Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Procurement: Leading organizations are delivering superior business performance; others are lagging

A.T. Kearney's 2014 AEP Study finds that the best procurement organizations are at the top of their game. Meanwhile, the rest of the pack is treading water and wondering what's next for procurement.

By ·
By ·

Several years ago, John Blascovich participated in a round table on procurement in Brazil. Blascovich knows a thing or two about procurement excellence. He is an A.T. Kearney partner, president of A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions and co-author of the Assessment of Excellence in Procurement Study. Kearney has been producing the series with input from supply chain executives every three years since 1992.

During the round table, someone proposed that procurement needed to be more strategic within large organizations, including a report to the C-Suite. “There were chuckles and some skepticism at the time,” Blascovich recalls. “But in 2014, the concept of strategic procurement has come to fruition at the best organizations.”

In fact, says Blascovich, two themes emerged from the 2014 AEP Study, Procurement-Powered Business Performance, that in some ways seem contradictory.

On the one hand, the study found that the best large companies, defined as organizations with more than $15 billion in revenue, “have achieved breakthrough financial results from procurement.” That is consistent across industry verticals. In fact, leading organizations are generating double the Return on Supply Management Assets performance levels compared to the typical company and are delivering benefits at a rate ten times greater than the cost of their people, technology, and external support.

At the same time, the rest of the pack has been treading water since 2011. Following the Great Recession in 2008-09, procurement departments helped many companies shed costs and deliver some of the best benefits recorded in the two decades that Kearney had been producing the study. In the 2011 study, Kearney predicted the “upward trajectory” would continue, in part as a result of strategic procurement. Instead, says Blascovich, the 2014 study found that the typical company had leveled off and reverted to its norm following the 2011 gains. “That was the biggest surprise in this year’s study,” Blascovich says. “It appears as if many companies went through a flurry of cost-cutting activity, showed real results, and then everything went back to the way it was.”

There are several possible explanations for the leveling off: For instance, once the urgency of the recession passed, companies may have taken their feet of the pedals and allowed suppliers to lap them. Or they simply have hit a wall and have yet to figure out how to generate the next round of performance improvements. “The very best companies get this and keep their feet on the gas,” Blascovich says. “They’re getting these strategic relationships off the ground and are realizing real value in being a leader.”

Blascovich adds that CPG companies in particular have worked hard on procurement initiatives such as supplier relationship management that drive innovation in their products. “There’s been a lot of progress over the past 15 years that I’ve been involved in the study,” Blascovich says. “We really believe that the future can be interesting for those companies that have their house in order, focus on procurement, and understand how to chart a course forward.”

The complete 2014 AEP Study is available at http://www.atkearney.com/procurement/assessment-of-excellence-in-procurement-study


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Supply Chain Planning with Prescriptive Analytics
Technology Enables a More Effective Process
Download Today!
From the September-October 2018
This month’s issue will help you in your job of staying ahead of the pack, following the leaders and, with luck, blazing the next trail.
The 2018 Supply Chain Top 25: Follow the leaders
NextGen technologies: Building the supply chains of the future
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
See Your Supply Chain Like Never Before
How do the world's top supply chains see further and act faster? Many of them are gaining an understanding of how their supply chain flows are tied to outcomes to stay ahead of problems, and gain whole new efficiencies. Attend this webinar to learn more.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chain Managers Hoping to See Rebound in Global Ocean Cargo Container Sector
The continued rise in fuel prices and chartering rates had a negative impact on the earnings of the...
APICS Awards of Excellence Salutes Prominent Supply Chain Leaders
APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi noted that there was a “record-breaking” number of nominations in four...

How Inbound Logistics Networks Can Be a New Source of Savings
A capstone research project sponsored by a major CPG company looks at how different supply network...
Damco’s Supply Chain Services Under Maersk Banner Will Be Tracked Closely by Managers
Industry analysts have greeted the news with mixed forecasts....