Afternoon Coffee: Auto makers inch away from just in time supply model; Sovos acquires Acepta; Consumer trends lead D2C channels to overhaul supply chains

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The automotive supply chain phenomenon symbolized as “just in time” is undergoing the biggest transformation in more than half a century, according to the Wall Street Journal. Auto makers are shying away from this model.

Various troubles have accelerated this trend during the Covid pandemic. Sudden swings in demand, freak weather and a series of accidents have led to automakers reassessing their assumptions that they can get the parts needed when necessary.

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Just in time supply chain models champion avoiding waste, the article said. Suppliers deliver parts to the assembly line a few hours or days before they go into a vehicle so that manufacturers don’t pay for what they don’t use. But while supply chains become more global and car makers rely on single suppliers, the system isn’t as foolproof as it once was.

“This is where procurement has frankly dropped the ball,” Bindiya Vakil, the CEO of risk management software provider Resilinc, told the WSJ. “Time and time again the stuff that brings us to our knees is not the expensive stuff, it’s the tiny stuff that we don’t manage closely.”

Sovos acquires digital certificate solution Acepta

Sovos, a global tax software provider, announced the acquisition of Acepta (an e-invoicing, e-receipts, e-document and digital certificate solution provider).

In a press release announcing the deal, Sovos said this will help it gain new product capabilities that will advance its mission to solve “Tax for Good” globally. With Acepta under its healm, Sovos will deepen its continuous transaction control compliance offerings and expand its portfolio with e-document solutions.

“The acquisition of Acepta furthers Sovos’ leadership in digital tax compliance and positions us to meet adjacent compliance needs as governments advance the digitization of their economies,” Andy Hovancik, CEO of Sovos, said in the press release. “Today’s announcement reflects our long-held strategy to combine global reach with local execution, so we can meet the needs of our customers anywhere they do business, whether that is in 60 countries or in one.”

"This is a good strategic move for Sovos to grow its coverage as a provider of processes and intelligence for compliance with government regulations for electronic invoicing in Latin America," Spend Matters' analyst Xavier Olivera said.

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels overhaul supply chains with new consumer trends

Changing consumer trends are leading direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies to overhaul their brands and supply chains to fit these needs, according to the Entrepreneur.

A white paper from PCH International Founder and CEO Liam Casey said that the way brands sell to consumers has been changing for years. But lockdowns and other stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have accelerated the move to D2C e-commerce. These channels provide new benefits like brand loyalty and engagement or consumer data that provides real-time insight, the article said.

Liam Casey and the rest of the PCH International company offer a deep dive into how to design the right supply chain for D2C. “Reconfiguring supply chains is not for the faint-hearted,” the article said.

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