Afternoon Coffee: Harley-Davidson’s Tariff Avoidance; Coupa Launches Business Spend Index

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In the wake of President Trump’s photo op with the company, Harley-Davidson’s decision to move its production line from Missouri to Thailand to avoid a European tariff may have been the right one, according to CEO Matt Levatich.

But it may turn out to be a short-lived one if the motorcycle manufacturer's appeal to the EU to lower the tariff rate does not go through.

FDA’s pilot program testing new tech to secure U.S. drug supply chain

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Good Shepherd Pharmacy and its sister company, RemediChain, for its pilot program on the use of blockchain to enhance tracing and verification of prescription drugs in Tennessee, Indiana and North Carolina.

This is part of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act that aims to usher in greater accountability in the nation’s drug supply chain.

Coupa announces Business Spend Index launch

Coupa Software, a business spend management (BSM) software provider, announced "the launch of the Coupa Business Spend Index (BSI), a leading indicator of economic growth based on current business spending decisions of hundreds of businesses," according to the release.

"The Coupa BSI is a 100% behavior-based index based on three key spend factors at a business: average spend per person, average time to approve spend decisions, and average rate of spend approval/rejection," the release stated. "Based on spend behavior in Q1 2019, the Coupa BSI revealed an overall index value of 105.3, an increase of 16.2% from Q4 2018 (90.6), indicating that businesses are collectively growing more optimistic about the growth of the economy over the next three-to-six months."

Amazon contemplating reducing Prime 2-day shipping guarantee

E-commerce giant Amazon is actively thinking of cutting its Prime 2-day delivery guarantee to just one day.

CFO Brian Olsavsky revealed this on Amazon's first-quarter 2019 earnings call, adding, however, that it would take time. Amazon will take a hit of $800 million in additional expenses in the upcoming quarter.

IBM joins with Norwegian company for digital agri-services

Norway-based fertilizer maker Yara International and IBM will come together to launch digital farming services later in 2019 for farmers to help increase crop yields. The eventual aim is to target 100 million hectares, or close to 7% of arable land worldwide.

Yara is among the world’s largest fertilizer makers. Specifically, under the new agreement, cooperation will be on weather data, combining analysis from IBM with Yara’s knowledge of crops.

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