2016 KATZSCAN NEWSLETTERS

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December 2016

 Fashion at your fingertips … and why traditional retailers should be very worried. 


Back on September 21, 2016 in the Miami Herald newspaper, I read a very interesting editorial by Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg Gadfly detailing how Amazon, already the largest online retailer of apparel, is positioning itself to overtake its brick-and-mortar retail rivals in fashion sales. And sure enough approximately four weeks later the television commercials started airing advertising fashion apparel on Amazon. 


As Shelly lays out the history, fashion brands had initially shunned Amazon and stayed true to their own web sites and their brick-and-mortar department store partners. 


Amazon started making and selling their own private label apparel and then purchased Zappos in 2009, fast-tracking shoe sales. Amazon also focused on selling accessory items and the basics, essentially what people feel comfortable buying online, eroding the fear-factor of making more expensive apparel and accessory purchases on their web site. 


According to trade publication Internet Retailer, Amazon’s apparel sales in 2015 were $16.3B, more than the online sales of its five largest competitors: Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Gap, and L Brands (Victoria’s Secret parent company). Sure, this is still behind Walmart’s $24B in apparel sales, but it is close to Macy’s $21B in apparel sales, and darn close to TJX’s $17B in apparel sales. And Amazon has overtaken Gap, Kohl’s, Target, J.C. Penney, and Nordstrom in 2015 apparel sales. 


And Amazon purposefully attacks department store prices by significantly discounting products which cause retailer web sites to automatically match Amazon’s prices, especially those with price-match guarantees, thus negating any profit the retailer is likely to make. 


Shelly’s article continues that with Amazon’s Prime service and logistics capabilities, many consumers also favor the online retailer due to its ease of shopping and convenient free delivery service (the latter for Prime members). 


Sixty percent of survey respondents said they would purchase more apparel on Amazon simply if Amazon had a wider selection of well-known and fashionable clothing according to a Morgan Stanley analysis. 


What is a department store to do?


It is not as if Amazon does not have its own complex construct of vendor compliance requirements. And it is not as if traditional retailers do not have a web of physical locations between their own distribution centers and brick-and-mortar stores. The distinction I see is that department stores need to think more like marketplaces and leverage their locations to their benefit in order to survive. 


Traditionally buyers have been isolated behind fortress walls … forget about even approaching a retailer with an innovative product idea. Vendor compliance requirements can be so dizzying to the point of dysfunctional that I have had selling companies tell me over the years that they just refuse to sell their products to different retailers due to the excessive chargebacks or hardships in just trying to meet the expectations which seem to go beyond reasonable standards and common sense. 


If traditional retailers are going to survive and compete against Amazon and the Amazon look-alikes (e.g. eBay, Fingerhut, HSN, and QVC) they will have to change their traditional thinking and vendor relationship models, which means doing a much better job internally and externally of supply chain vendor compliance. 


To review Shelly Banjo’s insightful article in full, go to:

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-09-20/amazon-clothing-sales-could-soon-top-macy-s 

November 2016

Knowing your suppliers.


As part of the vendor compliance process there is the task of gathering data about the company – the seller of goods – that desires to establish themselves in a supply chain relationship with your company – the buyer of goods. 


Most buying companies will require the traditional profile that includes name, address, corporation records, Dun and Bradstreet profile, GS1 certificate, and perhaps some customer references. But how good is this information and how much more investigation should the buying company do on its own? 


According to an article in the July-August 2016 edition of Supply Chain Brain titled “How Supplier Vetting Is Becoming a Numbers Game” between 60 and 70 percent of supplier data is self-reported. And even financial data from a trusted source such as Dun and Bradstreet simply comes from the supplier company themselves, so the veracity of the data may still be in question when the information trail is traced to the source. Private companies are not required to disclose information to the public, so there may be limited information a resource firm like Dun and Bradstreet has to go on.


