SolutionMap rankings updated; A look at Coupa Inspire; Amazon patents its parcel-to-toy transformer

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Spend Matters today released its Q2 2019 SolutionMap, ranking 54 procurement software companies across 12 solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Contingent Workforce & Services. Click here to learn about SolutionMap's biggest revamp yet — which involves a more robust RFI that gives insights into companies’ platforms, not just individual modules. Access the rankings for free here!

Coupa Inspire: Jason Busch’s take on the event

Spend Matters’ Founder Jason Busch details the developments at this week's Coupa Inspire event in Las Vegas — and announces a professional change for himself.

Amazon patents parcel that turns into toy

Amazon was granted a patent for a perforated parcel shipping container that can transform into children's toys and other objects, by the U.S. Patent Office, Supply Chain Dive reports. The shapes include a dollhouse, a rocket, an airplane, a sword and shield, a tablet stand and more. Some designs feature the words "brand awareness," indicating Amazon or third-party branding could be printed on the cardboard in order "to reinforce a positive brand association," according to the patent.

Trucking startup Convoy launches new program

Seattle-based transportation startup Convoy today launched Automated Reloads, a program to book multiple loads at a time, Business Insider reports. This, said the company, will help drivers earn more, among other positives. Using this program, Convoy algorithmically evaluates and continuously optimizes how loads can be grouped in real time, without human intervention.

Political uncertainty a hurdle in expansion plans of U.S. companies: Survey

A survey has shown that 55% of the U.S. companies polled agreed that their expansion plans were being hampered by political uncertainty, which was also impacting their supply chain, according to Supply Chain Quarterly. The Vuealta report, "The Future of the Supply Chain: Managing the impact of climate change, political uncertainty and digitization” also showed that at least 82% of U.S. companies would like to expand into new markets, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.

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