Daily Archives: June 9, 2010

One Million, Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Five

One Million, Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Five words later (including the words in this post), or Two Thousand and Thirty Nine posts later (which does not count well over a hundred guest posts on other blogs, including e-Sourcing Forum, Supply Excellence, Procurement Leaders, Deal Architect, 2 Sustain, and @ Risk), and Sourcing Innovation (SI) officially turns four. Although not an extraordinarily long time, even in net-time, it is exceptionally significant in blog-time, especially for a blog that posts twice a day, every day, 7/365.

It was a fabulous year! Growth continued to the point where Sourcing Innovation not only maintained its undisputed place as the second most trafficked blog in the space any way you want to look at it, but temporarily obtained top blog status last summer, a position it held for over two months! Plus, it’s reach on the search engines is still, on average, three times that of any other blog or publication in the space. And with the demise of Purchasing, growth is exploding, especially now that Dick Locke (who was sailing) Norman Katz (who has been writing a book on Detecting and Reducing Supply Chain Fraud) are coming off of sabbatical and Robert Rudzki is joining them on SI as a regular contributor!

And even though the past year brought you unparalleled series on The Role of Optimization, Service Leadership, Overcoming Cultural Differences in International Trade, Spend Analysis, Global Sourcing Myths and Capabilities, and Strategy, when the content on this blog grew greater in breadth than the entire Harry Potter series, I’d bet that the best has not yet been written. Even though this blog has covered topics from analysis through x-emplification and vendors from AECsoft through WisdomNet, there’s still much more to tell. There are hundreds of topics and hundreds of vendors with stories to tell — and even though the Sourcing Maniacs made a herculean effort with their 2008 Vendor Tour, they only scratched the surface. They didn’t even make it over to Europe, which is exploding onto the sourcing and procurement scene. BravoSolution just topped the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the bohemian invasion is underway, led by iValua and b-Pack.

With our understanding of supply chain, and the world in general, increasing by the day, you can never stop learning — and never, ever, stop innovating. And that’s what Sourcing Innovation is all about, and that’s what it’s going to continue to cover, day-in, day-out, 7/365.

(So, if you’d like a piece of this action, at a cost less than your average Google ad-words or trade publication e-mail blast campaign on a per eyeball basis [because, when you get right down to it, it’s impressions that matter], check out the open pricing model and contact the doctor. You won’t be disappointed.)

Is AMR Too Hard on China?

Now it’s well known that, unlike a fellow blogger, I’m not all that high on China (having questioned how innovative LCCS sourcing to China really is back in month one) because I believe that we could be a lot more sustainable, green, and logical and near-source much of what we’re needlessly outsourcing halfway around the globe, but sometimes I think AMR is even lower on China than I am, to the point of being unjustly hard. (Because, as Dick Locke will point out, sometimes they are the best choice. Not always, but sometimes.)

Basically, I found this recent article from AMR on six reasons to worry about China in your supply chain a little unfair. While all of the reasons were valid, most of them weren’t exclusive to China. In fact, only two of them were specific to China and most of the rest were pretty generic and applicable across the globe. While the rare earth chokehold — evidenced by the fact that they control 93% of the world wide production of terbium, dysprosium, and other highly specialized high-tech minerals, and the exchange rate by fiat — evidenced by the fact that the Yuan’s exchange rate is still pegged to the dollar, are specific to China, the following concerns are much more global:

  • Capricious Trade Rulings

    China isn’t the only communist country that can impose prohibitive export taxes without warning that, in one case, quadrupled the price of yellow phosphorous overnight. Before Chavez started seizing oil companies, he was creating “extraction” taxes of at least 33%. And let’s not forget that protectionist democracies can hike taxes without warning too. For example, last year Obama imposed a huge, three-year tariff on tires imported from China that raised prices for consumers by 35%.

  • Indigenous Innovation

    Sure China has a policy that favours companies using domestically developed IP, but there’s nothing to stop India, which is also focussing strongly on (frugal) innovation from adopting a similar policy. And even if they don’t, with 1.2 Billion people and a burgeoning middle class that will soon be larger than the population of North America, it probably won’t be long before they’re out-innovating us.

  • Rampant IP Piracy

    Sure China might consistently top the watch lists, but Russia and Mexico are consistently high as well, and the recent US watch list also includes Spain near the top of the list!

  • Poisons, Pollution, and Contamination

    Sure the cities in China are bad, but so are the cities in India. And the water in much of India is terribly polluted — over a million children die each year from disease and infection from the polluted water, and it’s a major reason that 50% to 60% of women living in the slums suffer from chronic malnutrition, recurrent gastro-enteritis, and helminthic infections.

Now, I’m definitely not saying these aren’t valid concerns where China is involved, just that these concerns aren’t restricted to China and that if you’re gonna beat on China, you should be fair about it.

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