While the Internet has significantly broadened the ability to search and seek out information on just about anyone and any company, this task represents a burden to be undertaken by the buying company’s vendor compliance or vendor management group or department. How much time should be invested in researching a potential supplier (or customer, for that matter) trading partner? What is the liability for an employee who misses finding some key information such as a news article? Are the employees responsible for these searches trained in investigating competitive information or a related field such as to be properly prepared to undertake this job role?


While there are companies that provide vetting services, there are questions to be asked. Much like employee background services, make sure these service companies rely on databases with recent information, especially if they are purchasing data from other sources including state division of corporations. County records vary greatly in terms of their digital age, with some counties still very far behind in moving from paper to digital records. At the county level is where you will find the most information about a person, not at the city, state, or federal level. As such if you are going to investigate the owners of a potential supply chain partner’s business, you’ll want to get to the county level, and that can be tricky depending on where they have lived and for how long. 


Knowing your suppliers, and your supplier’s suppliers, can be critical in ensuring the safety and security of your supply chain and in ensuring the health and safety of your customers. 


“Buyer beware” extends to not just consumers but to supply chain buyers as well. 

October 2016

 Getting your ship(ments) together.


According to an article in the August 2016 edition of Logistics Magazine, extended driver detention times are increasing.


Based on a survey by DAT Solutions of 257 carriers, nearly 63% spent more than 3 hours at a shipper’s dock waiting to get either loaded and unloaded. And 54% experienced wait times of between 3 and 5 hours, with 9 % experiencing wait times of 5 hours and longer. 


Carriers are concerned, with 84% ranking detention as one of the top 5 business problems they face. 


With increased road traffic, limitations on the number of driver hours (for good reason), and fewer truck drivers, there is certainly more pressure on carriers to get their goods to their final destinations without having to deal with extended detention times at pickup and drop-off locations.


Vendor compliance requirements are a necessity for suppliers who wish to sell their goods into markets such as retail, grocery, government, pharmaceutical, and other industries. Compliance requirements include both technology (e.g. Electronic Data Interchange) and operational (e.g. barcode labeling, carton pallet stacking, distribution paperwork, shipment scheduling). 


Vendor companies can find themselves scrambling to put together their shipments at the last minute as they finish up labeling cartons, properly stacking cartons on pallets, completing and printing packing lists and the bill of lading, all while making the truck carrier wait. This carrier detention can be the result of the shipper (the vendor company) failing to plan their operations workload accordingly right down to the timing of the arrival of the carrier. 


The DAT Solutions survey stated that 3% of the carriers were paid on 90% of their detention claims at a rate of between $30 and $50 per hour. What this tells me is that carriers can – and do – charge the shipper for extended wait times. Shippers should be wary of aggravating a carrier who might decide not to continue to provide services due to consistent detention times or unpaid detention claims. And why continue to incur unnecessary operational expenses and fees due to inefficiencies?  


Regardless of the cause of the delays, getting goods loaded and the truck carrier on their way should be a top priority of the operations at a warehouse or distribution center. Late shipments that cause delays in getting goods to their final destination can result in out-of-stock situations (and thus lost sales) or late deliveries (with possible added costs for expedited work or shipping) through the supply chain, doing no one any good.  


Letting drivers do what they do best – moving goods on schedule – is beneficial to everyone. 

September 2016

The versatility of Microsoft Access.


I am a solution-neutral consultant: I do not sell any software or hardware. I maintain my independence from product companies so I can provide the suitable solution advice for each client situation. That being stated I do have my preferred go-to software products that – over the years and based on experience – I know will work in certain situations. This is some of what my clients expect when they hire a consultant of my high caliber: knowledge of what will work to solve a problem. 


Time and time again I have used Microsoft’s Access to accomplish software application, data analysis, and data conversion/migration tasks. Some of my clients have thought that a product that was free as part of Microsoft Office Professional could not be used to solve their seemingly monumental conundrums, and wouldn’t Access’ 2GB limitation be a problem? And yet time and time again, even in dealing with files of over 10 million records, I have proven that Access could not just do the job but do it better than my clients had anticipated … granted with me at the proverbial wheel. 


