Tag: compliance


5 Impacts of the Amendments to the Employment and Labor Law in Canada

After much speculations, Kathleen Wynne’s government put forth a new set of reforms titled “Bill 148” or “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017” related to labor law including overtime, sick pay, and how workers join unions and employers responsibilities to contract workers. The Changing Workplaces Review suggested significant changes and upgrades to the existing labor laws including the Labor Relations Act, 1995 (LRA), Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). SE_Demo2Amended largely in favor of the employees and contract workers, the amendments to the labor law is expected to increase operating costs for businesses across Canada by some $23 billion over the next two years.

Rise in Labor Costs

One of the major amendment made along this labor law is the changes to minimum wage which is about to be set at $14 per hour effective from Jan 2018 increasing up to $15 per hour by Jan 2019. This 7% increase in minimum wage will force companies to rethink their operational strategies and will urge them to optimize process inefficiencies and invest in automation. Additionally, employers will also raise the bar for their expectation for people earning more than $15 per hour which may not always be possible.

Paid Vacation

Another change coming into effect from Jan 2018 would be the provision for employees to take three weeks of paid vacation after serving five years for the same company. Such a change in the labor law will make many employees qualified for such leaves. This is expected to increase the overall costs for small businesses who run their business with a small workforce and finding a replacement can be troublesome.

Work Scheduling

The new scheduling rules in the labor law, effective from Jan 2019 gives employees the right to request schedule, location, or shift changes. It also provides employees the power to refuse shifts without the fear of reprisal. Additionally, employers should compensate three work hours worth of pay if their shift is canceled 48 hours prior to its scheduled start time. Such regulations severely limit employers ability to reschedule works and manage shifts as per business demand effectively. Since canceling shifts incurs a financial penalty, businesses would have to resort to other measures to reduce staffing to adjust for slow business.

Part-Time and Contract Employees

The proposed change to the labor law also requires companies to compensate part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers the same amount as the full-time employees when performing the same job. However, the rule only applies to basic wages. This will require businesses to define jobs rigorously to be able to differentiate between similar part-time and full-time roles. For instance, companies who increase pay for employees based on years of service may instead look to improve pay on the basis of hours worked.


Under the current scheme of changes, the new amendment requires employers to provide a minimum of 10 days of personal emergency leaves (PEL), with the first two days being paid leaves. The changes also take into account personal leave reason to include experiences or threat of domestic or sexual violence. Additionally, the family medical leave has also been increased from 8 weeks in 26 week period to 27 weeks in a 52 week period. The biggest of all changes come in the form which limits employers from requesting a sick note from employees for taking a PEL. All such changes require a thorough examination of the current reporting processes to ensure compliance.

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Nearshoring in Pharma Industry – A Cost Reduction Strategy that is Often Overlooked

Stringent FDA requirements, increasing operating costs, shrinking R&D budgets, and patent issues are threatening to shrink the profits in the pharma industry. In a bid to boost their competitiveness and sustainability, top companies in the pharma industry are looking for various strategic measures to improve cost savings. Multiple cost reduction strategies are available to pharmaceutical companies including usage of big data, cross-company standardization, lean process improvement, and business process management. However, the majority of the companies in the pharma industries indulge in such cost-saving strategies. To gain a competitive advantage, top pharmaceutical companies are looking at nearshoring to bring efficiencies to their cost structure.SE_Demo2

Nearshoring is different from outsourcing or offshoring, as it often looks at nearby country or location to avoid logistical challenges posed by offshoring from a faraway location.

Country-Based Opportunities

It is evident that different countries will have various laws, labor laws, economy, and infrastructure. Pharma companies can optimize their cost base by nearshoring operations to a country which can favor that particular process. For instance, countries such as Poland and Bulgaria rank as top destination regarding tax incentives. In Bulgaria, government grants back up to 50% of the CIT due for investment in regions with high unemployment, in addition to tax deductions for hiring long-term unemployed, elderly, or handicapped person. Also, major pharma companies in Europe are trying to reduce their employee headcount in expensive cities like London, Geneva, and Zurich and nearshore operations to popular destinations such as Leeds, Prague, Tallin, and Montevideo.

