Afternoon Coffee: Agiloft launches sourcing and supplier information management module; The Smart Cube sees high demand for supply chain risk data; Cargo ships still behind schedule

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Agiloft, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution provider, announced today that it’s releasing a new sourcing and supplier information management module. In a press release announcing the launch, Agiloft said it hopes to reduce cycle time, automate supplier onboarding, and aid ongoing compliance with the release.

Some of the highlights of the module include:

  • Streamlining the source-to-contract process through a centralized area for creation, approval, collaboration and decision making for sourcing
  • Automating supplier information management for saving time and ensuring suppliers meet requirements
  • Access to a unified source-to-contract platform

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"Contracts are not an island unto themselves. They are the nexus of many business processes, and thinking of them as contained to a single process cycle (like CLM) obscures the larger potential benefits that firms can obtain," said Nick Heinzmann, research analyst at Spend Matters. "Agiloft is certainly not the first CLM specialist to expand its solution outside core contract management use cases, but one could argue that it is perhaps one of the best-suited to doing so, given the flexibility of its underlying no-code platform.

"In a nutshell, this is a realization of what we call ‘commercial value management’ in action, and we expect the market for contract-centric S2P solutions to only further develop. We look forward to evaluating Agiloft's push into the source-to-contract arena alongside both other CLM vendors who are taking an expansionist approach and against suite providers native to this space."

The Smart Cube sees high demand for supply chain risk data

The Smart Cube, a strategic research and analytics solution, reported high demand from companies seeking to better understand global supply chain risk exposures.

The Smart Cube said it saw a 167% increase in supplier risk-related inquiries in 2020 while 2021 is continuing an upsurge in demand for these services. The Covid pandemic illuminated critical issues in the supply chain, which has forced companies to re-evaluate their end-to-end supply chains, The Smart Cube said in a press release.

“The pandemic made ‘supply chain’ a household term,” Omer Abdullah, MD and co-Founder of The Smart Cube, said in the press release. “Never before have businesses and consumers alike suffered so acutely at the hands of a severely disrupted global supply chain. As a result, businesses have been given an urgent wake-up call to gain greater visibility into the risks associated with a globalized supplier base. However, as customers tell us, it’s not just the pandemic driving their inquiries.”

Cargo ships making deliveries behind schedule, adding to supply chain woes

Cargo ships have made deliveries much later than ever, adding to supply chain woes that are undercutting efforts by retailers and manufacturers to capitalize on a resurgent economic demand, according to the Wall Street Journal. And the problems can't be blamed on just that one stuck ship in the Suez Canal this year.

Less than half (40%) of container ships globally were on time arriving at ports in March, with the average delays stretching to more than six days. Slowdowns have improved since February, but the WSJ reports that it remains far behind reliability levels of the previous two years when more than 70% of ships arrived on time.

“It [normally] takes 14 days to sail from Shanghai to Los Angeles; today it takes 33 days,” Vincent Clerc, Chief Executive of ocean and logistics at Denmark’s A.P. Moller Maersk A/S, told the WSJ. “The sailing time is the same, but you spend twice the time waiting to unload at the San Pedro Bay.”

“We have invested millions of dollars in extra capacity, but a large part of that capacity is immobilized because of congestion in the US West Coast,” Clerc said.

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