With the ability to create queries, reports, data tables (internal and externally linked, as well as linking to external documents like scanned forms and pictures), and data forms, Access is an all-in-one application that can be used to accomplish a wide range of business tasks. 


Let me provide you some examples of mission-critical business problems I have solved with native Microsoft Access functionality as I do not write in VBA code:


· CAPA (Corrective Action Preventative Action) database application 

· Employee training tracking database application including an import from Traineaze 

· Warranty registration database application with sales receipt import from various retailers  

· Material and labor cost rollup from SAGE MAS 100 ERP 

· ERP data migration via ODBC connection to Great Plains ERP

· Vendor compliance label printing, calling either Label Matrix or BarTender label design and print software applications 

· Financial system migration audit statistics with ODBC to Microsoft SQL Server and linking to data migration text files 

· ODBC connectivity to an Oracle database to validate inventory scan data transactions 

· ODBC connectivity to a point-of-sales software system for invoice data analysis and reporting 

· Software application prototyping, e.g. database design for new product development 


(All software products and companies listed are copyright to their respective owners. There are no endorsements explicit or implied here!)


Even though an Access database itself has a 2GB size limit, this does not mean that Access cannot attach to a database much larger for querying, analysis, and updating. 


When budgetary constraints do not allow my clients to buy the software solution they need, or when the software my clients need does not exist, or when my clients are relying on expertise for data analysis or data conversions, I first look to something my clients already own to build upon: any business with Microsoft Office Professional already has Access and therefore a powerful and flexible tool which a master craftsperson like me can use. 


When people ask isn’t Access just a database program, I reply that it is, but the answer does a disservice to the true power of what that program is really capable of in the right hands. 

August 2016

Projects … Projects … PROJECTS!


It is just coming up upon the middle of South Florida’s hot and humid summer, and we are only one-third of the way through hurricane season, so while the electricity is flowing and the air conditioner still running strong I thought it would be an appropriate time to update everyone as to what projects I have been working on thus far in 2016:


· Two EDI software selection projects, including documentation such as a vendor questionnaire, client project summary, client transaction (purchase orders, sales orders, invoices) and trading partner data analysis, with ERP integration considerations.  The ERP systems for integration are Sage MAS 100, a legacy custom-written FoxPro system, and SAP R3.

· EDI document mapping (transactions: 850, 810, 856, 846, 855) and integration to the company’s Sage 100 MAS ERP system using SWK’s MAPADOC software.  

· Data migration for a field service technician software implementation.

· Data integration between an online training portal (Traineaze) and an on premise employee training tracking software system (which was developed by me in Microsoft Access).

· Development of a medical instrument validation testing tool in Microsoft Excel for use by field service technicians.

· Accounting center code reassignment in a Sage MAS 100 ERP system by expanding the single-element general ledger code to a hierarchical three-element accounting code inclusive of the general ledger code. 

· Vendor compliance barcode labeling.

· Authored the standard operating procedures manual and developed the foundation dashboard analytics for an applicant tracking system (Bullhorn). 

· Data integration to a FedEx commercial shipping system. 

· Conducted training classes in Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel (beginners and advanced).


True to my talents I remain focused on ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), barcode application, software (development, analytics), documentation (user and technical), and training, but I am also called upon to expand into other (parallel or similar) areas as my clients need me to. Throughout my projects I am conferring with and advising my clients on strategy, tactics, operational improvements, human resource issues, and risk management/mitigation. 


My tagline – “Things seen differently” – is not just a clever play on my company name, it is something my clients have come to understand and appreciate about the talent, creativity, and value I bring to each and every project upon which they rely on me. Let me know if I can do the same for you. 

July 2016

The book reviews are in! Start your summer reading here!


Summertime is here and there is no better time to catch up on reading, whether lying on a beach, relaxing aboard an airplane, or idling time away in an airport. For those of you who are tired of the same old romance story, murder mystery, or horror plot, may I suggest something just as intriguing and educational as well?


Smart New Book on Retail Vendor Compliance May be the First of Its Kind – Supply Chain Digest 

My second book, “Successful Supply Chain Vendor Compliance”, which was published at the beginning of the year, was recently reviewed by Supply Chain Digest in its April and May Retail Vendor Performance Management Bulletin. 