Shared Laws

The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated by the government as it directly correlates to public well-being. The strict requirement for adherence to quality can be maintained by nearshoring it to suitable destinations. However, outsourcing the process to countries like China and India may pose compliance issue regarding good manufacturing practices (GMP), which is a matter of concern for pharma sponsor. The US being the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world, looks for nearshoring its operations to Japan as it illustrates a better understanding of regulatory and compliance requirements that are required to manufacture high-quality pharma product. The US also imports from nearby locations such as Ireland, the UK, France, and Canada, which accounts for 51% of their total imports for generic drugs.

Supply Chain Management

Pharma companies have to closely monitor the manufacturing process of drugs in order to ensure compliance. This can be possible if the destinations are close to the parent company. Nearshoring offers them the benefit of close supervision and in turn, facilitates communication so that they can reduce the time to market. Additionally, it also reduces chances of errors, grants more control and flexibility as companies have multiple transport and shipping options. Nearshoring also reduces the overall logistics and transport cost due to reduced distance between the parties.

For more information on how your organization can benefit by nearshoring, best cost-sourcing locations, sourcing strategy, offshore, outsourcing and nearshore services:

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Risk Management Strategy in Procurement and Supply Chain

Risk is inevitable; it is something managers have to deal with on a daily basis. Some risks are totally unpredictable like weather-related incidents, such as typhoon in the Philippines, flooding in India, and recent polar vortexes in the US. Such risks can cost companies a lot of money and disrupt their procurement process and the supply chain. Additionally, political instability such as Brexit, Trump administration in the US, and political unrest in the Middle East can negatively impact the supply chain of an organization. As a result, the management has to put in place risk management strategies to deal with numerous risk factors and maintain corporate performance, governance, compliance, and sustainability.SE_Demo2

Supply chain and procurement function decisions are taken at a relatively low level; whereas, risk management is considered at a strategic level. The differing priorities complicate the integration of risk management strategies within the supply chain and procurement function.

Procurement and Supply Chain Risk Management Strategy

Careful Design of Supply Chain

In an ideal world, supply chain designs are done considering the regular working environment and usually do not account for anomalies or special events. The management must develop their supply chain carefully in terms of shipping routes, supplier location, and warehouse location. Integrating risk mitigation techniques and compressing global shipping time and cycle time variation within the supply chain will deliver the cost and performance responses that customers demand.

Supplier Selection

Even today, most organizations look at procurement and supply chain functions as a cost-saving department rather than looking at it from a strategic viewpoint. With a view to increasing cost savings, companies can compromise on response time, product quality, and logistics expediency. They can eventually bring down the procurement costs but will take a hit on supplier relationship; thereby, hampering the overall profitability and operational efficiency. A good supplier relationship can help companies cope with cyclical pressures, sustainability issues, and drive product innovation.

Use of Visibility Tools

One of the most overlooked supply chain risk management strategy is the one that involves visibility tools to monitor global shipments and take actions whenever necessary. Many companies have opted for supply chain event management technology that sends alerts to key personnel to address potential delays and take corrective actions.

Predictive Modeling

Predictive modeling challenges the traditional personnel management practices by analyzing hundreds and thousands of data points that can predict anything from consumer demand to credit scoring. Such models can identify key trends, patterns, and potential disruptions within supply chains. Predictive models analyze risks at each point in origin, intermediary point, and transportation link to predict possible disruptions so that managers can efficiently allocate resources to protect themselves against vulnerabilities.

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The Impact of Stringent Tobacco Laws on the Tobacco Industry

Tobacco is one of the most widely used addictive substance in the world. It is still a great time to be a tobacco company with the overall global market valued at US$740 billion. (SpendEdge Report – Global Tobacco Market – Procurement Market Intelligence Report) However, increasing pressure from the government regarding tobacco laws are threatening the growth of this market. Such regulations especially have hit the cigarette companies hard with some countries rolling out tobacco laws and regulations requiring manufacturers to cover about 90% of cigarette packs with health warnings. For instance, the Australian government has taken a more serious approach to this as they require cigarette packs to be wrapped in drab, plain paper.Request Free Sample

Impact of Regulatory Frameworks on the Tobacco Market

Marketing and Advertising Restrictions

Marketing and advertising is the best way to reach the customers and persuade them to make purchases. However, a large majority of the countries all over the world have executed policies that ensure complete restriction on marketing and advertising of tobacco-based products. For instance, in the US the FDA has imposed strict tobacco regulations that prohibit the use of tobacco product sponsorship, entertainment, and other cultural events under the name of tobacco-product brands. Tobacco companies are still finding ways to promote the brand through sports sponsorships and movie endorsements.

