We’re rounding up our most popular articles from July! During the month, the Spend Matters team continued to look into how the Brexit vote will impact supply chain and procurement organizations, as well as dove into other news that procurement professionals should take note of. From a possible Coupa IPO to rebranding efforts from eBay and global online marketplace HourlyNerd, check out our most-read stories of the month stay on top of the latest supply chain and procurement news of the summer.more ▸
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Karolina Tomczyk, senior economist at pricing and purchasing, IHS Markit.
The buying environment for paper will return to balance in the second half of 2016. Sellers have likely already implemented most price increases across several grades, taking advantage of recent changes in supply flows. These price increases were only a partial implementation of their intended hikes, as buyers did not perceive the market as tight enough and resisted significant increases. Moreover, considering the ongoing decline in demand for graphic papers, it is unlikely that these price increases will hold — IHS Markit expects downward price pressure to return in the second half of 2016.
Spend Matters recently spoke with a large procurement organization whose IT group is supporting 50 locations globally with an SAP implementation, as well as a third-party purchase-to-pay (P2P) solution and supplier network deployed on top of it, leveraging the underlying MM components for core automation. The lessons we learned from the discussion speak to the importance — and beauty — of thinking through all of the details when it comes to thinking through ERP and procurement systems integration, especially when multiple systems will be handling different aspects of transactional procurement.more ▸
ShiftPixy has recently appeared as another blip on our gig economy radar screen. Incorporated in Wyoming in June 2015 and now headquartered in Irvine, California, the company describes itself as “a disruptive Next Gen GIG Economy provider of unique insurance products, regulatory compliance services, proprietary human administration tools and variable labor force provider, that plans to enable unemployed, under-employed or part-time and/or full-time individuals to apply for variable shift work from businesses in their local market.”more ▸
Is Cage-Free Egg Sourcing More Ethical? Report Details Troubling Findings from Cage-Free Hen Housing Systems
A large number of major grocery stores, restaurants and food companies have committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs within the next decade — a promise driven largely by consumer demand to buy more ethical or sustainable products. But results of a recent study evaluating three different hen housing systems, including cage-free aviary systems, questions how ethical cage-free egg production is.more ▸
Extreme weather events, including typhoons, heatwaves and wildfires, are becoming increasingly more common due to climate change. Such events could cause major disruptions to business and a company’s supply chain. One type of extreme weather event FM Global, a commercial property insurance provider, is calling attention to in a new report is heavy rainfall, which could lead to flooding and damage a company’s buildings and those of its suppliers.more ▸
Recent research has shown investors are attracted to companies that are dedicated to sustainability. A study or more than 7,000 managers and investors around the globe conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group showed investors link sustainability performance to a company’s value and use information on a company’s sustainability efforts as a key criterion for making investment decisions.more ▸
When it comes to automating procurement processes, the automation of invoicing receipt and processing is most widespread, according to a recent survey. About 50% of procurement and finance professionals surveyed by spend control and e-procurement solution provider Proactis reported a high level of automation in invoicing processes within their organization. Additionally, 14% said their invoicing systems were fully automated. Automating purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes was also popular, with 43% of respondents reporting a high level of automation and 25% saying their P2P process was fully automated.more ▸
Opternative, commercially launched in Chicago in 2015, is the provider of a highly innovative — and potentially disruptive — platform that allows people to have their eye exams performed online using a technology application the company developed starting in 2013. The technology (refractive eye exam) was the basis for the now patented business applications developed by the company’s founders. The online eye exam outputs are reviewed through a network of ophthalmologists, who also work online.more ▸
A new survey of U.S. consumers shows shoppers want food suppliers to be audited by independent third parties to ensure animals are humanely cared for. The survey provides insight for food companies and retailers on the increasing demands of consumers today and their growing desire to buy sustainable, ethical food products. Lake Research Partners carried out the online survey of 1,000 adult U.S. consumers on behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).more ▸
As automation, digitization and advanced technology permeates companies’ supply chains around the globe, some organizations are looking to robotic process automation (RPA) technology in the hopes of improving business processes. But concerns about job losses or a lack of understanding about the technology still act as barriers to adoption. The majority of shared services professionals plan to use RPA in their organizations within the next year, according to a results of recent survey of 100 professionals carried out by Redwood Software, an RPA provider.more ▸
Back in May, I introduced our North American subscribers to a new two-part series published by my colleague Peter Smith, the head of our U.K./E.U. sister site. This series is based on interviews with senior procurement executives from a number of major public and private sector organizations and focuses on how the contingent workforce category is changing at large enterprises — and how procurement must take stock of and reset its priorities in response.more ▸