Afternoon Coffee: Services PMI grows for 8th straight month; Tipalti details partnerships; EcoVadis doing procurement sustainability survey

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Economic activity in the services sector continued to grow in January, according to the latest Services ISM Report on Business numbers released yesterday. The services PMI — formerly known as the Non-Manufacturing NMI — was 58.7% last month, according to the report.

The January number was 1 percentage point higher than the December rate of 57.7%. January’s reading represents growth in the services sector because any number above 50 counts as growth. The number represents the eighth straight month of growth after a contraction in the spring because of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Respondents' comments are more optimistic about business conditions and the economy,” Anthony Nieves, the chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee, said in a press release. “Various local- and state-level Covid-19 restrictions continue to negatively impact companies and industries. Production capacity and logistics issues continue to cause supply chain challenges.”

Tipalti announces partnerships with Colu, Fusion Partners and Queue Associates

Tipalti, a global payables automation platform, announced three new strategic partnerships this week with Colu, Fusion Partners and Queue Associates to modernize financial operations for growing companies.

Colu is a civic engagement platform that partners with municipalities to create custom apps that encourage residents to shop locally, according to a press release announcing the partnerships. The Tipalti payments platform is embedded into Colu to ensure on-time, accurate payments to local shops offered on the platform.

Fusion Partners is an investment development and innovation firm. The press release said the partnership is natural because both companies specialize in pairing emergency and early growth businesses and start-ups that have proprietary products. This partnership will specifically extend the Tipalti system with Fusion Partner’s network of Israeli and Cypriote entrepreneurs and investors.

Finally, Queue Associates is a full-service consulting firm that serves the Microsoft Dynamics community — including pre-implementation consulting, installation, customization and ongoing technical support to their clients. The press release said Queue and Tipalti will aim to help Microsoft clients better streamline their financial operations and improve overall payables productivity.

EcoVadis conducts its Sustainable Procurement Barometer 2021 survey

EcoVadis, a provider of business sustainability ratings for global supply chains, is conducting its Sustainable Procurement Barometer survey to better understand the value of sustainable procurement programs to mitigate risk and enhance resilience.

EcoVadis said that for many years before 2020, procurement saw dramatic progress with global leaders scaling up their sustainability programs. For this next round of the barometer, EcoVadis hopes to answer how Covid-19 impacted this trend. More importantly: How have companies’ sustainable procurement practices improved the resilience of supply chains?

The barometer has benchmarked sustainable procurement practices of Global 2000 companies across industries for more than 10 years. This year, EcoVadis is teaming up with the Value Chain Innovation Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business to conduct the survey. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is directed at professionals in roles related to CSR/sustainability risk.

“Last year’s strategy isn’t cutting it. ... Covid, climate and social outcry have radically changed business and value chain management. How are sustainable procurement teams responding?” said David McClintock, Marketing Director for EcoVadis.

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