asset-light strategy work? Gopal Iyer, sourcing and supply chain consultant at 4C Associates, says: “Time and again, companies have questioned and redefined their core competencies. ‘Deverticalisation’ has …

Private equity and unlocking third party spend

How can private equity portfolio companies unlock value in indirect third party spend

Mike Lander Blog, Private Equity

It is a common practice amongst Private Equity(PE) owned companies to tap into an Aggregator purchasing organisation that could leverage the bulk buying power of the entire portfolio owned by the PE owner. In the cases where portfolio companies are small to medium in size, it is often the case that they do not have indirect procurement departments. As the …

Supply chain financing

The evolution of supply chain finance

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Supply Chain

Back in October 2012, the Prime Minister unveiled a new scheme aimed at helping smaller businesses secure affordable finance. The initiative received a wide range of support and leading companies, including Diageo, Kingfisher, Tesco and IBM all signed up. The popularity of the scheme and the fact it was driven by both public and private sector organisations, indicates the potential …

How to incentivise suppliers

How to incentivise suppliers

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Procurement, Supply Chain

In an economic climate where many businesses need to do more with less, procurement functions are increasingly looking to uncover new ways to incentivise their suppliers. Incentivising suppliers to deliver improved performances is not a new concept in the world of procurement. However, with an increasing number of businesses facing tighter margins, it is an area which certainly merits investigating. The …

Attracting best talent to procurement

Attracting the best talent to procurement

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Procurement

Procurement is finally starting to get some of the recognition it deserves, but we need the right talent to make sure it keeps evolving. The challenging economic climate that we have experienced for the past few years has seen procurement make the step up from being a cost saver to a strategic partner. Whereas the function was once viewed as a …

Facilities management TFM

Is TFM in the ‘Just too hard’ box?

Chris Herbert In the press

Most organisations live in an increasingly competitive market and strive to at least maintain their cost base and focus on key areas that provide competitive advantage. While facilities expenditure has long been deemed non-strategic by most companies, the approach has been to maintain the status quo and address only those areas that present disruption to the smooth operation of the …

The End of Supermarket Price Wars-

The end of supermarket price wars?

Jeremy Smith In the press

Supermarkets waging price wars is nothing new, however, the sustainability of the practice has long been called into question. The past two years, and the previous Tesco-dominated era, have been all about slashing costs and delivering the cheapest products possible. While this has proved advantageous for cash-strapped customers, and the growth of the likes of Aldi and Lidl, it has …

‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ – Cutting-Edge Procurement

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ – Cutting-edge procurement

Jeremy Smith In the press

At a first glance, procurement and innovation come across as unlikely bedfellows. Whereas one is historically focused on delivering short-term savings, the other is more outward-looking and engaged in delivering less tangible results – at least in the short term. This outdated view of procurement’s relationship with innovation continues to persist in a number of companies despite numerous developments. An unstable …

Logistics & Supply Chain Standard: Sourcing the long-term

admin In the press

Supply chains for businesses, big and small, are finding themselves under pressure to reduce costs, improve efficiency and assist in the maintenance of a steady cash flow. Milan Panchmatia, director of 4C Associates, the procurement consultancy, says that while it is true that the gap is closing, he believes with the economy back on an upward trend, the gap will …

Selecting the Right Outsourcing Provider

Selecting the right outsourcing provider

Milan Panchmatia In the press

Deciding to bring on a third-party provider can have multiple benefits. Chief amongst these is access to a cost-effective resource to cutting costs and delivering value. In an environment characterised by economic uncertainty the attraction is clear. However, not all providers offer the same service and it’s essential to select one which can mirror your expectations. Read full article on …

Investing in green supply chains

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

More and more leading businesses are investing in initiatives aimed at creating more sustainable supply chains. Whereas one might assume the practice would negatively impact revenue, the reality is that many companies have used these developments to drive significant cost and process benefits. Re-designing supply chains to cut carbon emissions and generally creating more sustainable practices have already helped companies …

Apples and supply chains

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

One of the reasons behind Apple’s success is the company’s exceptional attention to detail. From the sleek design of its products to the intuitive nature of its software, nothing is left to chance. Thankfully for the California based company, the same amount of planning seems to have gone in to its supply chain strategy.Supply Chain Best PracticeAccording to Gartner’s 2012 Supply …

Green savings in supply chain

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

An increasing number of leading businesses have partaken in green initiatives, aimed at making their supply chains more efficient in order to reduce waste. Boots and Tesco, for example, have committed to reducing food and drink waste by signing up for the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment. This voluntary agreement is focussed on improving resource efficiency and mitigating the environmental …

Supply chain scandal forces companies to act

Petra Urhofer Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

A number of major corporations were caught on the back foot by the discovery of horse meat in several products. Many of the UK’s major food retailers have had to remove stock from shelves and issue apologises to their customers. The scandal highlighted the growing level of risk associated with global supply chains. Not only does a far reaching web of suppliers …

