Afternoon Coffee: Simfoni and WTP Buynamics partner in U.S. market; How U.S. medical supply chains stumbled; Auction theory wins Nobel Prize in economics

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Simfoni, a procurement analytics and spend automation solution provider, and WTP Buynamics, a should-cost modeling and vendor rating solutions specialist, announced a joint venture partnership to bring “What’s the Price” (WTP) capabilities to the U.S. market, Simfoni told Spend Matters.

Simfoni works with global enterprises to fulfill spend analytics and spend automation products by using machine learning and artificial intelligence. This helps companies accelerate and automate key aspects of the procurement process. WTP Buynamics provides data-based should-cost software that offers insight on all commodity prices within minutes. The WTP cost solution will be aimed at retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. (Simfoni participates in Spend Matter's SolutionMap rankings for Spend and Procurement Analytics, and both it and WTP are recognized in our 50 Providers to Watch list for 2020.)

“A key part of the Simfoni strategy is to mesh internal customer data with external data to create a holistic perspective on spend management,” Simfoni Chairman Chirag Shah said in a statement. “This generates much richer insights supporting better decision-making. The WTP solution offered by Buynamics is unique in the market and blends very neatly with our category management module to offer strategic buyers a real-time source of truth for managing complex negotiations.”

Robert Driessen, CEO of WTP Buynamics, said the partnership helps speed up access to the U.S. market.

“We are currently experiencing tremendous growth across Europe and have limited resources to pursue opportunities in the U.S.A. because it requires another level of focus and investment. The partnership with Simfoni gives us overnight access to a wide range of customers and channel partners in the U.S. market," Driessen said. "The combined solution is a very powerful tool that not only highlights how organizations can save money through improved negotiations but can also contextualize the opportunity in real dollar terms.”

Our sister site, MetalMiner, provides a trove of information with its should-cost models. Its models aim to cut through the confusion and give metals buyers concrete ideas of what the products they’re buying should be costing them.

U.S. medical supply chains failed in the COVID-19 pandemic

In a new investigative report, the Associated Press found that medical supply chains spanning the global economy are the fragile lifelines between raw materials and manufacturers overseas with the healthcare workers on COVID-19 frontlines. U.S. medical supply chains failed, and it led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the country, the AP reports.

For decades, politicians and corporate officials ignored warnings about the risks associated with America’s overdependence on foreign manufacturing, the article said. As the pandemic moved across borders, Asian factories shut down, halting exports of medical supplies. Meanwhile, U.S. government stockpiles were depleted from a flu outbreak a decade earlier. There was no way to rapidly restock.

It will take years for researchers to understand why the COVID-19 pandemic was worse in the U.S., but early studies are finding that shortages of masks, gloves, gowns, shields, testing kits and other medical supplies did cost lives.

“And these are unacceptable deaths, each of which could have been prevented if we had had adequate supply chains in place in advance of the pandemic,” University of California-Berkeley Professor William Dow told the Associated Press.

Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson win Nobel Prize in economics for auction theory

Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson won the Nobel Prize in economics for their work on auction theory and the design of new auction formats, according to the Financial Times.

The committee awarding the two Stanford professors said the theory developed had been instrumental in creating new and complex auction formats now used around the world, for anything ranging from the sale of radio spectrum to setting up emissions trading systems. The committee said the work had been “of great benefit to society,” allowing regulators and governments around the world to maximize revenues and procure at lower costs while putting activities into the hands of agents best placed to manage them, the article said.

Wilson developed a theory for auctions of objects with a common value. The theory showed why bidders place bids below their own estimate of the common value — they were worried about “winner’s curse” of overestimating common value leading to overpayment. Milgrom developed a general theory of auctions that allowed for both common values and private values that vary from bidder to bidder.

The committee said Wilson and Milgrom were unusual in having developed the theory and applications of their research, with auctions gaining in importance as governments increasingly use them to distribute assets like electricity and natural resources, the article reported.

Global SIG Summit taking place this week

This week, the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) will kick off its 2020 Global Executive Summit to immerse procurement professionals and executives in the industry trends, best practices, innovations and solutions taking place in today's environment. Thousands attend the SIG Summit every year, and this year promises to bring more innovative ideas, thought leadership and networking to global leaders in procurement.

The fully digital experience will take place from Oct. 13-15. Keynote speakers and Q&A sessions will cover topics such as cost value, global trends, workflows, data technology, contract negotiation, organizational efficiency, resilient supply chains, sustainability and more. Register for the three-day event here.

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First Voice

  1. Jan Fieggen:

    I am thrilled with the joint-venture partnership between Simfoni and WTP Buynamics for the US market. Spend Analytics combined with Product Cost Structure Analytics and fast top-down calculations is a winner! Buyers can now engage into fact-based negotiations to achieve further savings.

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