Afternoon Coffee: Small businesses brace for long-term COVID-19 disruption; Automakers urged to invest in mining; Spend Matters’ Coronavirus Response series ready to help

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A survey has found that 81% of small businesses expect disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic to have lasting effects on their operations over the next 12-16 months, Reuters reports. The survey spoke to 690 firms, of which 65% had submitted an application, or planned to in the near future, for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers federal emergency aid for small businesses.

Additionally, 90% of those businesses surveyed are bracing for an economic slowdown. Slightly more than half (55%) said that their revenue had already experienced some type of significant impact, and about the same amount said that their supply chains had suffered moderate to high disruptions due to the pandemic.

Automakers urged to invest in mining

Mining developers are urging automakers to invest in mines to avoid a scarcity of battery metals, Supply Chain Brain reports. The news comes as auto sales have slumped over the last few months due to coronavirus disruptions. Mining developers see investments from automakers as a way to ensure funding for projects, as well as making sure that metals necessary for forecasted electric vehicle battery production do not become scarce.

“Having to invest upstream is not what a car company wants to do, we understand that, but the rules have changed," one CEO in the mining industry said in the report. "We’re building a supply chain that’s never existed before, for a range of metals that have never been needed before by this industry.”

India in talks to relocate 1,000 U.S. businesses

India has been in talks with more than 1,000 U.S. businesses in the hopes of enticing them to relocate manufacturing facilities from China, according to a report from Supply Chain Brain. India is focusing on luring over manufacturers of medical equipment, food processing, textiles and auto parts, according to the report.

The talks, which happened in April, come after mass disruptions to Chinese manufacturers caused by the coronavirus outbreak. India also told businesses that the talks helped them receive feedback on tax and labor laws that need to be revised, and that the country will consider specific requests to changes in its labor laws, which could help bring more companies in the future.

PRO Coronavirus Response series roundup

Now that Spend Matters’ analysts have contributed to our PRO Coronavirus Response series, we can share the full breadth of solutions that are available to help businesses cope with the crisis.

The mission of this series has been to examine categories of relevant solutions and example providers that professionals in procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should investigate to reduce, and even mitigate, coronavirus supply risk.

The overall series addresses seven categories of technology solutions that can help in a crisis:

  1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc. (Read this category’s PRO analysis and solution recommendations here.)
  2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (This category was updated April 23 and is discussed in-depth here.)
  3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes. (Its profile for this series was updated April 22 and is available here.)
  4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (See details about this category here. It was updated April 24.)
  5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards when new suppliers need to be set up quickly, and also when lowlife fraudsters try to use the pandemic as a way to steal money and IP. (Its profile for this series is here.)
  6. Providers with deep contract analytics that can analyze a contract portfolio for affected contracts from suppliers (and customers) for not just force majeure clauses, but other related clauses that tie to the multiple risks popping up at once in the pandemic. (Read in-depth detail on this category here.)
  7. Contingent Workforce and Services — We are examining four categories of relatively new types of technology-enabled CW/S solutions for: (1) sourcing and managing remote/online work; (2) sourcing and managing mobile-equipped workers across geographical locations; (3) direct sourcing of workforce and services; (4) and managing data and producing analytical outputs.

In addition to the core series, two PRO analysis pieces for subscribers have been unlocked outside of the paywall to help share information on strengthening procurement supply chains at this pivotal time. These pieces cover the importance of integrated supply chain management, and how AI won't save you but rules-based management can help.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended for May

Now through May, 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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