How To Set Goals For Yourself and Your Purchasing Department For 2017

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Last year, I ran a half marathon. But I didn’t just go out and do it. I made a 16 week plan of the runs that I was going to do every day, and how I was going to build up to my 13.1 mile finish.

Professional goals are no different than personal goals like these, but professional goal setting often falls by the wayside. It’s important do strategic goal setting, both for your job and for your department -- especially if you manage other people.

Your professional goals also need a plan-- a course of action, or a list of small daily steps you’re going to take to help accomplish these goals. Here’s how to plan for improvement in 2015.

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5 Graphic Design Firms In The Natural Food Industry

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Good graphic designers are key for any B2C company who’s selling their food products on a retail store shelf. Packaging design can be one of the major reasons that new customers give your product a try in the first place, so it’s worth putting your branding in the hand of someone who knows their stuff.

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Learn From Top Food Production Consultant: Interview With Alchemy Systems

Posted by Hannah Broaddus



Alchemy Systems works with some of the biggest brands in the food industry helping them save money, reduce risk and manage their operations. They also provide consulting that helps companies “protect their people, profits and brands”. Their specialty focuses on food safety, workplace safety and operations solutions that will optimize food production front lines.

Recently, I sat down with Holy Mockus, an expert at Alchemy Systems. Holly and I spoke about some of the challenges and trends that she sees in the food industry, and how she would recommend that companies begin to tackle them.

To give you a bit of background, Holly has over 30 years of experience in the food industry at companies like ConAgra, Kellogg, and Sara Lee.

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Manufacturing Metrics that Matter Most: A Comprehensive Checklist

Posted by Adam Robinson

In today’s manufacturing enterprise, executives and line of business managers are constantly bombarded with information, making it difficult to weed through all the available manufacturing metrics to figure out what business issues need to be addressed.

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10 Issues Keeping Manufacturers and Distributors Up At Night for 2015

Posted by Adam Robinson

As we get settled into this new year, we thought we’d share observations from conversations we’ve had with manufacturers and distributors recently. 

These ten issues are what is keeping them up at night. We believe they are worthy of discussion in 2015 as they are more pressing than ever as competition continues to heat up with current incumbents and the growing competition from start ups.

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20 Manufacturers Describe ERP Software Benefits in their Own Words

Posted by Adam Robinson

There’s one voice that’s often conspicuously absent from the online ERP software conversation: the one belonging to actual users.

It’s easy to find information from developers, integrators, consultants, and the tech media. But to find out what real users are saying about the tangible benefits they’ve seen from their ERP investment? That’s tougher.

The relative lack of published information from ERP software users is a bit unfortunate. After all, actual users are best-positioned to provide an unbiased report on how ERP features can be harnessed for real-world competitive advantages.

To better understand how your organization can benefit, we’ve collected comments from 20 manufacturers detailing the results they were able to achieve via their investments in ERP software.

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An Easy Guide to Complex Food Labeling Rules

Posted by Dana Harris

The FDA website consists of thousands of pages on food regulations, news, events and new law announcements, food safety tips and resources, answers to frequently asked questions, and other helpful information for both consumers and food business owners.

The problem that many food producers have with the FDA, especially those just starting out with their business, is that the website seems endless and requirements for proper food labeling are very complicated, sometimes even ambiguous. The advice to all food businesses is to consult experts prior to labeling their product.

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The Ultimate Guide To Buying Green Packaging For Bulk Edible Oils

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Just picture it: you’re walking the aisles of Whole Foods Market… How many natural and organic foods are touting green packaging? A lot, right?

That’s the new trend (and thank goodness for it!): biodegradable, recyclable, and green packaging.

But retail products are not the only category looking for green packaging options.

Procurement managers in the industrial manufacturing realm are also looking for ways to increase their positive impact -- both on their community and the world. If you don’t care about doing good, chances are that your customers do.

