Afternoon Coffee: Services PMI records highest number ever in May; Archlet and Mintec partner for strategic sourcing; White House warns against ransomware attacks

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Economic activity in the services sector continued to grow and registered an all-time high in May, according to the latest Services ISM Report on Business numbers released last week. The services PMI — formerly known as the Non-Manufacturing NMI — registered 64% last month, according to the report.

The May number was 1.3 percentage points higher than the April rate of 62.7%. May’s reading represents growth in the services sector because any number above 50 counts as growth. The number also shows the 12th straight month of growth after a contraction in the spring of 2020 because of the Covid crisis.

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"According to the Services PMI, all 18 services industries reported growth,” Anthony Nieves, the chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee, said in a press release. “There was continued growth in the services sector in May. The rate of expansion is very strong, as businesses have reopened and production capacity has increased. However, some capacity constraints, material shortages, weather-related delays and challenges in logistics and employment resources continue.”

Archlet and Mintec partner for strategic sourcing and food price analytics

Archlet, a sourcing software provider, announced a partnership with Mintec, a food commodity price analytics provider.

In a press release announcing the partnership, Archlet said the deal will aim to enable strategic sourcing teams to use Mintec’s price data, resources and market analysis across a range of raw materials and other commodities. The information will then be integrated into Archlet’s strategic sourcing workflow to provide a seamless experience that quickly delivers sourcing decisions.

"This collaboration is an important step for enabling clients to harness the full power of holistic information in their sourcing process,” Lukas Wawrla, Archlet’s co-Founder, said in the press release. “The consideration of Mintec’s benchmark information in Archlet’s scenario optimization module will ensure sourcing managers always have up to date pricing information right at their fingertips.”

White House warns against ransomware attacks in rare memo

The White House wrote an open letter to companies calling on them to treat the threat of ransomware attacks with greater urgency after back-to-back attacks hit critical US industries like fuel and food, according to CNN.

In a memo sent last week, the National Security Council’s cyber official, Anne Neuberger, wrote that the private sector needs to understand its critical role. The Biden administration said the letter was prompted by a spike in ransomware attacks that have shifted from data theft to disrupting critical services, the article reported.

The Washington Post said the recent attacks have caused schools to close, delayed medical treatments and derailed everyday life.

"The most important takeaway from the recent spate of ransomware attacks on US, Irish, German and other organizations around the world is that companies that view ransomware as a threat to their core business operations rather than a simple risk of data theft will react and recover more effectively," Neuberger said, CNN reported.

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