Afternoon Coffee: Proxima says procurement is in ‘eye of storm’; U.S. banks favored own clients for federal aid, report says; Ivalua virtual event in May; ’50/50′ videos for ConnXus, Coupa

Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton talked with the procurement consultant Proxima about its April 2020 Proxima Finance Leaders Outlook report, a survey of CFOs and financial directors in the U.K. and the U.S. that also sheds light on procurement.

In an interview with Edward Winterschladen, Proxima’s Executive Vice President for Europe, he shared insights about the state of procurement and its role in handling the coronavirus disruption:

  • “Many firms we’ve spoken to recently still do see procurement as transactional and the risk monitor rather than the value driver.”
  • “Of course, the perception of procurement has also changed somewhat in this time of crisis. The CPOs we’ve spoken to believe procurement has been thrust right into the eye of the storm. Now they are central to helping organizations shut down supply chains, and do it fast. It is procurement that will keep the supply base informed and maintain relationships for when they need to restart operations. How we treat our suppliers now will put us in good stead on the way out of this crisis — because, in some respects, it’s harder to restart a supply chain than to close one down.”
  • “The biggest point of friction between finance and procurement has been trust in the numbers.”

Read the full interview with Proxima here.

U.S. banks prioritized wealthiest clients for federal aid program, NY Times says

The $349 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program was recently doled out through private banks to help businesses during the coronavirus disruption. And some of the nation's largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and U.S. Bank, prioritized the applications of their wealthiest clients for the small-business aid program before accepting those of smaller applicants, according to The New York Times. The aid program was meant to be first-come, first-served, however the report states that the banks prioritized wealthy customers by circumventing the process many applicants were forced to go through. This "concierge" service included bankers submitting applications on behalf of the client or enlisting representatives to walk the clients through every step of the process and submit the application themselves.

The report notes that at Chase, nearly all private and commercial clients who applied for the aid program received a loan, but only one out of every 15 smaller businesses received one. By the time the program ran out of money last week, many of these wealthy clients had already received their loans while other smaller businesses waited to hear if they had been accepted yet, the Times reported.

Ivalua Now 2020 to be virtual event in May

In response to coronavirus concerns, Ivalua is hosting Ivalua Now 2020, a two-day virtual event to showcase how procurement and supply chain leaders are engaging with digital transformation. The event will feature more than 20 industry sessions, offer participants the chance to learn about the latest technologies and teach industry-specific strategies, among other panels.

The event will be held Tuesday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 6. You can learn more about the event and register here.

Ivalua’s solution is featured in today’s updated Spend Matters’ PRO Coronavirus Response series, which looks at solutions that can help in a crisis.

"The combination of the direct materials capabilities alongside its deep and highly configurable supplier management features makes Ivalua an interesting candidate to help address some of the issues procurement organizations are facing currently,” says Spend Matters Lead Analyst Magnus Bergfors, VP of European Research.

The post, which is available for our PRO subscribers, details solutions that help with sourcing and commodity management, but in-depth details of the issues are available for all readers here.

Videos highlight ConnXus & Coupa on new ‘50/50’ lists

Spend Matters’ analysts chose 2020's top procurement technology vendors for the “50 to Know” and the “50 to Watch” lists that came out this week, and our analysts also have done videos about some of the providers who will attend the digital SIG Procurement Technology Summit, which begins May 11. The videos are out now, and Afternoon Coffee will feature a couple of them a day.

ConnXus, a provider of supplier management and diversity solutions:

"One of the great things about ConnXus is that they’re at that interesting intersection between information management around suppliers, and the information to support the supplier management process holistically,” says Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer of Spend Matters. See our full ConnXus video here.

Coupa, a suite provider of business spend management solutions:

Jason Busch, founder of Spend Matters, says of Coupa: “The company sets itself apart in terms of the depth and breadth of its solutions and services team that can serve even the largest and most complex multinational organizations.” See our full Coupa video here.

The 50/50 lists are part of Spend Matters Almanac, a directory of more than 500 providers that offers deep insights on the players in the procurement technology market.

General Motors appoints CEVA Logistics for ventilator supply chain management

General Motors has given CEVA Logistics the mandate to manage its entire ventilator production supply chain, according to a report from Supply & Demand Chain. CEVA Logistics will be responsible for delivering hundreds of parts that will be used to make Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilators.

General Motors and CEVA have more than a decade of experience working as partners. To meet demand, CEVA is providing supplier management, order management, transportation, customs brokerage management and event monitoring for every component needed to manufacture the ventilators, according to the report.

GetSwift partners with U.S. dairy providers to fix supply issues

GetSwift, a provider of SaaS logistics technology, has said it was adding three local dairy and meal kit providers to its farm-to-table delivery management platform on the East Coast, Business Wire reports. The partnership is aimed at fixing the supply chain issues with perishable dairy products by facilitating relationships, transactions and deliveries between these providers and new customers.

The new partnerships come at a time when American farmers have been forced to dump as much as 3.7 million gallons of fresh milk each day due to a harsh decline in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing schools, restaurants and food providers to close.

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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