Afternoon Coffee: Half of procurement orgs still use Excel to store, analyze data; Amazon profits fall due to shipping costs; Latest IHS PMI holds hope for U.S. manufacturing

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According to LevaData’s 2019 Cognitive Sourcing Study, 50% of procurement organizations responding to their survey indicated they still use Excel to store and analyze their data, according to a Supply Chain Dive report.

That’s not too surprising to us here at Spend Matters. What is a bit more surprising, however, is that fewer respondents (40%) said their organizations are “somewhat or very ready” for digital transformation in 2019, compared to 52% saying the same thing in 2017. More details are available in the full press release here.

Spend Matters analyst Nick Heinzmann attended LevaData’s Cognitive Sourcing Summit yesterday in San Jose. Stay tuned for more insight!

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Copper supply falls, aluminum production grows, and U.S. housing starts drop 9.4%...get the full details on the week that was in direct materials and what it all means right here.

Shipping costs put dent into Amazon’s profits

Evidently, expanding their own shipping business has eaten into the e-commerce giant’s profits over the last quarter. “Amazon’s profit fell 26% in the third quarter even as revenue grew 24%, the WSJ’s Dana Mattioli reports, as world-wide shipping costs soared 46%,” according to the paper’s Logistics newsletter. The kicker? Their total outlay for shipping last quarter — $9.6 billion — was more than the company spent in holiday-heavy Q4 last year.

U.S. factory activity improves for second straight month

The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index “rose to 51.5 from a final September reading of 51.1, according to a preliminary October report issued Thursday that matched the highest estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of economists,” as reported by Bloomberg.

“If manufacturing can continue to gain momentum this should hopefully feed through to stronger jobs growth and an improved service sector performance, leading to better GDP growth,” said Chris Williamson, economist at IHS Markit, as quoted in the article.

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