Plain Packaging of Tobacco-Based Products

Numerous countries worldwide have adopted the guidelines of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control regarding packaging of such products. Australia, Ireland, France, and the UK have begun to adopt plain-packaging measures that excludes brand imagery, corporate logos, and trademarks. The tobacco manufacturers are only allowed to print their brand name on the pack. Such tobacco laws cause serious problems to the suppliers as their product could be easily counterfeited. Additionally, cigarette companies will struggle to promote their products, as the packaging was considered their only means of promotion.

Manufacturing, Presentation, and Sale of Tobacco Products

The manufacturing, presentation, and sale of tobacco products are heavily controlled by various federal tobacco laws that require a certain percentage of packaging to be covered by large pictorial health warnings. Such regulations deter smokers from consuming tobacco products and warn them of the health hazards.

Read more about the tobacco laws and legislation in the tobacco industry along with market trends, sourcing strategy, procurement best practices, and sustainability practices in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global tobacco market.

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supply management

Top Challenges in the Bunker Fuel Market

The volume of global trade is increasing at a sharp rate and ships are still the preferred mode of transport for freight and cargo. Bunker fuel takes over precedence in the area of freight shipping as they are the primary source of energy to fuel large vessels. Various grades of bunker fuels are available to fuel ships, where the highest grades such as marine diesel oil are used in navy vessels, boilers, and furnaces and lower Bunker C is used as bunker fuel. Although there seem to be good growth prospects for bunker fuel market, suppliers are facing various procurement and supply chain problems.Request Free Sample

Challenges in Bunker Fuel Market

Regulations Pertaining to Bunker Fuel

Currently, this fuel oil is one of the most polluting fuels available in the market. The fuel obtained from crude oil distillation has the highest amount of impurities and carbon producing over 3,500 times more pollutants than gasoline. To control such pollution, several organization such as IMO and EPA have imposed stringent regulations on the emission of such pollutants.

Volatility in Crude Oil Prices

Bunker fuel prices are highly correlated with crude oil prices. The political instability in the Gulf region and shale gas revolution in the US have resulted in price volatility in bunker fuel market. The suppliers and the buyers in the market are looking for alternative fuel sources such as solar, wind, and LNG to offset this price volatility.

High Toxicity of Bunker Fuel

All grades of bunker fuel are highly hazardous and adversely affects human health. For instance, Bunker C may release or contain chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, which can prove fatal to humans if inhaled at a certain concentration. It also contains several other chemicals that can irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory system. To combat this problem authorities, certain safety protocols have been implemented, which increases the operational cost and compliance costs for the suppliers.

Constant Occurrence of Spills

Bunker fuel is a dense, viscous fuel often produced by mixing fuels HFO and LFO. HFO is a persistent oil and only 5%–10% evaporates within the first hours of a spill while the rest stays in the water, endangering aquatic life. Constant occurrence of spills forces the buyers to pay hefty penalties and also interrupts their operations.

Read more about the challenges in bunker fuel market along with key suppliers of bunker fuel, procurement best practices, bunker fuel price history, sourcing strategy, and procurement insights in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global bunker fuel market.

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Why Procurement Services are Essential to Stay Awake in the Coffee Bean Market

The process of bitter tasting bean turned into a coffee loved across the world may seem rather simple and overlooked. However, the truth is far from simple, as much effort goes into transforming that bean into the final product and making it available across thousands of retail stores, café’s, coffee chain, and individual household. Suppliers in the coffee bean market have to battle out multiple issues including supplier selection, climatic conditions, price volatility, land productivity, fluctuating demand, and stringent government regulations. As a result, suppliers have to avail procurement services to drive profitability and sustainability in the coffee bean market.

Request Free SampleHere are some of the reasons why procurement services are essential in coffee bean market:

Balance Demand-Supply Shifts
Both the demand and supply side of the equation is highly unstable in the coffee bean market. The global market is experiencing increased demand from F&B industry for use as a dietary supplement and as an ingredient in baked goods. The increasing demand from developed parts of the world is driving up the prices for coffee beans. Although the demand is consistently rising, the supply has remained constant for a while, with the coffee market facing supply shortage due to fall in robusta production. Both buyers and suppliers have to rely on procurement services to accurately forecast the demand-supply scenario and devise effective strategy to combat shortage or over-production.