Whether green buying is a part of your business strategy or if it's simply a PR exercise, we have the tips you need to make the switch to greener, more environmentally-friendly packaging options for industrial healthy oil ingredients.

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Difference Between Edible Oil Net Weight, Gross Weight and Pallet Size

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

If you’re looking at bulk oils for the first time from a bulk supplier (vs. a distributor like Costco), you’ll need to know how much oil you’d get in a bulk shipment, determine the weights of the different packaging types and understand how much oil comes on one pallet.

This article will address these three basic questions, as well as why you need know these calculations:

What is net weight? You need to know this to figure out and compare pricing.

What is gross weight? Gross weights help you choose the right packaging and do shipping calculations.

How much oil fits on one pallet? We’ll give you the calculations.

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The Coming Growth of Women In Manufacturing

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

“Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap. Part of this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry.”  — The Manufacturing Institute

Did you know that while women make up approximately 50% of the labor force, they make up only about 24% of the manufacturing labor force?

Manufacturers are scrambling to fill their need for skilled professionals, and the women of the future will fill a big part of that. In 2013, approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs were unfilled because companies couldn’t find qualified workers to fill them.

In the coming years, many manufacturers will turn to women to fill that need.

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The Ultimate List Of 22 Marketing Tools To Promote Natural Food Brand

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Your natural food brand needs more eyes on it.  It needs more shares.  More likes.

We can all agree on that, because that's part of marketing now.

But it's in your hands to begin marketing your products and get the chain reaction started.  It won't happen without you, young business owner.  If you're not a marketer in the food industry, it can be hard to do (much less make time to do it!).

You're not alone in this struggle.  Most people that start food brands are not marketers-- they're entreprenuers!  

For those of you that need a boost expanding the reach of your brand, here's a list of my favorite marketing tools for growing food brands that are selling directly to consumers.  

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5 Easy Mistakes To Make When Labeling Your Food Product

Posted by Rachel Zemser

This article was originally featured on Rachel Zemser's website, The Intrepid Culinologist, and is published here with permission.

The Fancy Food Show was in town this January! I love wandering around the show, checking out the trends and secretly searching for false claims, labeling violations or stuff that is just misleading. That’s what food scientists do-- and then we pick up the phone, call the FDA and make sure violating entrepreneurs are BUSTED!!

The reality is, there are just way to many products out there for the FDA to inspect for compliance and unless your product is under USDA jurisdiction.  Plus, you don’t even have to have it inspected or approved before putting it on the shelf.

This is all the more reason to do your diligence and make sure you don’t accidentally lie, mislead or omit any important information.

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5 Common Pitfalls of Inventory Replenishment

Posted by Dan Kiefer

This article was originally featured on the K3S blog and is published here with permission.

There’s a saying in purchasing that when the inventory in the warehouse is lean, sales is doing a great job. When the warehouse is overstocked, there must be a problem with purchasing. That’s the world we live in.

Running a profitable company in this economy is as much about keeping inventory lean as it is about boosting sales. 

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How To Write A Food Formula That Makes Sense To A Manufacturer

Posted by Rachel Zemser

Sometimes — well actually most of the time — I get calls from start ups asking me how they can scale up their recipe to industrial size. The first thing I always ask is,

“Is your formula in percentages? Because that's what manufacturers need to see it in.”

Crickets chirping in the distance— silence on the line…

The client usually says, “I measure my liquids with a measuring cup and I use teaspoons to weigh out my salt and sugar— is that ok?”

I answer NO!  

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4 Networking & Education Resources for Procurement Professionals

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

 Want to advance your career?  We all do.

Part of growing and advancing to your next role requires learning.  Go to school, master a new skill.  Naturally, the more experienced you are, the more valued you become-- in your current job and in your next.

The other part of professional development all comes down to networking.  When it comes to landing that perfect job, sometimes what matters more is who you know, not what you know.

Whether you're on the job hunt or just looking to continue to grow professionally, these resources are a must for anyone in the procurement field.  

Learn what you want to know and connect you with who you want to know.


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