General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: Trump Causes Manufacturing Turbulence, KPMG and Ivalua to Partner

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President-elect Donald Trump used his Twitter account Tuesday to question the price tag on the new Air Force One being built for “future presidents,” suggesting he would cancel the order. KPMG and Ivalua announced an alliance Tuesday designed to help procurement departments realize cost savings, automate source-to-pay (S2P) processes and better mitigate risk. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Business Launches in Germany, China Anti-Dumping Changes Loom

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Amazon announced Tuesday the expansion of Amazon Business to Germany, opening the B2B e-marketplace to a region outside of the U.S. for the first time. The new offering aims to replicate the success of Amazon’s consumer-facing site in Germany in a country that already boasts a mature procurement ecosystem. The Dec. 11 deadline for a European Union (EU) decision on whether to grant market economy status (MES) to China is causing some European companies to brace for higher prices. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

From Stalwart to Wunderkind: 5 Procurement Role Models

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Your spreadsheet can wait. Take a quick break from the mundane day-to-day and get inspired by our round-up of men and women from different decades and walks of life who have brought innovation to procurement. Think of them as procurement’s role models.

Could the Cheddar Surplus Crisis Be Crumbling Away?

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Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Verity Michie of Mintec.

Over the past few years, U.S. cheddar prices have been on a rollercoaster ride. Record high cheese prices in 2014 encouraged farmers to increase production, which had been facilitated by low feed costs. Between September 2014 and October 2016, prices were down 32%, reaching a six-year low in May this year.

The Week in Metals: Bulls Everywhere!

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This week started with lead and zinc hitting multiyear highs as metal bulls rushed to invest as and infrastructure demand continuing to buoy prices. Tin hit its own high, even as MetalMiner Co-Founder Stuart Burns warned that the rally is based on investment and not supply-and-demand fundamentals. Everywhere we turn, these days, there are more industrial metals bulls (even in India).

Inclement Weather Patterns Drive Up Coffee Bean Prices

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Avneet Deol of Mintec.

The average American consumes around two to three cups of coffee a day. With the average price of coffee around $3.28 for a drink, that puts annual costs in the region of $2,394.40 to $3,591.60. The cost of coffee beans are now at the highest level seen in two years, which means it may be time to budget an extra couple hundred dollars a year for your caffeine habit.

For Procurement, It’s All About Cyber Monday — Isn’t It?

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Too often, we hear about the procurement professionals who are stuck in the last Age of Aquarius and remain laser-focused on tactical — rather than strategic — approaches to spend. No matter how much we (Spend Matters, or other reasonable/logical analytical minds) try to drive home the importance of procurement adding value to the enterprise, fomenting transformation within the broader buying organization, or blazing a new path toward efficiency and effectiveness in doing business as a whole, there are folks who are just trying to save a buck or two — or even less — at the end of the day.

Contingent Workforce Management Practitioners: Why be Thankful for 2016?

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I don’t know if gratitude is a common emotion among contingent workforce management (CWM) practitioners — that is, within the context of your business and professional lives. But I wonder if this week you might look back and ask the question, “Why be thankful in 2016?” And I wonder how you would respond.

Zhongwhang in Hot Water: The Week in Metals

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This week MetalMiner Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large Stuart Burns interviewed Harriet Lau, of Chinese aluminum giant China Zhongwang. The company is being investigated by the Department of Commerce for allegedly avoiding anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders by shipping downright ridiculous products to the U.S. Lau said her company was only putting the customer first by shipping the curious 5050 alloy to one customer who wanted it. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in commodities and trade news from MetalMiner.

Afternoon Coffee: Target and Wal-Mart Fight Cotton Scandal, Bitcoin Value Surges Post-Election

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Retailers Target and Wal-Mart are taking a bruising for selling bedsheets purportedly made of Egyptian cotton that supplier Welspun may have woven with lower-quality cotton blends. The election of Donald Trump had a noteworthy effect on bitcoin. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Plenty of Raisins in the Market Drive Prices Down

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

Raisin prices have been trending lower since the beginning of the year, on the back of large global supplies. Prices have been falling since September last year and are currently down by around 20%. In fact, prices have been falling since 2012, with the exception of 2015.

Blackbird, Chicago and Tradeshift

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I’m missing a dinner this week I would have loved to attend. While I’m not sure if there are any spots left for it, Tradeshift is renting out part of one of Chicago’s best restaurants — Blackbird. I would have attended, but one of our close family friends is accepting a prize for medical research at a charity dinner that night. The event is taking place this Tuesday, Nov. 15, and registration is here.