Afternoon Coffee: Basware Launches AI-Driven Chatbot, Wabtec Merges With GE Transportation

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Basware has launched a new chatbot that allows users to naturally interact with its e-procurement product, according to a press release. Called Basware Assistant, the tool facilitates purchase order and request searches using vendor and item names, as well as ID and document numbers.

"The best user interface is the one that you don't need to use," said Bhavin Shah, director of product management for Basware. "This is what Basware is striving to achieve with the Basware Assistant functionality. By predicting what people might search for in real-time, and communicating that to them in the way they'd ordinarily speak, the system becomes naturally easy to use.”

For more on Basware, check out our Vendor Snapshot on the provider.

GE Transportation Spun Out

GE is selling its transportation unit, after the industrial conglomerate announced Tuesday that GE Transportation would merge with Wabtec, according to Supply Chain 24/7. The deal, valued at $11.1 billion, is the biggest yet in GE CEO John Flannery’s effort to pare down the company’s reach to its three core businesses.

China Cuts Tariffs 

Following the declaration that a potential U.S.-China trade war was “on hold,” China announced Tuesday it would cut tariffs on imported cars and car parts, the New York Times reports. The tariffs on imported cars would drop to 15% from 25%, and the ones on car parts would be reduced to a standardized 6%.

Japanese Exports

And finally, a trade update: Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. increased in April, up 4.7% to ¥615.7 billion ($5.6 billion), the Japan Times reports. Exports grew 7.8% on growth in demand for cars, ships and chip-making equipment, while imports rose 5.9% year-over-year.

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