We’re not sure if there has really been a book before Norman Katz’s new “Successful Supplier Chain Vendor Compliance” on this topic, so maybe it’s about time. – Supply Chain Digest


In my book I outline how a customer/buying enterprise should approach the initiative of its vendor compliance program which sits at the core of its supplier relationship management and supplier risk management programs. 


The failure to properly implement the software systems – Enterprise Resource Planning, Electronic Business-To-Business (e.g. Electronic Data Interchange), and Automatic Identification (such as barcode labeling and scanning) – and business procedures will only lead to frustrations for both the customer/buying enterprise and its selling/vendor community. These failures will also cause increased operating costs to be incurred by all parties involved. 


There is a lot more in this informative book, which we think should be on every retail compliance manager’s desk. – Supply Chain Digest 


Vendor compliance programs run the risk of inhibiting product diversity and innovation, reducing companies in the retail sector to be commodity participants instead of competitive players. Consider that just recently Sports Authority and Sports Chalet are shutting down and shuttering all of their stores, just two more cases of once mighty retailers who failed. I am not suggesting that their vendor compliance programs were the singular causes. However, from my perspective I would certainly be willing to bet that the vendor compliance programs played more of a factor than each retailer recognized or was able to realize before it was too late. 


While my book uses examples from the retail industry, I wrote the book to be as industry-neutral as possible. As such the lessons taught in the book as applicable to diverse industries such as pharmaceutical, electronic components, grocery, marine, government (including military), and more.  


To read the Supply Chain Digest reviews which are in two parts, go to:

http://www.scdigest.com/newsviews/16-04-26-2.php?cid=10609 

http://www.scdigest.com/newsviews/16-05-25-2.php?cid=10757 


To order a copy of my book, go to: 

https://www.routledge.com/Successful-Supply-Chain-Vendor-Compliance/Katz/p/book/9781472472014 


Enjoy your summer and happy reading!

2016 KATZSCAN NEWSLETTERS

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June 2016

Conference presentations update.


The past few months I have had the pleasure of presenting my supply chain fraud topic at two conferences. The first was in March in Miami at the annual fraud conference sponsored by the Miami and Palm Beach chapters of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Miami chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The second was in Orlando for the 35th annual accounting conference at the University of Central Florida’s School of Business Administration where I was sponsored by the Mid-Florida chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants at whose 96th annual conference in Los Angeles I was a speaker last year. 


In Miami I spoke to an audience of over 450 attendees, and in Orlando at attendee count was at 125+ with representatives from some of the area’s largest entertainment and telecommunication companies. 


The keynote speaker in Miami was Frank Abagnale of “Catch Me If You Can” book and movie fame. In 2011 while speaking at a conference in Central Florida for the Institute of Internal Auditors I was fortunate to hear a presentation by Mark Whitacre of “The Informant” movie fame. It was very interesting to hear from Mr. Abagnale how the movie embellished upon the real-life tragedy of his childhood and capers, clever as they were to those of us as outside observers. Inasmuch as these events are now in their long-past, both men were barely able to hold back their tears as they recounted their time in prison and the stress of being either on the run or used by the government as insiders. 


However glamorous Hollywood may make of these true-life escapades I can assure you that hearing the real-life stories dispels any notion that anyone in the room would want to go through what either of these two gentlemen went through. Mr. Abagnale has turned down three federal pardons for his crimes, owning up to his guilt that will be with him through his entire life. And as each of these men have wives and children, just imagine how their last names hang over the family members, especially when their movies are re-run on television as a reminder of their criminal past. 


Opportunity and pressure were driving forces that drove Mr. Abagnale and Mr. Whitacre to commit their crimes, along with the rationalization that they could or they should based upon the life circumstances they were in at the time. Opportunity, pressure, and rationalization are the three tenants of the fraud triangle developed by criminologist Donald Cressey decades ago, and his theory is still relevant and applicable today. 


