General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: Apple Suppliers Consider Investments in US, Amazon Courts Trump’s Favor

Foxconn, Sharp and TSMC have all recently expressed interest in taking advantage of expected business-friendly policies in the US by increasing manufacturing investments in the country. E-commerce giant Amazon revealed Thursday a plan to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Top 5 Global Risks in 2017: Which Ones Procurement Should Watch—and Start Tackling

While our fearless leaders are forging ahead on a new way to think about quadrants / 2x2s / matrices / [insert consulting-term du jour here] to help procurement practitioners make better decisions in real time — more on that initiative very soon — we figured we’d point to a classic 2x2-style look that the World Economic Forum takes on global risk in 2017, from its recent report. Hint: there's a lot of green.

Afternoon Coffee: Target Invests in Tech for Factory Inspections, Chinese Exports Drop in December

Minneapolis-based Target led a $3.7 million investment round for Inspectorio, a company that helps retailers monitor factories through inspections and data analysis. Exports from China fell sharply last month, with one notable exception. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

It’s 2017, and We Have Predictions!

This week in metals we looked at where we think some major markets will go in this new year.

James May of Steel-Insight says finished steel flat products will see more demand and, hence, bigger price increases this year. There’ll be more HRC capacity and U.S. Steel might even reopen one of the blast furnaces at its Granite City, Ill., facility, too. And how to best deal with price volatility? Guest Correspondent Jonas Divine shared his personal story with Spend Matters.

Wendy’s Releases Annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report

Wendy’s moves to phase out antibiotics from its chicken supply is a laudable step, if not particularly cutting-edge. With its peers, including McDonald’s, setting and reaching similar goals regarding antibiotics in their food supply chains, Wendy’s would be left behind if it did not do the same. Spend Matters has reported on this trend before. In a survey of consumers, 74% said they would “pay a higher price for antibiotic-free food and beverages. Similarly, 76% of consumers would pay more for preservative-free food and beverages and 75% said they would pay more for hormone-free products.”

Afternoon Coffee: Corporate Spending on Artificial Intelligence Booms, DOT Forms Committee on Automation

Spending on artificial intelligence technologies by companies is expected to grow to $47 billion in 2020 from a projected $8 billion in 2016. The U.S. Department of Transportation has formed a group to define relevant research and policy goals, as well as regulations, related to the development of autonomous vehicles. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: The Top States for Renewable Energy Procurement, DCR Workforce Recognized by CIOReview

Based on a new report’s Corporate Clean Energy Index, Iowa comes out on top because of the opportunity to procure renewable energy (RE) through regulated utilities within the state. DCR Workforce (DCR), a provider of services procurement solutions, announced it was recognized as one among the "20 Most Promising Procurement Solution Providers 2016" by CIOReview. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Here’s How to Get Your Supply Chains Out of the Dark

The issue of forced labor is incredibly serious business when it comes to major supply chain risks. Not only that, it is also incredibly widespread and pervasive, covering myriad industries from clothing to mining, fishing to farming, and many in between. Awareness exploded onto the global scene with the Thai fishing scandal back in 2014. At the time, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch wrote, “it seems every quarter there’s a new supply chain crisis involving supplier practices and labor management capturing the attention of consumers.” On this year's National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, here's some food for thought for procurement practitioners looking to get more visibility into slavery in their supply chains.

Afternoon Coffee: Denali Sourcing Services Acquired by WNS, GEP Inks Agreement with Prudential UK & Europe

Denali Sourcing Services announced Tuesday it has been acquired by WNS Holdings, turning a once finance and accounting-focused procure-to-pay (P2P) offering into a more comprehensive solution aimed at procurement groups. S2P provider GEP announced Tuesday it will provide outsourced procurement services and its SMART by GEP platform to Prudential UK & Europe.

Attention, Commodity Managers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Steel, Copper and Aluminum in Q1 2017

The latter half of 2016 has seen a recovery of sorts for certain flat steel products compared to the first half of the year, while many base metals have spent 2016 making higher highs. The price of oil has been a huge story, with other sectors, from plastics to natural gas and beyond, directly feeling the effects. On the other side of the Spend Matters Network, Raul de Frutos, MetalMiner’s metals procurement specialist, has been closely analyzing ferrous and base metals markets for the past couple weeks, with his short-term eye on this month and Q1 — while connecting to a longer-term sensibility for the rest of 2017. Here we mostly channel Raul’s original analysis, in addition to some insight from other sectors, that may be useful for procurement practitioners, namely commodity managers and buyers that have exposure to metals and, as a bonus, energy.

US Peanut Prices Increase More Than 30% in 2016


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, market analyst at Mintec.

In 2016, peanut prices rose 33%. The marketplace is being heavily squeezed by multiple factors, driving the global price higher. Production dipped in China in 2015, creating supply pressures elsewhere, as Chinese buyers looked to source their nuts from other origins. In addition, production in Argentina fell substantially in 2016, due to adverse weather during the harvest between April and May.

Afternoon Coffee: Online Shopping Dominates Holiday Sales Data, Fiat Chrysler to Invest $1 Billion in U.S.

Online sales increased nearly 11% from the previous holiday season, compared with just 2.7% growth at brick-and-mortar stores. Fiat Chrysler announced this weekend it plans to build in the U.S. three new Jeeps and a Ram pickup now produced in Mexico. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.