Afternoon Coffee: US trade deficit indicates economic upswing; Fairmarkit adds RFP feature; Europe’s Sidetrade buys US order-to-cash player Amalto

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The US trade deficit has reached a high, which sounds bad but indicates that the economy is rebounding from the Covid disruption faster than competing countries, according to a Reuters article.

The February deficit figure shows increased demand in the US and that imports are sought to meet that need. Federal efforts to help the Covid-damaged economy play a role.

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“The deficit could remain wide this year and next because of the fiscal stimulus and potential infrastructure package that could pass in the second half of this year,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “As the economy continues to strengthen, this will keep the deficit wide.”

Tail-spend specialist Fairmarkit adds RFP capability

Fairmarkit today announced the addition of a feature “to simplify and streamline competitive RFPs for procurement teams.”

This adds to the vendor’s cloud-based AI-powered software for optimizing tail spend, automating the construction of RFQs, and automating bidding and analysis on low-value purchases.

The new offering is meant to stress efficiency and cut down on manual work.

“We built RFPs into Fairmarkit because we saw customers already using our platform to manage these types of complex sourcing events,” Kevin Frechette, co-Founder and CEO of Fairmarkit, said in a press release. “These new capabilities allow our customers to conduct a broader range of sourcing events on our automated platform, saving them time, maximizing efficiency and allowing customers to get more spend under management through a streamlined sourcing process.”

Fairmarkit was a startup vendor featured on Spend Matters’ 2019 “Future 5” list and our 2020 “50 Vendors to Watch” list.

Find out more about Fairmarkit in analyst Nick Heinzmann’s Vendor Analysis, which gives a company background and solution overview and a look at its solution’s strengths/weaknesses and Fairmarkit’s competitors.

Europe’s Sidetrade buys US order-to-cash player Amalto

Europe’s AI-powered order-to-cash provider Sidetrade has acquired Amalto, a North American O2C provider that focuses on the oil and gas market, with clients like Chevron, General Electric and Schlumberger. In a press release, Sidetrade said it sees the acquisition as giving it a stronger position in North America.

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