General News Content

Kraft Heinz Has Procurement Problem, Takes $25 Million Charge after SEC Inquiry, WSJ reports

Kraft Heinz’s procurement division had an accounting problem that led to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a $25 million charge in the fourth quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The amount pales in comparison to the company’s other bad news Thursday — when it said it wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15.4 billion dollars and it slashed dividends, sending the stock down 20% at one point, the Journal reports.

Afternoon Coffee: EU to Target Caterpillar, Xerox if Trump Puts Tariffs on Car Imports; U.S.-China Trade Summit in March?

With the Trump administration set to rule on possible tariffs on auto imports from Europe, officials there have a planned response: Target U.S. brands like Caterpillar, Xerox and Samsonite luggage, a senior EU official tells Bloomberg News. And the U.S. and China are discussing a late March summit for the nations’ leaders to discuss a trade deal, reports CNBC, which also says that China has agreed to buy $1.2 trillion in U.S. goods. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain issues.

Afternoon Coffee: Toyota Advises Trump to Be ‘Careful’ on Auto Ruling; China Gaining Control of Asia-to-Europe Sea Routes

Toyota’s president advised President Donald Trump to make a “careful and appropriate” decision on whether auto imports into the U.S. constitute a national security threat — a ruling that could lead to more tariffs from Trump, Bloomberg News reports. And China’s bid to control the sea lanes between Asia and Europe is taking shape in an East African port in Djibouti, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Fed ‘Patient’ on Rate Hikes; Legal Services Firm Axiom Plans IPO, Spins Off 2 Units

Minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve Board meeting were released Wednesday afternoon, and the Fed signaled a “patient” approach on raising interest rates, CNBC reports. The Fed also favors ending its balance sheet runoff by year’s end, a move that gave the stock market a bump, CNBC reports. Axiom Global Inc. — a leading player in the emerging New Law legal services and technology space — announced that it has registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to proceed with an IPO. And two of its units have been spun off. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Profiting from Digital Disruption: Certify’s T&E Report Shows 2018 Winners

sharing economy

Digital disruption remained a force in 2018 with brands such as Uber, Amazon and Lyft jockeying for position in the top 10 most-expensed vendors, according to Certify’s 2018 SpendSmart Year in Review Report on travel and expense filings. Companies and business travelers are increasingly choosing digital brands over traditional providers for everything from meals to office supplies to transportation, according to the Portland, Maine-based provider of spend management solutions. In compiling the Year in Review, Certify drew from more than 50 million expenses and $3.3 billion in expense transactions across its North American customer base.

Afternoon Coffee: Brexit Not Blamed, but Honda to Close UK Factory; Google Seeks Cloud Business in Alooma Deal

The next incarnation of the Honda Civic sold in the UK will not be made there, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday in announcing that it will close its facility just west of London in 2021, the Associated Press reports. Brexit didn’t have a role in the decision, Honda said, but its president did say that the uncertainty around the UK leaving the European Union does create problems, the AP reports. And, in a bid for more cloud computing business, Google’s parent company on Tuesday announced a deal to buy the data migrating firm Alooma, Reuters reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Apple Staffing is Retooled for Life after iPhone; Ivalua Details 2018 Growth

Apple has made some key hires and put new people in place to run divisions that the company hopes will diversify the business and make it less dependent on iPhone sales, The Wall Street Journal reports. Ivalua, a provider of spend management solutions, announced that in 2018 its overall revenue growth exceeded 50% and the company again maintained profitability. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Upwork is Loved on Valentine’s Day — Shares Hit All-Time High


On Valentine’s Day, Upwork shares reached an all-time high of $23.50 before closing at $23.18 on the Nasdaq. Upwork’s market cap rose to $2.46 billion, up from $1.96B on Jan. 2, 2019 (an increase of half a billion dollars). In one respect, this makes clear that Upwork is truly part of the contingent workforce solutions pack of companies, and some kind of rising tide is raising all boats in the sector.

Afternoon Coffee: Shutdown Averted But Border Wall Issue Headed for Court; U.S.-China Trade Deal Inches Closer

Congress on Thursday approved funding to keep the government running but the legislation didn’t include money for a wall, leading to the president on Friday to declare an emergency and seek funding on his own from other budgets — a move that will be challenged in court, the Associated Press reports. And negotiators in U.S.-China trade talks report that they’re slowing moving toward a broad agreement, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Commodities Roundup: Gold in India, Rising Nickel Prices and Talking Tariffs


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. This week: Indian gold prices, Glencore to cut mining jobs in Congo, Talking Tariffs series continues and a look at aluminum prices.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Ditches N.Y. as HQ2 Site; Airbus to Stop Making Jumbo A380

In a surprising move, Amazon has pulled its plan to build another headquarters in New York, the Associated Press reports. And Airbus said Thursday that it will discontinue its A380, which at 800 seats was too large for a market that tends to prefer smaller planes, the Associated Press reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Avetta, Browz to Combine Their Supply Chain Risk Management Companies

Two providers of supply chain risk management, Avetta and Browz, announced Thursday that they’re joining forces under the Avetta name to serve a combined 85,000 clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avetta CEO John Herr, who will lead the combined companies, said in an interview that the company will now have the “critical mass” in staff, clients and geography to expand and compete in existing areas and new markets. Herr said the global marketplace for supply chain risk management solutions is valued at $14 billion and that it has a lot of room for growth.