Author Archives: JP Morris



Afternoon Coffee: U.S.-China Trade Meetings Planned for January; Infrastructure Spending Rises

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that U.S.-China trade talks to expand on a tariff truce are planned for January, Bloomberg News reports. State and local infrastructure spending is up, fueled by sales taxes from consumer spending but not reaching the levels before the Great Recession took its toll, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.

Tradeshift Acquires Babelway, Adding Integration Heft to Its Platform

San Francisco-based Tradeshift, a platform provider for supply chain payments and marketplaces, announced Tuesday it has acquired Babelway, a Belgium firm that focuses on ways to simplify B2B integration. Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng details the deal in an interview with Spend Matters' Jason Busch:

Afternoon Coffee: AP reports forced labor in China creates U.S. college gear; How the Government Shutdown Might Happen This Week

People held at an internment camp in China have been forced to make U.S. college sportswear, reports The Associated Press, citing interviews with people familiar with the camp and similar factories. The AP said it tracked shipments from an internment camp’s factory to Badger Sportswear, a supplier in Statesville, North Carolina. And a looming U.S. government shutdown could hit for the holidays unless President Donald Trump and lawmakers come to terms in the next five days. Bloomberg takes a look at the scenarios. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news. 

Afternoon Coffee: J&J Faces Reports of Asbestos in Its Talc; Chocolate Maker Targets Its Supply Chain to Curb Deforestation

Reuters reports that it has looked at decades of documents that indicate Johnson & Johnson knew that its Baby Powder talc contained some amounts of asbestos, which can be deadly. And, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate is working to have 100% cocoa bean traceability so it can eliminate deforestation from its supply chain by 2030, The Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news about procurement and supply chains.

Focusing on the Other Rich Vein of Procurement — Public Spend

Spend Matters plans to broaden its views on procurement in the new year with occasional forays into public spend issues — but let’s unwrap a present early to see what’s what.

There are numerous challenges that public sector procurement organizations face now and in the coming year. Mazes of emerging regulatory structures, high barriers to entry for suppliers and digital disruption, to name a few, all weigh on practitioners looking to better serve their governments and constituents.

To help navigate these and other issues, we’re diving into the Public Spend Forum archives to bring you some of the best public procurement-related news and research around. Our colleagues at PSF suggest we start by examining a story on the techniques for conducting efficient, effective government market research.

Commodities Roundup: Steel Prices Stay Down, Precious Metals Prices Stay Up, Brexit Stays Confusing

The Raw Steels Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell again this month, dropping to 83 points. Platinum reversed its uptrend from last month, landing lower at $806 per ounce. This widens the platinum-palladium spread even further, forcing many analysts to wonder what will happen in 2019. And our MetalMiner colleague in the UK shares his thoughts on living through the confusing times of Brexit and what to expect.

Afternoon Coffee: DOT Allots $1.5 Billion for Infrastructure Across U.S.; Apple Chooses Austin for $1 Billion Campus

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced how $1.5 billion for infrastructure will be spent, Supply Chain Dive reports. It will fund 91 road, rail, transit and port infrastructure projects in Washington, D.C., and 49 states. And California-based Apple Inc. has chosen Austin, Texas, as the site of its new $1 billion campus, the Austin-American Statesman reports, adding that plans for smaller offices in cities across the country also were announced. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: UK Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote over Brexit; Take a Peek into Google’s 2-Tiered Workforce

UK Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote today, but the prospects for her Brexit deal remain uncertain, according to the Associated Press. In other news: Whether you call it the gig economy, freelancer marketplace or independent contract workers (ICW), the blended workforces of today require many companies to decide how to manage their contract workers and their full-time employees. At Google, the two-tiered system has led to some hard feelings and labor concerns — issues that The Guardian examines in a story written after getting an internal Google document on how to treat TVCs: the temps, vendors and contractors. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Understand the Risk Big Picture — A Webinar Looking at 2019 Risks

supply risk

Spend Matters UK/Europe’s final webinar of 2018 will be held Thursday with an eye toward risks for 2019. The event, “Understand the Risk Big Picture,” also is the final webinar for Peter Smith as the site’s managing director. Folks in North America can join at 8 a.m. Central, which is 2 p.m. in the UK.

It is being run with riskmethods — which provides a cloud-based supply chain risk management platform/solution, and founder Heiko Schwarz will be participating in the webinar with Smith. They’ll focus on different types of risk: cyber, reputational, political, natural and supplier financial risks.

Join them Thursday as they look at what procurement can do to improve risk planning and management. Please register here for the webinar — and even if you can’t make that time, registering will mean you get immediate access after the event to listen at your leisure.

Afternoon Coffee: Toy Sales No Fun for Manufacturers; $867 Billion Farm Bill Almost Done

The demise of Toys R Us last year has realigned how toys are sold, with big retailers like Walmart and Target adding inventory — but they’re not doing as much business as toy makers expected, The Wall Street Journal reports. The $867 billion Farm Bill faces a vote this week after months of tense negotiations, CNBC reports. It includes safety nets for farmers and  a provision for industrial hemp legalization. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Coupa Buying Hiperos — Adding Compliance and Risk Intelligence Prowess to Its Business Spend Management Insight

Business spend management vendor Coupa announced Monday morning that it has acquired Hiperos, a provider of third-party risk management. Coupa bought Hiperos from Opus. Alacra and all other Opus assets were not part of the transaction. The move lets Coupa, which is based in San Mateo, California, add more supplier compliance and risk intelligence insight into spend transactions and put a greater focus on reducing third-party risk. Spend Matters will have updates on the breaking news and an analysis later today.