Keeping up with the Trends, Innovations, and Market Development
The coffee bean market has seen some rapid market developments and dynamic changes in customer preferences. Consumer preferences are shifting from regular instant coffee to cold brew coffee, nitro coffee, gourmet coffee, and coffee pods. The suppliers have to adjust quickly to such change in preferences to remain competitive. With the help of dedicated procurement professionals, companies can devise effective strategies to keep track of such developments and adjust their supply accordingly. The procurement department also helps the manufacturers to locate suppliers that innovate on such technologies.

Compliance and Government Regulations
The demand-supply landscape of the coffee bean market is governed by a lot of laws, rules, and regulations that complicate the trade on a global level. There are country-specific laws that govern various aspects of supplier’s business, including processing, handling, storage, transport, and sale of agricultural commodity. Additionally, multiple laws govern the acquisition or leasing of rural properties by specific entities or individuals and issues related to sanitary and phytosanitary effects of such land ownership. Procurement teams can help the supplier to gain all required licenses, permits, and approvals from government agencies to ensure compliance and smooth operations across the globe.

Today, procurement professionals in the coffee bean market are turning towards innovative technologies such as coffee plantation software, information sharing systems and tools, and various supply chain software to optimize their operations and improve profitability.

Read more about the procurement process in the coffee bean market along with supply market landscape, pricing, and procurement insights in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global coffee bean market.

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Answers to the questions

Why an Effective Procurement Process is the Key to Succeed in the Digital Signage Market

At an age where traditional media is dwindling down due to the rise of digital marketing, the digital signage market is flourishing. According to a recent procurement research by SpendEdge, the market would grow at an impressive rate of over 7% until 2021. The key to its success is its ability to stream dynamic content with high visibility in both indoor and outdoor advertising. Digital signage unlocks numerous possibilities for advertisers to broadcast their message and persuade consumers towards the brand creatively. However, the application of digital signage is not limited only to advertising but also for public information, navigation, schedule information, and disseminating product information. A proper procurement process ensures effectiveness in the digital signage market.

Request Free SampleHere are some of the reasons why procurement processes are essential in digital signage market:

Effectively Tackle Market Growth Constraints
One of the biggest challenges in the digital signage market is its low resistance to extreme weather conditions. Procurement professionals should figure out ways to protect LCD panels from fluctuating temperatures, harsh weathers, dust, insect, and direct sunlight. They could achieve such protection by using cabinets that encases the digital signage, but such costs should be incorporated into the Total Cost of Ownership along with other maintenance costs.

Ensures Compliance
The suppliers in the digital signage market have to abide by various rules and regulations. Highway safety and public safety regulations have to be considered during the procurement process by ensuring proper illumination and safe installation. Additionally, the procurement team should also consider the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements, England) Regulations 2007, which states that the buyer must ensure that the location is clean and fix any damage that might have been caused during installation.

Identification of Top Suppliers
A well-established procurement process is a good place to start for identifying the top global suppliers as well as best regional suppliers. The market is dominated by established players like SAMSUNG, LG, Sharp, Panasonic, and SONY.  Also, regional suppliers operate in a niche market and provide solutions in a regional market like Planar Systems in North America, Peerless-AV in Europe, and NEXCOM International Co. in APAC region. Based on suppliers capability and buyers requirement, procurement professionals can find a right supplier fit for the organization’s need.

Read more about the procurement process in the digital signage market along with supply market landscape, pricing, and procurement insights in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global digital signage market.

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Why it’s Already Time to Shift Contract Management from Paper-based Processes to Software

Long gone are the days when deals used to get finalized over a phone approval or firm handshakes. Today, the procurement process is initiated only when the contract is awarded. The problem with traditional paperwork is with the amount of time it takes to prepare and execute, and then there’s always this fear of disputes arising out of the contract, which could hamper the supplier relationship. Constant pleas from organizations for a better contract management solution has given rise to the contract management software, which can replace traditional paperwork and increase procurement efficiency. Here are some of the reasons signaling why your organization needs a contract management software.SE_Demo2

Reduce Contract Cycle Times
Contract management software uses templates with pre-approved clauses and pre-defined approval work-flow, facilitating easy editing of contracts as per stakeholder inputs without compromising on accuracy. The software also provides full visibility into contracting processes and orchestrating the contracting process across its life cycle; thus, avoiding the chance of contract mismanagement.

