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This month, we caught up with Rob Handfield, Executive Director of NC State University’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, to find out what’s going on in the supply chain management world.

ProcurementIQ: What challenge(s) do you and your company or department face right now?

Rob Handfield: Our students work with our partner companies on a variety of supply management related projects, many of which include the development of supply market intelligence, should-cost modeling, the identification of industry trends, creating supplier profiles, supply chain mapping and a variety of other types of market research. Project deliverables must be completed within a single semester, and finding the information that is required for the partner company is imperative, especially in the early stages of project scoping and definition. Finding this information is challenging because it is often compiled from a variety of different library resources.

PIQ: How does/might ProcurementIQ help you overcome this challenge?

RH: ProcurementIQ provides a concise set of data around specific categories and is a great source of information on key data points that are critical for kicking off a research project with a partner company.  The information is also useful in developing supplier scorecards, total cost of ownership models and application of Porter Five Forces analyses as part of market intelligence studies that are required for the MBA and undergraduate classes in supply management.

PIQ: What do you foresee happening within the procurement world in the coming year?

RH: Procurement is being asked to take on a broader responsibility: to drive many different forms of category value that go beyond simple price leveraging and cost reduction.  As purchasing moves toward a category management structure, the importance of building procurement analytics and strategic insights will be critical in transforming the function into a trusted member of the business team.

PIQ: Tell us something interesting about yourself (hobbies, experiences, travel, etc.)

RH: I run triathlons, love to fly fish and love to downhill ski. I grew up in Calgary, Canada but now reside permanently in the Carolinas!

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The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) is a unique, industry–university partnership dedicated to advancing the supply chain industry and the professionalism of its practitioners. Based in the Poole College of Management at NC State University in North Carolina’s dynamic Research Triangle area, the SCRC provides support, services and programs to benefit three overlapping constituent groups: supply chain management students, Poole College of Management SCM faculty and corporate partners from diverse businesses and industries.

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