Afternoon Coffee: Industrial production falls 0.6% in September; From cow manure to truck fuel; PRO Recap: MBO Partners’ acquisition, Fraxion, Catalant, Beyond Spend Influence Series

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The Federal Reserve reported Friday that U.S. industrial production fell 0.6% in September, the weakest showing since spring, according to the Associated Press.

It may signal that the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic recession may be faltering a bit. September’s reading came after four consecutive months of increases that began in May after sharp declines in March and April. The drop in April was 12.7%, the article said. Industrial production recovered more than half of its spring declines but remains 7.1% below the pre-pandemic level in February.

“Industrial output came in well below expectations, one of the first real signs that the recovery is losing momentum under the weight of the ongoing health crisis and fading support from fiscal relief,” Oxford Economics wrote in a research note.

Repurposing cow manure into fuel saves money, helps environment

In an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon net zero, dairy company Arla Foods will work to repurpose cow manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, CNBC reported.

Around 85% of Arla’s total emissions come from a co-operative of 10,000 farms it has across Europe. It’s opened a three-month trial looking at the viability of turning its readily available manure into fuel.

Manure, along with other materials like food waste, are put into an anaerobic digester. That then acts like a cow’s stomach to produce gas, which will then be cleaned and liquified into fuel, the article reported. The production also produces a substance called digestate, which farmers can use as fertilizer for crops. The manure fuel benefits the environment and farmers, but also saves money.

“Throughout our whole supply chain we are relentlessly looking at how we do things, and how we can simplify it … the potential with this (biofuel trial) … is it could be another example of where we could actually take cost out and benefit our farmers at the same time,” Graham Wilkinson, Arla’s agriculture director, told CNBC.

Spend Matters' analysts look at an MBO Partners acquisition, Fraxion, Catalant, and procurement's role beyond spend influence

This week, Spend Matters PRO analysts provided a deep dive of a recent MBO Partners acquisition of MindSumo. Analysts assessed solutions from Fraxion, a procure-to-pay specialist, and Catalant, a digital platform focused on enabling strategic initiatives. Analysts also delved into spend under management and how procurement can do even more to help their businesses. Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers can see the lengthy intros that frame the issues being discussed. This week:

·       Fraxion: Vendor Analysis — Background, Overview of P2P Solution, Strengths/Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips
·       Catalant: Vendor Analysis, 2020 — Solution Overview, SWOT, Tech Selection Tips
·       Beyond Spend Influence: Enabling Procurement’s Emerging Roles in Business Transformation (Part 4) — Supply Chain / Direct Procurement (Introduction)
·       MBO Partners acquires open innovation crowd platform MindSumo — Context, Deal Rationale, Analysis


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