Afternoon Coffee: GEP adds AI-backed AP automation solution; Procurement Spark is job board for practitioners; the electric ‘Tesla Semi’ in Texas

GEP announced that it has launched an AP automation solution that relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning “to deliver a superior user experience, reduce fraud and compliance risk, drive efficiencies in invoice management, and lower the processing cost per invoice.”

GEP says it is a stand-alone solution that is built in the Microsoft Azure cloud, and the provider sees it as a launching pad for businesses to start their digital transformation or to add the solution to continue their digital maturity.

The new AP automation solution is part of GEP SMART, the procurement technology platform from the source-to-pay suite provider that Spend Matters has reviewed in our SolutionMap rankings.

Many providers have focused on improving accounts payable, and SolutionMap this year added a review of technology vendors in our AP Automation category. See the free rankings here.

GEP said its latest solution can bolster supplier management with an easy-to-use user interface, dashboards and customizable workflows.

Spend Matters analyst Xavier Olivera said that’s a key benefit of AP automation technology.

“Collaboration between companies and suppliers is becoming more and more intimate, and AP automation solutions — either stand-alone or as a unified part of procure-to-pay solutions — allow for generating greater value to all the stakeholders involved in P2P processes,” Olivera said.

Procurement and supply chain job boards

Procurement Spark, a job board dedicated to procurement hiring, was launched recently by Vitalize Talent, a technology and executive recruiting firm led by procurement veterans Aaron Cleavinger and Naseem Malik.

The job board allows procurement managers to find workers to fill permanent and contract roles by searching with keywords and by location (including states, cities and companies) and job type (permanent, contract, intern). Workers are able to create digital profiles that include resumes and that are searchable to recruiters and hiring managers using the platform.

Cleavinger recently told Spend Matters that he and Malik created the Procurement Spark niche job board for two reasons. "First, a specialized job board allows for a faster and more efficient hiring process, which improves outcomes for procurement practitioners and employers,” he said. “Second, there are millions of qualified procurement job seekers who are suddenly seeking employment due to the economic impacts of COVID-19."

Cleavinger added: "Procurement Spark is a vertical job board that best meets the needs of professionals and hiring managers by offering speed, quality, and targeted hiring” for jobs ranging from entry-level to CPO.

Asked about where he saw this going in the future, Cleavinger said: "We are creating a user experience and overall business model that are uniquely tailored to procurement practitioners and employers. Through our career portal, we envision an online community full of resources for career advancement, education and training. We will offer employers an array of recruiting and market data support services. As founders who are passionate about procurement, supply chain and talent, we’re excited to scale this career hub and get people back to work. Fast."

Vitalize Talent also has launched another job board, Supply Chain Spark, which is dedicated to supply chain roles.

Tesla will make electric semi trucks in Texas

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed plans to build its electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi, at a new factory in Austin, Texas, according to a report by the website Electrek.

During a conference call following Tesla’s Q2 2020 financial results, the CEO mentioned: “We’re going to be doing a major factory there. And it’s also where we will be doing Cybertruck (the e-pickup) there; the Tesla semi program; and we will be doing Model 3 and Y for the eastern half of North America.”

Electrek quoted another Tesla official on the call as saying that Tesla would use the first semis itself to deliver its cars and that a few customers would get the new Tesla Semi.

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