Decrease Overall Risk Quotient
Organizations are constantly battling with multiple factors to reduce their overall risks. But many a time, risks arise out of poor contract management practices. Companies might fail to comply with the contract clause, miss a contract opportunity for discounts, spot errors in the contract, or fail to enforce negotiated supplier terms – all of which are financial, time, or compliance risks. A good contract management software can mitigate such risks by sending timely notifications to track contract expiry, allowing effective collaboration between stakeholders to reduce errors, and identifying profitable opportunities by providing dynamic reporting and configurable dashboards.

Improve Cost-Savings
For many organizations, maverick spends are managed outside the jurisdiction of contracts. The contract management software increases savings by bringing such maverick spends under contracts and increasing compliance. It also helps save costs by identifying revenue opportunities, decreasing administrative and operational costs, and improving client satisfaction.

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How Pollution in China is Forcing Companies to Clean up Their Supply Chain Management Process

It’s no big secret that every manufacturing giant is looking at the Chinese market to procure and source their products. This may seem all good for China, due to its strong economic development, but many people fail to see the downside of what seems like a win-win situation. The increase in industrialization comes at the cost of serious pollution issues – with ambient air pollution alone killing hundreds and thousands of citizens. In a bid to address this issue, the Chinese government is taking critical steps by ordering pollutingSE_Demo2 factories to close and shutting down their power supply. Also, last year, China announced that it would cut down on its steel and coal output, which can lead to a possible economic turmoil. So, what does China’s pursuit of ‘Blue Sky’ signal to the supply chain management of manufacturing giants?

Disruption in Supply Chain Management

Supposing you are relying on one supplier in Guangzhou to deliver the products in time for the holiday season, and then you get to know that the supplier has suspended operations, a scenario which can completely wreck your supply chain management process. Turning towards alternate suppliers to manufacture the product in time will not only drive up the product cost but also freight and cargo cost; thereby, compromising on profitability. Companies would have to look for alternative options or even source locally and possibly redesign their supply chain management process.

Damaging Brand Reputation

The increasing pollution levels in China has forced brands to maintain compliance, as failure to do so not only leads to negative PR but also damages the brand reputation. Companies losing millions in revenues and brand values because of negative press is not a new thing. Consequently, it forces the brands to alter their supply chain management practices to align with standards that comply with local laws. This process usually increases the overheads, in turn, lowering their net margin.

Supplier Search

China’s recent government crackdown on pollution has led to the shutdown of tens and thousands of Chinese factories. As a result, manufacturers that comply with EPA laws are facing demands bigger than their capacity – prompting the brands to look elsewhere. Companies will have to go through a great deal of supply chain planning to consider alternative locations such as Vietnam, Thailand, or India. Even though an optimal location can be identified, it would be difficult to match China’s well-established manufacturing network.

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Sustainability Practices in the Cocoa Market – Empowering the Cocoa Farmers

Cocoa has a wide variety of usage in the food industry. It is primarily used in cocoa powder, chocolate, bakery items, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, and spices. North America and Europe are the biggest markets for cocoa products due to higher demand for confectionery purposes. The cocoa market is experiencing a steady growth with a CAGR of about 3%. Different stakeholders including farmers, primary buyers, traders, and end-consumers are involved in practices that can make the value chain of cocoa market Request Free Samplesustainable. Also, since big corporations absorb a major chunk of profits in the cocoa market, members of the cocoa value chain have developed sustainability practices to empower cocoa farmers. Here are some of the best sustainability practices in the cocoa market:

Soil Mapping

Extensive cocoa farming can deplete the farming land of essential nutrient content and composition of organic matter over decades. As a result, local associations and NGOs are working to undertake soil mapping to understand the soil composition and increase productivity and yield. It also involves recommending the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers to apply good agricultural practices.

Community Development Programs

Suppliers in the cocoa market such as Cargill, Barry Callebaut, and Blommer Chocolate Company are planning to implement a series of community development programs to empower local communities producing cocoa. It includes the provision of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and health and nutrition. To empower the cocoa farmers, suppliers have also ensured the inclusion of women farmers to increase overall family income and improve school enrollment rates and attendance to reduce instances of child labor.

Farmer Support Programs

Suppliers in the cocoa market are considering launching financial schemes and crop protection programs to increase a farmer’s overall revenue. The program also ensures farmers get fair prices for their produce and extended credit facilities. Apart from this, they also get on-the-field training and access to high-quality farming equipment, fertilizers, and storage facilities.

Read more about the sustainability practices in the cocoa market along with supply market landscape, pricing, and procurement insights in SpendEdge’s upcoming procurement report on the cocoa market

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