Leveraging supply chains for parcel deliveries

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

The dramatic rise in online shopping has resulted in an increase in parcel deliveries which has yet to be translated into profit. Craig Bunker considers how leveraging supply chains to carry out parcel deliveries, can help businesses bolster their margins. One of the issues currently facing retailers is the cost of parcel deliveries. As more and more customers opt to have purchases delivered …

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012

admin Blog 0 Comments

2012 has been a challenging year for many businesses. A difficult economic climate coupled with huge pressure to cut costs, forced many finance leaders to substantially alter their business strategies. As a result many new and innovative cost transformation techniques were developed. 4C Insights kept on top of the latest trends and best practice solutions to emerge throughout the year.  …

Evolving supply chains and fuel prices

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

As 2012 comes to an end, 4C Associates looks back at some of the predictions  made earlier this year. Craig Bunker considers prediction number 12: “High fuel costs and environmental concerns will drive the need for the next level of supply chain optimisation.” A recent Jones Lang LaSalle survey, revealed that 95 per cent of supply chain managers believe rising energy and transport …

Supplying the last 50 yards of Christmas

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Despite having had 10 months to plan for the festive spending spree, many retailers are not taking full advantage of their shopping outlets. A recent YouGov SixthSense report revealed that UK households will spend £792m less on Christmas this year than in 2011. These findings highlight the need for retailers to optimise all aspects of the supply chain process. Increased …

Effective SRM: A Win- Win Situation?

Effective SRM: A Win- Win Situation?

k a Blog, SRM

With procurement functions under increasing pressure to deliver quick win savings, long term projects such as Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) are often put to one side. In addition, there is a divide in opinion regarding the involvement of buyers in SRM; in some business the functions are kept separate whereas in others SRM is part and parcel of the procurement …

Can Procurement Really Add Value to Logistics?

k a Blog, Supply Chain

With many economists making bleak predictions regarding the ongoing economic crisis, optimising spend is a priority for many businesses. This has led to increased pressure on numerous functions, including logistics and supply chain, to work with procurement to maximize efficiency and drive company growth. Despite this, there remain many who are unconvinced by procurement’s ability to work with logistics and …

Developing future proof supply chains and cutting costs

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

A recent survey carried out by Jones Lang LaSalle, revealed that 71 per cent of supply chain managers believe cutting costs will be the top trend for the next five years.The findings are indicative of the current economic situation and reflect the increasing pressure being put on supply chain managers to reduce costs. Other key trends highlighted in the survey, …

Supply Chain Roundtable July 2012

Supply Chain Roundtable July 2012

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Once very much at the centre of consumer activity, the high street is rapidly losing ground to online retailers. This is not the first time traditional outlets have come under threat, however, the ease and convenience of online shopping has drastically altered consumer behaviour. These changes have radically affected supply chain strategy.The reduction in stock heading to the high street …

Weak supply chains stunt development

admin Blog, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Supply chains form the basis of a successful business and companies need to ensure they have a contingency plan should something go wrong. Often an event affecting a select number of suppliers can severely delay the production process of an entire company or even industry. Recently, a factory fire in a small town in Germany caused great concern within the …

Investing in supply chain

admin Blog, Risk management, Supply Chain 0 Comments

An uncertain economic climate has resulted in businesses focusing heavily on reducing costs, often at the detriment of risk and supply management. Is now the time to begin investing the trend? Companies which make the shift away from short term cost reduction tactics can secure important supply inputs before suppliers begin to see the change in market dynamics. Those who …

Manufacturing costs – cheap as China? Part 3

admin Blog, Manufacturing, Outsourcing 0 Comments

Although not readily associated with industrial production, British luxury brands are poised to play an important role in the revival of British manufacturing. With the British luxury industry on course to grow 8.5 per cent this year and a multitude of factors combining to make manufacturing abroad less attractive, many brands have turned their attention back to the UK. Speaking …

Cost of manufacturing – cheap as China?

admin Blog, Manufacturing, Outsourcing 0 Comments

With the cost of manufacturing goods in China increasing, is it time for companies to move their factories elsewhere?A survey of more than 200 Hong Kong based manufacturers, carried out by Standard Chartered, revealed that local salaries have risen by an average of 10% this year.  Foxconn Technology Group, one of the manufacturers behind Apple’s iPad, estimated that it had …

Minimising supply risk

admin Blog, Risk management, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Given volatile supply chains, commodity prices and currency rates, how are CFOs protecting revenues and profits? On Christmas Eve 2008, Zavvi, Britain’s largest independent music retailer, went bust. But this wasn’t a failure of falling sales and missing profits, indeed revenue was up 10% earlier in the year despite the recession. No, Zavvi went into administration due to a lack …