Author Archives: Nick Heinzmann



Afternoon Coffee: New Trade Deal for North America Reached, Port of San Diego Hit by Cyberattack

The U.S. and Canada beat a deadline Sunday to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), forming a new trilateral pact with Mexico called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Port of Sand Diego was hit by a cyberattack last week, affecting public records requests and business services. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

Afternoon Coffee: Japan Braces for Another Typhoon, Bezos to Blast Into Space Supply Chain

Japan, already battered by months of extreme weather this year, is facing another typhoon this weekend. Blue Origin, the rocket and space transportation company run by the Amazon founder, has won a contract to provide engines for a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: LTG Breaks Down Future Direction of PeopleFluent Acquisition, TGI Friday’s Looks Local in Brexit Planning

Learning Technologies Group announced Tuesday several organizational changes related to its April acquisition of PeopleFluent. Brexit negotiations may have stalled, but companies are still preparing their supply chains for a range of possible outcomes. The food industry in particular has begun shifting its supply base to favor more local sources. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Walmart Requires Produce Suppliers to Join Blockchain, Human Rights Abuses Put South American Gold Supply Chain at Risk

Walmart issued a letter to suppliers Monday explaining that direct suppliers of lettuce, spinach and other greens must join its food-tracking blockchain by Jan. 31, 2019. Poor monitoring and prosecution of illegal activity in several South American countries has led to rising risk in global gold supply chains. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

To Deliver Superior Field Services Outcomes, Businesses Should Look to the Freelance Economy

Managing a modern-day field service function presents numerous challenges to business leaders. Consistently getting the right person for a service request to the right place at the right time has only become more difficult in today’s hyper-competitive, on-demand business environment. To meet these challenges, businesses have increasingly looked to augment their current W-2 field service employees by engaging third-party vendors. But while diversifying beyond full-time technicians is a reasonable start, businesses should not stop at merely outsourcing field services functions to external partners.

Afternoon Coffee: Intel Chip Shortage Strains Tech Sector, New Tariffs on Chinese Goods Take Effect

Intel’s manufacturing capacity can’t keep up with increasing demand from customers, leading to a shortage of CPU chips. The U.S.-China trade war escalated again Monday, as U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Tesla’s VP of Supply Management Exits, Periscope Holdings Launches Rebuilt BidSync Tool With AI

Liam O’Connor, vice president of global supply management at Tesla, has resigned from the electric car maker, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. Government procurement technology provider Periscope Holdings announced Friday the launch of its rebuilt BidSync, a supplier application that uses machine-learning to “deliver the most relevant, winnable government opportunities for each user.” Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon to Open 3,000 Cashierless Stores by 2021, Apple Simplifies Supply Chain to Favor iPhone XS

Amazon is pushing its brick-and-mortar retail store AmazonGo from concept to a nationwide convenience. As Bloomberg reports, the e-commerce giant is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new cashierless stores in the next few years. Apple is letting its sales strategy lead a reprioritization of its supply chain. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Why Procurement Must Prepare Today to Use Cognitive Software in 2050: Insights from LevaData’s 2018 Cognitive Sourcing Summit

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Just as it’s unlikely that most people will be regularly using self-driving cars any time before 30 years from now, procurement is probably not going to be widely using AI-based “cognitive” software within the next five or even 10 years. But that doesn’t mean organizations should sit around waiting for the technology to come to them. The talent, technology and operational strategies procurement leaders choose today will determine whether or not they are capable of using artificial intelligence-based software in the future. In fact, failing to prepare for the use of cognitive technology today could mean procurement is unable to use those tools even when they have become widely adopted, putting the business far behind its digitally mature competitors.

Afternoon Coffee: Mars Aims to Fix ‘Broken’ Global Supply Chain, North Carolina Ports Delay Reopening

Mars reiterated Wednesday its commitment to changing the way it approaches environmental sustainability, particularly in how the company manages its global supply chain. Two North Carolina ports shut down by Hurricane Florence, the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, will remain closed longer than expected. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. to Impose Another $200 Billion of Tariffs on China, E.U. Investigates ‘Collusion’ Between German Car Manufacturers

President Trump announced Monday the latest escalation in the U.S.-China trade war: new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and a threat to tax all imports. Volkswagen may not have been alone in its attempts to thwart vehicle emissions tests, according to the European Union’s antirust body. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.