My supply chain fraud business model continues to draw rave reviews from audiences for its revelation that the foundational systems producing standard business transactions that are enabling global supply chains and are used for supplier relationship analysis and supplier risk analysis can also be used to detect fraud, whether perpetrated internally or externally. If you would like more information on protecting your organization from supply chain fraud, please contact me.

May 2016

Traditional vendor compliance programs inflict self-harm on retailers.


According to what was written by the Associated Press as reported in the Miami Herald on January 2, 2016, both Macy’s and Staples were among the 20 biggest stock market losers of 2015. These two retailers are struggling to get customers into their stores as consumers are increasingly shifting to purchasing online. 


In the December 2015 issue of Inbound Logistics magazine, the article “Today’s Digital Economy: What’s in Store for Retailers?” includes SAP’s first-ever Retail Index conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics. In questioning how retailers intend on prioritizing the improvement of the customer experience today and in three years, the answers were as follows:


- Loyalty management and offerings: Today (80%); In Three Years (98%)

- Online channel integration: Today (79%); In Three Years (91%)

- Assisted selling: Today (76%); In Three Years (88%)

- Digital marketing and sales: Today (68%); In Three Years (95%)

- Mobile channel integration: Today (53%); In Three Years (89%)

- Personalization for the end consumer: Today (41%); In Three Years (54%)

- New products that extend beyond core offerings: Today (38%); In Three Years (62%)

- Smart products / IoT: Today (23%); In Three Years (43%)


As I wrote in my book, “Successful Supply Chain Vendor Compliance” (Gower, December 2015), vendor compliance programs can be inhibitors of new product acquisition. So while retailers may desire to expand their product lines even today, their restrictive supply chain vendor compliance programs and methodologies are currently blocking vendors with innovative products from getting those items onto the store shelves and e-shelves. Retailers are – and have been – inflicting their own damage by focusing on a relatively narrow pool of vendors and disregarding new innovative companies with unique products that can draw the attention of consumers. Sadly, this is probably one of the easier initiatives to adjust and reap the benefits from, yet appears to be at the near-bottom of the list of priorities. 


Putting up blockades to prevent prospective vendors from promoting potential products is a throwback to the days of diva buyers, yet it persists today in full-force. 


Retailers better start to open their eyes and ears to products creating a buzz or that have the potential to start a fad with the right marketing. Retailers won’t do this by sticking to the old methodologies; they need to create gateways where companies with innovative ideas can submit their items for review. Competition is fiercer than ever, and stagnant retail commodity business models just won’t cut it in the new order of the digital age.  I think that brick-and-mortar married to online can work well but only when powered by unique products, and not just unique brands. 

April 2016

 Supply chain fraud is a continual concern.


In 2014 global advisory firm Deloitte began issuing some startling statistics about supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse and how respondent firms utilize – or do not – data analytics to fight fraud. 


In 2014 31.4% of the 3,600 polled executives and managers replied that their firms had experienced some form of supply chain fraud, waste, or abuse in the past 12 months despite the fact that 39.6% of the companies reportedly had a program in place to detect supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse. 

(However, 32.5% of 2014 respondents did not know if they company had a program in place to detect supply chain fraud, waste, or abuse. And 46.6% of 2014 respondents did not know if their companies had suffered from supply chain fraud, waste, or abuse in the past 12 months.) 

Recently released statistics of Deloitte’s latest polling of 2,600 professionals performed in January 2016 reveals that approximately 30% of companies have experienced supply chain fraud, waste, or abuse; however only 29.3% of companies utilize analytics to try and detect and prevent supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse. 

The 2016 report noted that two industries saw increases in supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse from 2014 to 2016:

· Life sciences and health care saw an increase from 31% to 35%

· Energy and resources saw an increase from 27% to 34%

On the good news front, the technology, media, and telecommunications sector saw decreases in supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse from 2014 to 2016, dropping from 33% to 27%. 

