Afternoon Coffee: Ivalua updates spend, supplier management, CLM offerings; Conversations around Biden’s supply chain executive order; Weekly unemployment claims fall

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Ivalua, a spend management solution provider, announced a new release of its platform, including ways to better manage spend and suppliers.

In a press release announcing the launch, Ivalua outlined specific new features of the release. Supplier management changes include improved supplier diversity and inclusion, supplier discovery and enrichment, and supplier collaboration. Sourcing innovations include a deeper understanding of cost drivers during sourcing and streamlined contract authoring.

Contract management innovations include automated contract data capture and collaborative authoring. Finally, procure-to-pay (P2P) innovations include supply chain collaboration and deeper integration with Amazon Business.

"The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of effectively managing spend and suppliers," Pascal Bensoussan, Chief Product Officer, said in the press release. "This release empowers procurement and supply chain leaders to better ensure resilience, control costs and optimize employee productivity."

Spend Matters' analyst looks at Biden administration's supply chain executive order

In light of President Joe Biden signing an executive order to address US supply chain problems for semiconductor chips, large-capacity batteries for electric vehicles, rare earth minerals and pharmaceuticals, Spend Matters' analyst Pierre Mitchell took to LinkedIn to get a conversation started.

"Hey, if a 78-year-old guy from Scranton gets it, maybe more C-level execs will finally now get serious about supply chain risk management," Mitchell writes. "Actually, most do, especially after the pandemic, but it's still depressing when so many wait until they get a major disruption. Is this finally a sea change ... or 'C-change'?"

Meanwhile, Spend Matters’ sister site, MetalMiner, recently outlined the geopolitical chess game taking place over rare earth materials.

The two articles pose interesting questions and thoughts about the supply chain. To be a part of the conversation, engage with Mitchell's post on LinkedIn to voice your opinions.

MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman said supply disruptions are a big issue now. "We are seeing nearly a quarter of stainless steel buyers decline new orders because they can't get material," she posted on LinkedIn. "This is impacting manufacturers of all shapes and sizes."

First-time unemployment claims fall to 730,000 for the week

The US Labor Department reported on Thursday that first-time unemployment claims fell to 730,000 for the week ending Feb. 20, according to CNBC.

This number came in below the estimated 845,000 from Dow Jones. It also indicated a sharp decline from the 841,000 in the week prior. Meanwhile, continuing claims hit a new Covid-19 pandemic-era low — sitting just below 4.42 million, the article said. For January, the unemployment rate was 6.3%.

“The sharp drop in jobless claims likely is due to people in states hit hardest by last week’s huge storm, especially Texas, having better things to do than make jobless claims,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told CNBC. “We expect a rebound next week. The trend seems to be about flat, but we remain of the view that claims will soon start to trend down, slowly at first but then more quickly as the reopening of the economy accelerates in April and May.”

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