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Posts During the Month

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The USPS is Trying to Raise Rates – Let’s Hope It Does

Spend Matters

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jim Haller, program director, Transportation Services, at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping.
Believe it or not, not every carrier rate increase is bad news and such may be the case for the USPS. Recently, the Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to raise rates for a few of its small parcel delivery services – most notably its Parcel Select offerings, which would increase by 8% (domestic Priority Mail rates will go unchanged).

The Parcel Select service is most commonly known as “the other half” of the hybrid, last-mile shipping services offered by UPS, FedEx and DHL. If you’ve ever used UPS SurePost or FedEx SmartPost to ship goods, then Parcel Select is the service that’s…

NYISO tariff would add consistency, transparency

Platts

Independent power producers say NYISO tariff would add consistency, transparency
New York’s merchant generators are praising the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to require the grid operator to develop a tariff for old power plants that would retire except when they are needed to support the transmission system.
“We’ve long advocated for it. A reliability must-run tariff would add an element of transparency so the most economic projects are selected to remain online,” Chris LaRoe, the New York Independent Power Producer’s managing director for regulatory affairs, said Monday.
The tariff, which must be…

Why is Procurement so Bad at Managing All Indirect Spend?

Having spent 11 years at corporate indirect spend for a Fortune 100 company I can identify with this question.

Spend Matters, Jason Busch

Later this week, I’m participating on a webinar with Deem’s Patrick Grady titled Order Out of Chaos for Indirect Spend. The premise of the discussion is that while many organizations are starting to more actively manage indirect spend today through e-procurement and related initiatives, there is so much more they can be doing. Our thesis is that overall indirect spending remains chaotic and unmanaged in most organizations today despite initial forays to bring it under control.
We believe that to truly manage indirect spend, we must fully understand it first (this is one of the potential dangers of relying too heavily on the services of a GPO or a vendor such as a Grainger directly which wants to “own the problem” for you). Without understanding all elements of our spending, there’s a strong chance that we’ll…

Will Internet of Things Support Future Supply Chains?

Material Handling & Logistics

As industrial smart devices are connected to the Internet and provide useful data, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to improve an organization’s performance and efficiency. It also has great value to bring to the supply chain.
Connectivity can include a company’s transportation assets, industrial equipment, products made, and even the containers that carry products across a supply chain. With that connectivity comes a great deal of data. And what you do with that data is where the value comes in.
ARC Advisory group explored the topic and came to a few conclusions: …

ERCOT power market ‘balanced on a razor’s edge’

Platts

Calpine exec says ERCOT power market ‘balanced on a razor’s edge’
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas wholesale power market is “balanced on a razor’s edge” as the region’s “economic reserve margin” slides to near 10%, Steven Pruett, Calpine’s chief commercial officer, said Friday.
During Calpine’s fourth-quarter 2014 earnings call with analysts, Pruett said the company, one of the largest generators in ERCOT, stands to benefit as the economic reserve margin — “the reserve margin beyond which point resources are dispatched at scarcity prices” — has been slipping without …

Cal-ISO to start solicitations for back-stop power capacity

Platts

Starting next year, the California Independent System Operator will use a competitive solicitation process to acquire backstop capacity when there are unexpected shortages or grid reliability issues, the grid operator’s board said.
The Cal-ISO’s board on Thursday approved the market-based mechanism, which will replace a fixed-price administrative back-stop method that is set to expire February 16, 2016.
The market-based process allows suppliers to offer local, system, and flexible backstop capacity, according to the grid operator. This process will solicit offers annually, monthly, and daily and will run whenever the grid operator determines there is a need for backstop capacity, Keith Casey, Cal-ISO’s vice president for…