Category Archives: Industry News

Eww, Canada … Gold Smuggling the Hard Way: The Week in Metals


A former Royal Canadian Mint employee was accused of stealing $140,000 worth of gold ($180,000 in Canadian dollars) from the mint where he worked as a refinery tester. Butt you won't believe how he did it. Trade organizations in the U.S. and India pressured their governments to use anti-dumping tools to combat cheap imports of aluminum. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

Provade Announces Corporate Realignment to Break Free and Rise into The Cloud


VMS solution Provade, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Group since 2011, announced today “that it is realigning its corporate structure and technology to add a true cloud vendor management systems (VMS) experience to its portfolio.” Though it is not stated explicitly in the press release, it appears that the realignment is effectively a spin-off of Provade from Pinnacle Group into a newly created company, Provade Cloudware Inc. Provade’s new parent company “will add key outside investors and personnel in the next several months to drive growth of its new cloud direction.”

OMB’s Anne Rung to Lead Gov Relations at Amazon Business

Anne Rung White House

Anne Rung, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, is leaving the public sector to head the government division of Amazon Business, several sources report. The hire is a boon to Amazon, which gains an experienced government insider who can help connect the Seattle-based company with huge market opportunities in state and federal e-procurement applications. So what exactly makes Rung a good fit?

Executive Q&A with Prentis Wilson, VP Amazon Business: ‘Make People’s Lives Better’


Is there any way procurement organizations haven’t heard of Amazon Business by now? The Spend Matters team has covered this “Billion Dollar Baby” (the company reached about $1 billion in sales last year) and how its overall value proposition stacks up against the SAPs, Aribas and Oracles of the world, among several other facets of how Amazon Business could change — and already is changing — procurement. We recently checked in with Prentis Wilson, vice president of Amazon Business, to hear his thoughts on the biggest challenges he faces, what practitioners should know about the company, how e-procurement needs to change and what he does to de-stress from the job.

The Week in Metals: Aluminum Trade Orgs Get Serious About Chinese Capacity


This week in metals, the Aluminum Extruders Council joined Century Aluminum, Brazeway, and the United Steelworkers in the China Trade Task Force’s (CTTF) call for action to remedy problems caused by excess Chinese capacity. The U.S. International Trade upheld most of the recent anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on hot-rolled flat steel imports from several countries. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

Executive Q&A with Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn: ‘Getting a Seat at the Table’

Coupa Inspire 2016

Rob Bernshteyn has been quite busy lately, to say the least. Just last week, Coupa filed for a $75 million IPO just before the Spend Matters analyst team released its deep-dive on the company’s technology capabilities and comparative analysis. As the second “unicorn” of the year — a company that achieves a $1 billion valuation — Coupa’s attempt to go public injected a bit of life into an otherwise ho-hum tech IPO market in 2016. Amidst all of the excitement, we had the chance to pick Rob’s brain and get his thoughts on procurement, leadership and where his company is headed.

Wonolo Proves a Versatile Workforce Solution Platform for Unum and Colonial Life

Andrey Popov/AdobeStock

San Francisco-based Wonolo recently announced client relationships with affiliated companies Unum and Colonial Life, two of the largest players in the so-called “voluntary benefits” insurance sector. Wonolo (which stands for Work. Now. Locally.) is a work-intermediation-platform (WIP) business that allows businesses to temporarily engage local workers for specific types of jobs (or if you prefer, gigs). These newly announced new client engagements in the insurance segment reflect the versatility of the company and the platform to provide valuable, innovative workforce solutions across a range of different use cases.

August Was a Quiet but Generally Hot Month for our Portfolio

stock prices

Did you have a good summer? Weather good, we trust? Too hot in some parts of the world, while in the U.K. – actually, it wasn’t too bad after a cool start. And now we’re writing this on a beautiful early September day, as the kids get their books and uniforms out ready for back to school this coming week. Yes, you might have guessed from the chat. August’s stock market movements of our portfolio of procurement-related companies did not give us the most exciting range of topics to cover. The weather is probably more interesting. It was a month where generally markets seemed to take a breather after a year so far in which there have certainly been plenty of events for them to think about, from the rise of Trump to the U.K.’s Brexit vote. However, the overall performance of our procurement stock portfolio was very good overall, up some 6% on the month, and it now stands some 10% above the beginning of the year level. That means for the first time this year it has moved clear of the overall market performance. U.K. markets are up 7% on the year, U.S. 6% and the global index about 5%, so procurement-related stocks are now ahead of that.

Coupa: A Pre-IPO Primer for Investors & Procurement

stock prices

P2P provider Coupa filed preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Thursday to go public, a move many in the procurement technology space had anticipated this year. The San Mateo, California-based company plans to raise up to $75 million with its initial public offering and would be the second unicorn to be newly listed this year.

But what exactly is Coupa, and how does it stack up to competitors that offer similar software enabling procurement, accounts payable and other related business functions? This analysis provides an overview of Coupa and its solutions to help investors and procurement practitioners get up to speed on the provider. Included in this Spend Matters Plus+ brief are an overview of Coupa’s technology offerings, an evaluation of the sector it serves and a survey of the competitive landscape.

For an exhaustive report on Coupa and its prospects as a publicly traded company, complete with SWOT, functional support, user experience and competitive analyses, please see our Spend Matters PRO briefing document.

Coupa IPO: Company, Technology & Competitive Overview


On Thursday, Coupa filed Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), putting to rest months of rumors about its intent to become a public company. We’ve previously written about why a Coupa IPO would be good for procurement, but is Coupa a good bet for investors?

This analysis provides a procurement-centric overview of Coupa and its solutions. It does not dissect (or even consider) financials, nor does it highlight the SEC registration documents in the least — or even refer to them, although the filing documents validate many of our estimates and other assumptions that we’ve written in previous Spend Matters and Spend Matters PRO analyses in the past. Rather, this research brief explains how Coupa fits into the market: where it’s strong, where it’s weak, who its true competitors are and how procurement organizations are looking at it — and what we, at Spend Matters, think as well.

This Spend Matters PRO briefing document includes a summary overview of Coupa, definitions of e-procurement and e-invoicing, a SWOT analysis, a comparative footprint and product analysis, a competitive alternatives analysis, functional coverage ratings in key modules and areas and a Coupa outlook. This comprehensive document is also available for individual download.

Oil Greasing the Way for Higher Metal Prices? Or Not?


A non-metal commodity dominated our coverage this week, sluicing across this great land in tanker cars, pipelines and trucks and affecting the price of all other commodities while its value fluctuated wildly. This week, Saudi Arabia and Russia promised to work together on a “task force” to try to right-size the oil overproduction we’ve become accustomed to over the past two years.

The Week in Metals: Sledgehammers, Kitchen Sinks and Hedge Hogs

Jackson Hole

Buyers of most commodities began the week by eagerly watching the annual central banker get-together at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for any clue as to when the Federal Reserve will finally raise interest rates. But our own Stuart Burns explained that aging populations, slower productivity growth and a reluctance around the world to spend and invest have propelled advanced economies into so-called secular stagnation, and it might be some time before the fragile U.S. economy can stomach a rate hike.