The 2016 report highlighted the lack of use of analytics in combating supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse, noting that 13.7% have analytic software but do not use it and 19.3% have no analytic software for supply chain financial risk management.  In 2014 only 7.5% of companies reported having advanced use of analytics, and 17.7% reported they were in the building phase of using analytics; another 13% reported they were lacking in their use of analytics and 21.9% stated they were absent in their use of analytics. This leaves a whopping 39.9% of companies who reported they did not know their use of analytics in 2014 regarding combating supply chain fraud, waste, and abuse. 

In my 2012 book titled “Detecting and Reducing Supply Chain Fraud” I lay out the business model for using tried-and-true supply chain systems and the resultant transactions to detect and reduce supply chain fraud, whether perpetrated internally or externally, whether performed by customers, employees, or vendors. 

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI/eB2B), and Automatic Identification (e.g. barcode labeling and scanning) are the true backbone and lifeblood technologies of all supply chains. The transactions they produce capture and encapsulate every interaction between the business and its customer and vendor supply chain trading partners. These three systems themselves offer a check-and-balance audit: the ERP and the EDI/eB2B, and the ERP and the Automatic Identification system (e.g. inventory or warehouse management). 

Essentially, between the system-to-system audits and the cross-data analytics, it is wholly possible to perform cross-checks at various points of the supply chain and detect – and even prevent – fraud, waste, and abuse before it happens, or before it manifests itself and becomes worse.  

Analyzing the data in aggregate over time allows patterns to emerge that further provide an insight for fraud, waste, and abuse analysis beyond the snapshot perspective. Between the instant audit and the longer-term analysis, the data is likely already there for the picking in many enterprise’s supply chains. 

For more information about my book, the first and only one on record to tackle the topic of supply chain fraud, please go to: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781409407324 

March 2016

Many unhappy returns.


Now that the end-of-year holiday season is well over, I hope everyone received what they wanted. For those who did not you probably did what an increasing number of people are doing each year: returning gifts. 


According to an article by Los Angeles Times writer Shan Li, $284 billion of merchandise was returned in 2014 in the United States according to retail industry consultancy Retail Equation, a 13% increase from 2013’s $267 billion. And according to consulting firm Kurt Salmon, whereas 9% of overall retail sales are returned, as much as one-third of online sales are returned. For the average retailer, the cost of returns is 4.4% of revenue.  As brick-and-mortar stores try and compete with online retailers, the brick-and-mortar retailers are introducing more lenient return policies as a means of enticing customers to return to their stores. 


Granted, some returned items can be returned to stock and resold as new, and other returns will find their way to outlet stores or liquidators. Consumers should be wary about where they shop, knowing that shopping at an outlet store might mean that they are purchasing a returned item. 


But according to the National Retail Federation, fraud in returns will cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from $1.9 billion last year, writes Kaitlyn McAvoy in her December 24, 2015 post on Spend Matters (http://spendmatters.com). Retailers expect 3.5% of all returns to be fraudulent per the National Retail Federation. McAvoy goes on the list several types of return frauds that retailers will be on the lookout for, and they include frauds perpetrated by both consumers and employees alike. 


Without spoiling McAvoy’s post: the most returned item is clothing. Hmmm … seems to make sense … sizes vary so much by manufacturer and peoples’ tastes can be so fickle. And the increased use of electronic receipts (e-receipts) has had a negative effect on reducing fraud. Apparently e-receipts are an enabler of return fraud, maybe because they are easier to forge than paper receipts. 


So gather your unwanted gifts and head to local retailer or online merchant for the annual exchange. Be honest because Santa Claus is most certainly watching, and he knows just who is naughty and nice. After all, you don’t want to receive a returned gift next year, do you? 


To read Kaitlyn McAvoy’s entire Spend Matters post, please go to:

http://spendmatters.com/2015/12/24/fraudulent-returns-cost-retailers-2-2-billion/ 

February 2016

My second book, published!


