L2 Content

The Elephant in the Room at HR Tech: Contingent Workforce


I’ll be attending the HR Tech conference in Chicago this week (Oct. 4–7) for the first time since 2013. HR Tech has been for many years the No. 1 conference in the world addressing technology for managing human resources. When I last attended, I found it puzzling that a growing and large part of a company’s workforce (then on average about 20%) did not seem to be getting much attention. There was not even a handful of exhibitors among hundreds, and it appeared that few, if any, of the several thousand attendees (predominantly human resources professionals) were concerned by this absence.

New Category Intelligence Coming to Spend Matters Plus


I’m excited to announce a new relationship with Accenture that I know our Spend Matters Plus+ readers will be excited about. Accenture currently publishes a broad set of category intelligence and analysis to its community of procurement clients. These Spend Trends insights offer some of the latest thinking, from strategies for third-party management to optimizing MRO spend and risk management approaches in critical categories like energy.

Our Precious… — The Week in Metals


The investment appeal of precious metals was waning early this week, as a strong dollar kept formerly high-flying gold and silver down. Even industrial/precious metals palladium and platinum were losing ground. Now? The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 200 points yesterday and precious metals could be back in fashion.

King Coal is Losing its Crown

Carolyn Franks/Adobe Stock

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Ben Orhan, senior economist at pricing and purchasing, IHS Markit.

Coal demand is in a near-constant downward cycle as gas-powered plants usurp coal's once-unassailable dominance. As a result, prices have been under immense pressure, and only in the third quarter of 2016 has there been any sizable price increase. We expect that without substantial shifts in market fundamentals, this low inflation environment will persist through 2016 and into 2017.

5 Attributes Companies Need to Attract Top Procurement Talent


When it comes to attracting top talent, there’s a lot of conflicting information about what matters most — especially around generations just entering the workforce. Beanbag chairs and corporate swag may seem like easy ways to attract prospects, but at the end of the day, employees are looking for more than just cool stuff when shopping for a job. That was the overwhelming consensus of the recently released 2016 Universum Talent Survey, which polled more than 70,000 undergraduate students on topics such as salary expectations, career trends and what they look for in an ideal organization. As procurement leaders consider implementing targeted hiring strategies in order to develop their talent landscapes, they should consider harnessing and promoting these five organizational attributes that more than scratch the surface.

MBO Partners Announces Release 2.0 of MBO Connect: From Caterpillar to Butterfly and Beyond


With MBO Connect 2.0, MBO Partners, a leading player in independent professional contractor compliance, payment and contractor support services, has taken another step in its strategy to become a comprehensive technology-based, work intermediation platform business. MBO has unfolded this strategy — to not simply provide a compliance wrapper around a business’ independent workers but provide a platform that will connect different businesses and independent contractors — for several years now, even before the launch of MBO Connect (pilot version) in 2015.

Lentil Prices Plummeted in Recent Months, but will it Last?

Brent Hofacker/Adobe Stock

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

Prices for lentils have fallen sharply in Canada since May this year. So, what is behind the latest price decline and will recent weather setbacks put an end to this downward trend?

Eww, Canada … Gold Smuggling the Hard Way: The Week in Metals


A former Royal Canadian Mint employee was accused of stealing $140,000 worth of gold ($180,000 in Canadian dollars) from the mint where he worked as a refinery tester. Butt you won't believe how he did it. Trade organizations in the U.S. and India pressured their governments to use anti-dumping tools to combat cheap imports of aluminum. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

Provade Announces Corporate Realignment to Break Free and Rise into The Cloud


VMS solution Provade, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Group since 2011, announced today “that it is realigning its corporate structure and technology to add a true cloud vendor management systems (VMS) experience to its portfolio.” Though it is not stated explicitly in the press release, it appears that the realignment is effectively a spin-off of Provade from Pinnacle Group into a newly created company, Provade Cloudware Inc. Provade’s new parent company “will add key outside investors and personnel in the next several months to drive growth of its new cloud direction.”

Plastics Markets Calm Despite Volatile Crude and Capacity Shifts


Prices for most plastics will continue rising during the fourth quarter, thanks to surging raw material costs, capacity issues and a rebound in crude oil. Observers are mixed on the current market state. In late August, Plastic News’ Bill Wood asserted domestic plastic production was actually down most of 2016 and will likely end the year flat.

IQN Announces ‘Request for Talent’ Functionality to Streamline Contingent Workforce Hiring


VMS and workforce management solution provider IQNavigator has announced the launch of its new enhanced workforce requisition functionality, Request for Talent. The company reported that its new solution “helps businesses more easily source non-employee workers and speed time to hire” and “makes talent requisitions simpler for users of all experience level.” According to the press release, Request for Talent brings “together location, calendar, skillset, salary and corporate hiring requirements and policies into one easy-to-use form.”

The Cattle are Lowing


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post form Emma Jayne Smith, market analyst at Mintec.

Since we last wrote about U.S. cattle back in October 2015, prices have fallen to the lowest level seen in four years. U.S. cattle prices were down 23% year-over-year by the end of August, due to rising domestic production and falling exports.