The Industry News Category

Penn State’s Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Again Tops Gartner’s 2018 Rankings

Michigan State University

Pennsylvania State University’s supply chain program has once again taken the top spot in Gartner’s 2018 rankings of the top 25 undergraduate supply chain programs in North America. But other rankings have seen some shuffling. Rutgers University and Auburn University were ranked second and third this year, while Michigan State University’s supply chain program, previously ranked second, has fallen to the fourth spot.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List: August 2018 [Plus+]

Welcome to the August edition of Spend Matters’ monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to Plus and PRO subscribers.

While the months of May and June were on the cool side, we saw a return to hot technology and innovation temperatures in July. Perhaps it’s extreme weather patterns? CW/S climate change?

Indeed, new hotspots could be found across the entire space, from the established core of traditional suppliers and intermediaries to new solutions that either complement or challenge the core (or both). While there has been friction and overheating on the demand side, developments on the supply side have also been heating up, with the mercury rising in places across the globe.

Now that our warmup is complete, let’s begin our first routine.

GAO: Majority of Companies Can Now Determine Origins of Their Conflict Minerals

conflict minerals

For the first time, more than half of companies filing conflict minerals reports are able to determine the source of these minerals, according to a Government Accountability Office report on conflict minerals disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2017. Last year, 53% of the companies were able to report whether their conflict minerals — tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold — came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or one of the nine neighboring countries.

Beeline and New Mountain Capital: A Conversation With Doug Leeby (Part 1)


Beeline announced Thursday it had been acquired by New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm that seeks to “acquire the highest quality leaders in carefully selected ‘defensive growth’ industries, and then to build those businesses.” The acquisition, which Beeline and New Mountain describe as a partnership, represents a key development within the traditional contingent workforce management technology (i.e, VMS) solution segment. To get a clearer perspective, we sat down with CEO Doug Leeby for a wide-ranging conversation on what the deal means for Beeline, New Mountain’s approach managing its portfolio companies and how the acquisition could ripple through the broader contingent workforce and services (CW/S) technology sector.

U.S. Soybeans Under Pressure Amid Tensions With China


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

U.S. soybean prices fell dramatically during July, reaching their lowest levels since 2009. At their lowermost point, prices had fallen 20% from the beginning of the month, as a combination of factors centered around improving crop prospects and concerns over reactionary Chinese tariffs weighed heavily on the market.

Commodities Roundup: LME Debuts New Pricing Functionality, India’s Coal Shortage

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

Beeline Acquired by New Mountain Capital — The Journey Continues

Beeline, a provider of workforce management software, announced Thursday it has been acquired by New Mountain Capital, a New York City-based private equity firm, for an undisclosed amount, according to a press release. Founded in 1999, Beeline represents, alongside SAP Fieldglass, one of the “Big 2” vendor management system (VMS) providers. Its current incarnation is the result of a December 2016 merger with IQNavigator (IQN), which saw Beeline, part of staffing giant Adecco, acquired by GTCR, the owner of vendor-neutral IQN. Following the merger, Beeline and IQN were combined into a single company, renamed Beeline.

Capitalizing on the Common Ground Between IT and Procurement


IT and procurement often find themselves at each other’s throats, but the two functions have many similarities that escape the first glance. By finding common ground, IT and procurement can team up to bring several lucrative improvements to the broader business, including far more than just cost savings, risk prevention and increased revenue contribution. Indeed, a working partnership between procurement and IT can be the foundation for building a successful digital transformation.

Trade and Geopolitics Top U.S. Businesses’ Global Expansion Worries, Survey Finds


Geopolitical uncertainty, trade disputes and compliance issues are top of mind for U.S. businesses with an eye on global expansion, whether that’s opening new international offices, expanding the supply chain or acquiring non-U.S. businesses. These findings come from a recent study by Tipalti and Censuswide Research, surveying more than 500 decision-makers at mid-sized U.S. businesses on challenges they’re facing in during international expansion efforts.

Delivering AI-Powered Solutions to Contingent Labor Challenges: A Q&A with ZeroChaos CEO Jim Burke


The contingent labor market is both a large and increasingly critical component of businesses’ growth strategies. Yet the procurement software tools and services providers that enable organizations to find, engage and manage external workers have changed little over the past decade, creating an opening for pioneering companies to disrupt the space. This opportunity is front of mind for Jim Burke, who took up in June the role of CEO at ZeroChaos. To learn more about his outlook and where he plans to lead ZeroChaos, we sat down for a quick Q&A covering his first impressions of the sector, where he plans to uncover new value for clients and how artificial intelligence will be an essential capability for his company going forward.

Hospitals, Medical Marijuana and Procurement: A Few Obvious Questions

When patients using medical marijuana go to a hospital, all bets are off. Not only for them, but for a hospital that frankly has no option other than to confiscate their marijuana (or try to do so), assuming they know about it in the first place. Keep in mind, the patient may be legally authorized by the state to use medical marijuana, so the inconsistency here is loaded with potential legal problems. Despite all of this, when the talk of medical marijuana comes up, most all of the hospital officials I have spoken with readily admit that they haven’t even given the subject much thought.

What Are Procurement and Compliance Professionals Most Worried About?

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

Although procurement and compliance professionals from the U.S. and the U.K. are largely confident in the effectiveness of their functions, they are concerned about the risks and challenges posed by regulations, technological change and fraud. These findings come from Dun & Bradstreet’s 2018 Compliance and Procurement Sentiment Report, based on a survey of more than 600 procurement and compliance decision-makers. The respondents represent a wide range of industries and revenues.