General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: Illegal palm oil sourcing; Tesla breaks laws; Clothing retailers Forever 21, Rent the Runway face big problems

Palm oil sourced from an illegal plantation inside an Indonesian rainforest has found its way into the supply chains of major consumer brands. A California judge recently ruled that "Tesla Inc. committed a series of violations of the National Labor Relations Act in 2017 and last year," according to Bloomberg. And with a plan to overhaul its global business, Forever 21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday. Afternoon Coffee: the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

CIPS’ Bill Michels shares the latest on growing in the Americas

The Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is a well-known group for professional development and certifications. Its roots lie in Europe and Australia, but it has recently been expanding to the Americas.

For the past year or so, procurement veteran Bill Michels has been CIPS’ vice president of operations for the Americas, leading the group’s efforts to grow beyond its traditional areas.

To find out how that’s going, we caught up with Michels for a two-part Q&A series, where he discusses new CIPS’ initiatives, the lifecycle of a CPO, what it means to be strategic in the digital age, and the role of soft skills.

Afternoon Coffee: A look at U.S. companies’ pre-tariff import push; McDonald’s to roll out meatless burgers in Canada

According to a report, U.S. imports of consumer and capital goods jumped the most all year in August, even as other major categories slowed down, according to Bloomberg. UPS said it had completed the multi-phased expansion of its ground package sortation and distribution facility in Whitescreek, Tennessee. And McDonald’s will roll out Beyond Meat burger patties for a plant-based burger test in Canada. Afternoon Coffee: the latest in (hopefully tasty) procurement and supply chain news.

Tipalti and the Accounts Payable Automation Market: Now Officially Hot, Hot, Hot!


Earlier this week, you may have seen that Tipalti raised $76 million in a Series D funding round. For those who do not know Tipalti, it is one of a variety of accounts payable automation (and payment providers) in the B2B market.

With a primary emphasis on middle market companies, Tipalti’s AP automation competitors include both broader procure-to-pay vendors that also come down market (e.g., Basware, Corcentric, Coupa, SAP Ariba, Tradeshift, etc.) and a diverse set of accounts payable automation specialists, including Accrualify, AvidXChange, Beanworks, SAP Concur, Symbeo, MineralTree, MediusFlow, Yooz and dozens of others.

It’s our view that Tipalti’s funding round is proof positive that the AP automation market is truly hot.

Afternoon Coffee: Walmart’s first training center; currency devaluation reverses steel price spread; U.S. to stay in postal union

The U.S. is not leaving the Universal Postal Union after all. Our sister site MetalMiner this morning reported that "since currency dynamics shifted recently, now is a good time to take a more tactical look at the U.S.-China steel price spread." And Walmart is opening training centers in its distribution centers, beginning with the first one in Texas, to better equip their workforce for supply chain challenges. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: ‘Every part of the supply chain can be attacked’; Maersk bolsters its warehousing, distro services

Bruce Schneier, a fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, writes in the New York Times that when it comes to 5G technology, there's a need to develop a trustworthy system out of untrustworthy parts. A U.S. House panel introduced bipartisan legislation earlier this week that would authorize $1 billion for small and rural wireless providers to replace network equipment from telecom companies, including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, reports Reuters. And A.P. Moller-Maersk will extend its end-to-end container logistics services with JDA Software Inc.’s Warehouse Management solutions. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

4 key takeaways from SynerTrade’s Paris customer panel

In Spend Matters’ last article on SynerTrade’s recent conference in Paris, we talked about how SynerTrade has heard the call of the digital procurement revolution and is readying itself for the revolution by turning its source-to-pay solution into a platform that, through an enhanced API, can easily integrate best-of-breed partner products to provide customers with the tools and intelligence that SynerTrade doesn’t have (as no single vendor can do everything, and the best know enough to not even try).

In this article, we are going to discuss the four key takeaways that the customer panel left us with:
* Measure and Track Quarterly — and React
* Don't Go Too Fast with Tech
* Start with Something Simple That Works and Delivers Value
* Progress Takes Patience

Afternoon Coffee: Tipalti raises $76 million; Mexican tomato imports face hurdles; Congress dragging feet on EV legislation

Mining executives are upset that the U.S. Congress has not yet passed any law to streamline mine permitting and fund geological studies. AP automation solution provider Tipalti announced raising $76 million in its D round of funding led by Zeev Ventures, according to a release. And Mexico's tomato importers have expressed concern that built-in inspection provisions in a recent cross-border deal could delay the incoming tomatoes at the border. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

SynerTrade Paris: The Digital Procurement Revolution is Calling!

Last week, at the same time the new Digital Procurement Workshop was happening in Amsterdam, SynerTrade was holding its annual Digital Procurement Summit in Paris (at the Pavillion Royal, with the pre-conference tour and dinner at the Centre Pompidou — obviously to make the point that, while there is an Art to Procurement*, in today's digital world, you need to take a more modern approach to achieve success). And while the event might have flown under the radar with all the other events going on this month, it certainly over-delivered.

Afternoon Coffee: Microsoft launches e-commerce software to take on Amazon; Oil companies plan carbon-capture investments

Microsoft took one more step forward in its rivalry with Amazon by rolling out technology for retailers to manage their business online. Thirteen oil companies chalked out a plan to promote investments in carbon capture, use and storage, just ahead of a gathering in New York. And supplier relationship management — and the tools and partners that can help procurement practitioners solve their SRM challenges — is a focus of Spend Matters’ coverage to start the week. Afternoon Coffee: bringing you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Google puts big money behind renewables procurement, EU data centers; DHL hikes 2020 pricing in certain geographies

Google will invest an additional 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the next two years to expand its European data centers, as well as saying it would buy a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe. DHL Express announced 2020 price hikes in Germany, India and other countries, while DHL Resilience360 is applying AI advancements to its Incident Monitoring module. And in the wake of California's Assembly 5 bill being signed into law by its governor, is the gig economy doomed? Afternoon Coffee: Happy Friday!

Commodities Roundup: EU revisits steel quotas; GM worker strike; oil prices rise after attack in Saudi

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. MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters. This week: