Author Archives: JP Morris



Afternoon Coffee: U.S. May Relax China Tariffs to Spur Better Deal, WSJ Reports; Tariffs Put Pressure on U.S. Auto Suppliers

The U.S. is debating whether to ease tariffs against China to encourage a better trade deal and ease stock market concerns that have rattled both nations’ economies, the Wall Street Journal reports in a story breaking Thursday afternoon. And in a related story, an auto supply manufacturer in Michigan says he’s always asked his procurement team to source locally, but with the U.S.-China trade war and the resulting tariffs on steel and aluminum driving up prices, he’s now switching from U.S. suppliers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Certify, a T&E Veteran, Launches a Procure-to-Pay Solution

Known for its travel-and-expense software solution, Certify on Thursday announced that it is launching a procure-to-pay product. The new cloud-based P2P product is called Certify Purchasing and is billed as a way to automate key accounts payable tasks like requisitions and vendor payments. The SaaS-offering works with desktop and mobile devices, Certify said. CEO Robert Neveu said the move builds on the company’s travel-and-expense experience.

Afternoon Coffee: Scout RFP Raises $33 Million — with Workday, Salesforce’s Help; Online-only, Freelancer Bank N26 Raises $300 Million

ScoutRFP, whose platform focuses on sourcing and supplier engagement, raised $33 million in a Series C funding round from the typical venture capital partners — as well as some unlikely ones: Workday Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, the company announced this week. In freelancer-related news, N26, a Berlin-based “online-only bank” recently became Europe’s most valuable fintech start-up, according to the Financial Times. It plans to expand into the U.S., and one of the key target markets of N26, and other online-only banks, is freelancers and micro-businesses. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee update: Brexit Deal Goes Bust; With Microsoft-Walgreens Deal, Healthcare Rivalry with Amazon Heats Up

Microsoft announced Tuesday it has signed a multiyear deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance to serve its employees and businesses, reports CNBC, which also looks at Amazon’s recent moves into the healthcare sector. Denver-based banking platform Joust on Tuesday announced the launch of its “multi-feature financial app tailored to the unique needs of freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent contractors.” Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Brexit Deal Faces Deadly Vote; When Do Retailers Seek Supply Chain Visibility?

With the latest Brexit plan facing a tough vote Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking support for the deal, Bloomberg News reports. But the plan is expected to die. So what's next? And in technology news, retailers know the supply chain has the potential to deliver big losses or big gains, but seeking more visibility into it often occurs only after a big problem occurs, Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chains.

A Look at Barclaycard’s Virtual Card for Coupa’s Business Spend Management Platform

Small Business Credit

Last year, Coupa unveiled its vision for business spend management (BSM), and it added products throughout the year. One of those was a virtual credit card with international reach that’s from Barclaycard, a Coupa partner. We recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard's Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works. Spend Matters UK/Europe recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works.

Tuckwell, the director of partnerships & B2B at Barclaycard Commercial Payments, said the first thing to know is that this service shouldn’t be confused with P-cards, the physical cards used for procurement purchasing. He said Coupa is using virtual cards that generate a one-time credit card number that’s specific to the purchase order, not a person — allowing greater control and reconciliation benefits.

“This is a much more efficient way of dealing with high-volume, low-value, and one-off suppliers,” he said.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. Apparel Firm Cuts Ties to China Internment Camp; Diamond’s Origin Now Displayed at Tiffany

A U.S. supplier of team gear to college bookstores says it has cut ties with a company in China that uses labor in an internment camp holding ethnic minorities, the Associated Press reports. Tiffany & Co. announced it has added the country or region of origin for its diamond engagement rings and some diamond jewelry, Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: ZeroChaos Rebrands as Workforce Logiq; GE GeniusLink Taps ODEM for Blockchain Tools

Global workforce management provider ZeroChaos has changed its name to Workforce Logiq, it said this week. The name is meant to highlight its IQ in the field and its focus on business intelligence as well as its AI-powered models used to manage the contingent workforce, an announcement said. GeniusLink, a part of GE's Global Operations organization that provides external experts and  crowd services to GE and external clients, will be partnering with Switzerland-based ODEM for its blockchain tools and technology. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Travel to China Means Assessing the Risks — Supply and Personal

Trade isn't the only contentious issue has with China these days. Travel to the country comes with an advisory statement that was reissued last week by the U.S. State Department. The warning doesn’t suggest that travelers not go to China, just that they be aware of the risks and “exercise increased caution.” So since plenty of procurement and supply chain professionals must travel to China to ensure smooth operations for their companies, let’s look at recent coverage of the issue from riskmethods and MetalMiner.

Afternoon Coffee: Sears to Consider Last-Gasp Bid at Auction Next Week; Elevate Acquires Flexible Lawyering Platform Halebury

On Tuesday, an attorney for Sears Holding Corp. told a bankruptcy judge that the $4.4 billion offer by ex-CEO Eddie Lampert will be considered next week as the retailer moves forward with an auction, The Wall Street Journal reports. And Elevate, an L.A.-based provider of legal consulting, technology and other services, announced its acquisition of UK-based Halebury. Founded in 2007, Halebury is what has become called a “lawyer on demand” provider, offering temporary lawyers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume at Surprisingly High Level; Gig Economy Theory Had Flaws, Researchers Say

The U.S. and China’s face-to-face trade talks resumed Monday in Beijing, with a surprise visit by the top trade negotiator to China’s president in attendance, Bloomberg reports. And two leading experts on the gig economy — the collection of odd jobs driven by technology like the Uber app — now say they overestimated its effect on the overall economy, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Sears Running Out of Time Before Liquidation; Stocks on Track for Worst Year Since 2008

Sears faces a bankruptcy deadline today for bids to save the 125-year-old retail legend. Its chairman, Eddie Lampert, has reportedly planned to make a $4.6 billion bid, but that offer hadn’t materialized as the clock ticks on the Friday deadline, CNBC reports. Volatile trading sent stocks lower Friday as tech companies and energy shares drag down the market, along with sluggish home sales, the Associated Press reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.