Fittingly perhaps on the anniversary of my 20th year in business, January 2016 also marked the publication of my second book, titled Successful Supply Chain Vendor Compliance


Since 1993 the technical and operation aspects of supply chain vendor compliance have played an integral role in my professional career as an employee and as a consultant. The technical aspects of vendor compliance include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, electronic business-to-business capabilities especially via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and barcode labeling and scanning technology. Vendor compliance touches virtually every aspect of operations including sales order processing, inventory management, distribution, accounting, shipping, sales analysis, marketing, manufacturing, purchasing, customer relationship management, supplier relationship management, and supplier risk management. It impacts human resource hiring, scheduling, and training within the enterprise.  


My vendor compliance experience spans over two decades in which I have seen the proverbial good, bad, and ugly in different industries though retail is my specialty. I have consulted for the retail industry’s trade association, creating supplier education courses based on the belief that an educated supplier is a less disruptive supplier. I have consulted for the largest marine industry trade association, developing standards, creating technical specifications, leading multi-vertical (manufacturer, distributor, and retailer) meetings, and presenting at conferences on initiatives. I have helped numerous companies improve their supply chain relationships, sell more, reduce their chargebacks, and be more competitive players. 


With so much experience from such unique perspectives, and upon realizing that no one had ever written a book about supply chain vendor compliance yet, I took it upon myself to gather up all of my knowledge and set about the task. 


My book lays out a business model for a well-functioning vendor compliance program; one that reduces costs and frustrations to both the customer enterprise and its vendor community. I establish the essentials that should be elements of every vendor compliance initiative, covering topics such as technologies, operations, and good governance.  I discuss the operational impacts of vendor compliance given that it can be thought of as internal controls for external relationships.  I review a legal framework that defines the buyer-seller relationship in the United States that, in my opinion, every vendor compliance program should follow. I incorporate my supplier education course content because I remain firmly committed to vendor education, preferably at the trade association level where industry standards can also be defined. I review a client case gone ethically and operationally wrong.


This is somewhat of a companion book to my first book, Detecting and Reducing Supply Chain Fraud, as I also highlight that at the core of any supplier relationship management program or supplier risk management program must be a solid supply chain vendor compliance program. Likewise, the ability to detect and reduce fraud relies on the same supply chain systems and transactions as are established in a vendor compliance program. 


Both books are published by Gower Publishing, to whom I am very grateful for giving this first time – and now second-time – author a chance, and for publishing these unique content works. 


The Gower page for this book is: http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472472014 

January 2016

Katzscan celebrates its 20th (Platinum) anniversary 


Founded in January 1996, Katzscan celebrates its 20th year this month, which according to anniversary gift guides, is its Platinum anniversary. 


This is truly a milestone achievement and one that I am most proud of and certainly taken aback by as I reflect on accomplishments and achievements. 


I have resolved most pressing problems in the areas of enterprise software (e.g. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems), eB2B especially EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), data analysis and database development, revitalizing chaotic operations, and supply chain vendor compliance. I have been complimented on my technical and user documentation and my presentation and training skills. 


I have achieved recognized and notable certifications in fraud prevention, software, internal controls, and good governance. 


I have had the good fortune of helping companies small and large, some national leaders in their respective fields, and branching out to help a company outside of the United States. 


I have expanded my brand through over 45 speaking opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as being published in over 15 newspapers and national trade journals. My travels have taken me to Mumbai, Hong Kong, Krakow (Poland), and China. 


Certainly I am most proud of being the author of two published books. My first book, published in August 2012, titled Detecting and Reducing Supply Chain Fraud, is in over 185 university libraries in over 20 countries worldwide on top of private sales. My second book, Successful Supply Chain Vendor Compliance, will be published this month on my 20th anniversary date. Both books are published by Gower Publishing. 


And I have helped a few friends along the way get started in their own businesses. 

I remain committed to providing my clients with creative, independent solutions that prioritize their needs first and foremost, utilizing my rich well of experience and my dual-capabilities of technical skill and business operations insights. 


This journey has been – personally and professionally – evolutionary. As I reflect back on what I have completed, and as I look forward to the unknown opportunities ahead, I am quite certain that I will have much more to contribute and plenty left to learn. 

With appreciation to everyone who has helped in my success.