Category Archives: Industry News

WIP Wildfire Alert: Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures Adds Fuel to Fire With Lystable Investment

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This week it was announced that US-based venture fund Valar Ventures has invested $1.5 million in London-based startup Lystable. The news is a further indication that the use of digital platforms in the contingent workforce management space is a spreading wildfire that is being fueled by continuing investment. Lystable, launched and seed-funded in early 2014 by a former Google employee will use the new investment to continue to build out its design and development team and to build out customer support in the US. Lystable falls into an emerging category of diverse “technology based platform work intermediaries” that Spend Matters has begun explicitly covering this year.

I’ve Joined Twitter! Stay Tuned for ‘Less Filtered’ Findings

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At Spend Matters, at least with our @spendmatters handle, we’ve admittedly done a rather superficial job at using Twitter. Yes, we tweet our stories and research. And yes, there’s even an occasional witty angle to it. But to date, it’s been a channel for Spend Matters, one that’s been secondary compared to our other editorial priorities. Perhaps this won’t change on the site side of things – and maybe it shouldn’t. But personally, I’ve decided to toss my hat into the Twitter ring. I signed up for a new Twitter handle (@jasondbusch) earlier this week and have already had quite a bit of fun with it, the way I used to when Spend Matters was bit less edited and filtered.

Thoughts on the Kail Netflix Case: Should Procurement Look at the CIO as a Thief?

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You can now add “Former Chief Information Officer of Yahoo Inc.” to the list of titles for Mark Kail. It is a list that already has “Alleged Procurement Fraudster” on it. Less than a year after coming on board, Kail has left Yahoo, Inc. The tech company said Kail departed to “pursue other opportunities.” However, the move comes amid a lawsuit against the IT expert, filed on behalf of his previous employer Netflix. What does this mean for procurement? The Spend Matters Analyst Team pipes in with their thoughts and recommendations for how procurement can handle fraud within the company, but outside of the function itself.

Field Nation Acquisition of Field Solutions: What It Means for WIP, FMS Markets

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Earlier today Field Nation announced it was acquiring Field Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The transaction represents the most recent M&A activity to hit the freelancer management system (FMS) and work intermediation platform (WIP) markets, related sectors still in their relative infancy. Even though, as one proxy, we estimate the combined size of Field Nation and Field Solution on an annualized volume/revenue basis is well below what most Fortune 100 companies spend on IT each year, there is an undeniable trend in the IT area (as well as marketing/creative services, media and related segments) toward hiring a larger numbers of freelancers or independent contractors that will only accelerate on a global basis. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides both context and additional analysis exploring the combination of Field Nation and Field Solution and discusses expected market and consolidation trends in the various sub-sectors of the services procurement market – and what it all means for procurement and HR organizations alike. We ask, "What does the acquisition tell us about the emergence of 'platforms' in the contingent workforce supply chain?" Read the full article for more.

Field Nation Acquires Field Solutions: Background, Analysis and Commentary

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Field Nation, which describes itself as a “leading work platform connecting organizations with independent contractors to get work done,” today announced its acquisition of another platform provider Field Solutions. In the broader procurement solution provider marketplace, Spend Matters research suggests that M&A in 2015 is set for a record number of transactions. According to the press release announcing the transaction, the combined company will have over 100 full-time employees and more than $60 million in revenue. Check out our initial thoughts on the news, and stay tuned later today for more in-depth analysis on Spend Matters PRO.

Trade Financing News and Technology: What You Need to Know Now

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In a recent Ask the Expert webinar, Jason Busch and David Gustin joined forces to talk about what the latest is in the trade financing world – what is happening now and what we should expect in the future. You can check out the full recorded webinar here: Ask the Expert: The State of Trade Financing Technologies. Jason and David dissect the trade financing market – find out what's happening with solution providers, partnerships and what the current landscape looks like. As they say, there is lots of hype happening," but it's not all pretty!"

Does IBM Emptoris, Coupa Announcement Raise More Partnership Questions Than Answers?

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Earlier this week at Empower, the annual IBM procurement event, IBM Emptoris and Coupa announced a broader sales and distribution partner agreement, one built on top of a previous partnership between the 2 vendors. The IBM team told Spend Matters that the 2 providers have approximately 6 clients in common right now, including a large financial services client. The partnership goes beyond a distribution agreement from an IBM perspective and also includes joint API-based and pre-built connector development that is in progress.

McDonald’s and Deforestation: Supply Chain Traceability vs. Visibility

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We recently started to cover McDonald’s recently announced commitment to eliminating deforestation throughout its supply chain. The announcement pays more than lip service to the opportunity, in part because if will cascade across multiple tiers of suppliers rather than just tier-1 or direct suppliers to the fast food giant. There’s also a number of other rather curious elements to the program that warrant further analysis, one of which is contained within the Supporting Addendum McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation that explores the difference between how McDonald’s is defining traceability vs. visibility.

McDonald’s CSR Commitments Go Multi-tier – But is the Fast Food Giant Ready?

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McDonald’s recently announced an important commitment to sustainability by moving to eliminate suppliers that engage in any potential deforestation practices in its supply chain. For quick background reading on the topic, see McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation pledge. On the surface, the pronouncement would seem to have corporate social responsibility teeth. I share some of the main points the fast food company has made in its new commitment.

IBM/Emptoris Divests Rivermine, Tangoe Picks Up $10M TEM Business: Vendor and Market Analysis

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Yesterday, Tangoe announced it was purchasing the Rivermine business from IBM. Rivermine, a telecom expense management (TEM) provider, was part of the Emptoris product line. It was acquired by the sourcing suite vendor the same year that IBM announced it was acquiring the overall business in 2011. In the press release announcing the acquisition, Tangoe said, “IBM’s Rivermine TEM business includes comprehensive fixed and mobile telecom expense management software and related services, as well as a global blue chip customer base. The business fits particularly well within the core of Tangoe’s broader Matrix solution suite, which helps clients turn on, track, manage, secure and support its IT assets, expense and usage including mobile, fixed, machine-to-machine, cloud software and services, enterprise social and IT.” Read the full story to get our take beyond the numbers...

CloudDDM Gives Boost to 3D Printing Supply Chain – Opens 100-Printer Factory in Louisville

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CloudDDM is disrupting the 3D printing industry by setting up a 100-printer factory in UPS’ worldwide supply chain solutions campus in Louisville, Kentucky. A leader in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it’s more commonly known, CloudDDM is currently operating the high-tech 3D printers running 24 hours, 7 days a week in the Louisville campus. CloudDDM’s founder Mitch Free said the factory has just 3 employees – one for each of the 8-hour shifts throughout the day. UPS handles packaging and shipping of parts and prototypes created using CloudDDM. Free said the facility can turn around orders that typically take a week to complete in 24 hours.

How Procurement Can Navigate the EPA Clean Power Plan Fallout

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The pending EPA Clean Power Plan (set to go in effect mid-summer 2015) has US manufacturers extremely concerned regarding the total cost of regulation and impact on energy costs. The expected financial strain could significantly hinder these manufacturers’ competitiveness in the global market. So what is there to do? Procurement might be the answer. Join us next Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m. CDT for the webinar, What EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Cost US Businesses (and What Procurement Can Do About It). Representatives from our sister site MetalMiner™ and representatives from Nucor Corp., National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Power Bureau will participate in this interactive video webinar that will also include a Q&A panel at the end. Register today!