Afternoon Coffee: Basware, Taulia Making News; Arrow Electronics and Freelancer.com Connect; Tariffs to Stay

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We bring you a beefy Afternoon Coffee this Thursday, with first things first: a Trump-and-tariffs update.

Despite talks between the U.S. and China, as well as a potential new trade deal, it appears the tariffs on Chinese products may be here to stay.

President Trump has announced that the levies will be in place ‘for a substantial period of time,’ according to the Guardian. This is said to be the case even if the countries strike some kind of agreement. The U.S. is said to be willing to remove some of the 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods in stages, as long as China continues to hold up their end of the deal.

However, they are unwilling to remove the 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods added in the summer of 2018. The countries are now preparing for a new round of talks.

Now, in procurement technology/software news:

Basware Gets PE Investment from Bregal Milestone Totaling €50 Million

The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes including refinancing Basware's existing debt and for future growth, according to a release.

"The financing agreement has been tailored to Basware’s needs and the proceeds will strengthen Basware’s balance sheet and support our growth and progress towards positive cash generation in the medium term," Ilkka Sihvo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basware, elaborated in the release.

Taulia Adds New AI Capabilities

Taulia, a provider of working capital solutions, has "rolled out a new version of its buyer platform, bringing enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to its programs," according to a release.

"The platform taps into aggregated data on supplier behavior, such as the historic timing of payments and the annual percentage rate (APR) accepted by suppliers when taking early payment, plus other factors including seasonality," the release states. "By overlaying this with external data sources, the platform informs and simplifies the decision-making process for businesses operating early payment programs."

Arrow Electronics and Freelancer.com Connect

Arrow Electronics, Inc. a Fortune 500 leading technology solutions and engineering provider, and Freelancer.com, one of the largest freelancing/crowdsourcing marketplaces announced the launch of ArrowPlus powered by Freelancer.com. According to the announcement, the “exclusive strategic alliance is a ‘category definer’ for how hardware products are designed and electronics & electrical engineering services are delivered.”

In this joint effort, Arrow brings its proprietary network of certified third-party Arrow Certified engineering partners, while Freelancer.com provides its online platform technology and its online platform management expertise. It is expected the new platform solution will enable “Fortune 500 companies and innovative technology creators to design and build hardware products through access to over half a million skilled electronic and electrical engineers.”

It is expected, according to the announcement, that “ArrowPlus powered by Freelancer will transform the way products will be designed, manufactured and delivered to market. On-demand engineering from ArrowPlus and Freelancer will catalyze a step change in research and development, cutting times from years to months through access to a global network of highly diverse technical skills and reduce cost to market.”

Medpricer Launches Strategic Contracting Capabilities

Medpricer, which provides the mSource cost management platform for hospital “purchased services,” recently announced that it has augmented the platform with a new set of strategic contracting capabilities. mSource Predictive Plan is a “new analytics feature that redefines strategic planning for purchased services” by “providing purchased services teams the control to develop a customized purchasing roadmap and see it through to execution.”

Using proprietary AI technology, “mSource Predictive Plan auto-classifies spend by category and determines savings estimates for the top 15 categories with the highest ROI potential,” according to the announcement. mSource Predictive Plan looks at customer contracts within Medpricer’s purchasing database and identifies “top opportunities, displayed by savings average, total savings value, and complexity to source – providing the end-user with more information on how to prioritize given savings initiatives.”

Predictive algorithms, the announcement states, can enable customers “to determine a savings trajectory” and “better assess opportunities and consider unique supplier or category challenges.” In addition, mSource Predictive Plan “populates an interactive roadmap that pinpoints savings targets and shares recommendations on sourcing strategies by category.”

And in other supply chain news:

Biggest Trucking Equipment Sale in History is in the Cards

The bankrupt carrier New England Motor Freight Inc, is attempting to auction off their fleets of trailers, tractors, and freight-handling equipment, if the banks will allow them to do so, according to the WSJ.

The company is looking to raise enough money to pay their debts; however, the banks may instead claim the equipment as collateral. By letting it go up for auction, the banks would be gambling on the equipment fetching enough of a fee to pay them back in full.

Therefore, these banks are looking to secure ‘credit-bidding’ rights. This means that they would have the ability to reclaim the goods if the right price is not met at auction.

Quyntess Partners with Lely Industries on Digital Supply Chain

Lely Industries has selected IT solutions company, Quyntess, as its digital supplier, collaboration and integration partner.

Lely Industries is an agricultural technology firm, and this new partnership will enable them to digitize supply chain and procurement processes on a global scale.

They hope that this improved quality of data and flexibility will allow them to increase operational performance and transparency.

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