Afternoon Coffee: Nation’s food supply chain straining; Nexus analyzes COVID-19 and procurement investing; Cisco extends payment terms to 2021

With many more workers in meat processing plants, warehouses and grocery stores falling ill due to the coronavirus each week, the nation’s food supply chain is starting to show signs of strain, reports the New York Times.

According to the report, industry leaders have warned that disruptions in production could cause shortages of certain products. However, the Times reports that these shortages should be seen more as “an inconvenience than a major problem.” There is more than enough food to feed the country, but there may not be as much variety for a while, the article states.

Coronavirus impact on M&A and procurement technology investing

In recent years, one or more private equity firms have been involved in almost every area of procurement and finance solutions, but the coronavirus crisis has shelved deals in this growing sector. However, deals may start flowing soon, according to Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch, whose Nexus columns on M&A and investing in the coronavirus era have been published outside the paywall. Part 2 about private equity's role was published today. Read Part 1 for an overview of COVID-19's impact on the market.

FedEx adds 150 flights to transport PPE from Asia to U.S.

FedEx Corp. has added 150 flights in April to ferry personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, protective suits and other healthcare supplies to the U.S. from Asia, according to a new report from Bloomberg News.

According to Supply Chain Dive, the company also has increased its domestic flights to meet the higher volume of packages for the U.S. postal service as many Americans order goods online while under lockdown orders due to the coronavirus crisis.

InkJet produces hand sanitizer for U.S. supply chain

Otherwise known as an industrial printer supplier and manufacturer of industrial inks, InkJet has started producing liquid hand sanitizers, according to a new report from Packaging News. InkJet Chairwoman Patricia Quinlan said its facility had the ability to produce sanitizer in large quantities, according to the report. InkJet began producing the sanitizer at the end of March, following FDA guidelines. The hand sanitizer will be sent to industrial supply companies, hospitals and first responders, among other destinations.

Cisco lets customers defers payments until 2021

Cisco Systems Inc. has launched a $2.5 billion financing program that allows customers to defer 95% of payments until 2021, according to a new report from Reuters. Many companies have started using video conferencing and virtual private network software to work from home during the coronavirus crisis, including Cisco’s Webex and AnyConnect.

The company's new financing offer requires no payment for three months and then 1% of payments owed in each of the last five months of 2020. Cisco hopes this financing option will help to keep revenue flowing during a time when many companies have implemented spend freezes, according to the report.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended a month

Through this month, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

Read all of Spend Matters’ coronavirus coverage here.

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