Author Archives: JP Morris

About JP Morris

JP Morris comes to Spend Matters with 25+ years of experience with the Chicago Tribune and the Houston Chronicle. He works with the global Spend Matters team of analysts and professionals to coordinate coverage of the procurement technology market. He also edits all manner of Spend Matters stories — PRO, Nexus and SolutionMap analysis columns as well as news articles. And he’s trying to figure out which SolutionMap persona fits a husband and dad of two who likes to travel, build robots, coach baseball, write, feed WordPress and meet deadlines.

$1.6 million no-bid computer deal for Chicago Public Schools raises issue of proper procurement amid COVID crisis

CPS computer deal

Procurement standards and processes obviously needed a layer of flexibility during the emergency coronavirus lockdowns last spring. But how flexible is too flexible, and where do governments need to draw the line to maintain open, honest and transparent buying processes when dealing with taxpayers’ money or emergency funding?

A procurement story with Chicago Public Schools seeking computers for remote learning highlights the point.

Afternoon Coffee: Weekly jobless claims increase the most since September; Fairmarkit secures $30 million funding; TransferMate extends payments into Brazil, Chile

In today's headlines, new unemployment claims rose sharply last week. In other news, Fairmarkit secured a $30 million round of funding. Also, TransferMate is extending its payments solution to Brazil and Chile. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Services sector expands, but slower; PRO recap — ProcureWise, CW/S Hot List, procurement & business transformation (Part 8), Workday Strategic Sourcing (formerly Scout RFP)

November's services PMI shows economic expansion, but growing just a little slower than the sector did in October. Also this week, Spend Matters’ analysts Andrew Karpie, Magnus Bergfors and Pierre Mitchell wrote about contingent workforce issues and vendors, strategic sourcing, and a practitioner’s guide as procurement helps business leaders transform their companies. Afternoon Coffee, a shot of procurement/supply chain news before the weekend.

SolutionMap Fall 2020 new vendors (Part 3) — Symfact, AvidXchange, ProcurePort, SourceDay, graphiteConnect

On Oct. 1, Spend Matters launched the Fall 2020 update of its free-to-use SolutionMap, which evaluates procurement technology solutions on their technical capabilities and how customers rate them.

Twelve new vendors participated in the latest release, which has grown to evaluate 77 providers. Read our SolutionMap Fall 2020 launch post for more details, like how to use the benchmark tool for tech selection or how to get your solution into the mix.

We’re excited to introduce you to a few of the vendors who entered SolutionMap this time around:

  • Symfact
  • AvidXchange
  • ProcurePort
  • SourceDay
  • graphiteConnect

In our bios of the recommended new vendors, we will detail in which of our 13 technology categories they compete and where they rank (see the chart below), share some our analyst research written for subscribers to our PRO content, give feedback from our subscription SolutionMap Insider content called the Provider Scoring Summary reports (subscribers can use the summaries to compare vendors and their scores in more detail — see a sample summary). You’ll also hear from some vendors about being part of the SolutionMap benchmarking process.

SIG session: Sleep Number sourcing manager has tips on negotiating from home in COVID-19 era

on-demand workforce

On Thursday, SIG focused on doing procurement jobs in the coronavirus era by bringing together procurement technology experts and procurement practitioners from businesses like Sleep Number beds.

At the one-day, online “SIGnature Event,” CJ Johnson, a senior manager on Sleep Number’s indirect sourcing team, talked about how the coronavirus disruption has changed her team’s work routine and efficiency now that people work from home.

Trax CEO: Transportation spend management is next technology sector to see a boom

To explore technology and transportation, we talked with Hamp Wall, the CEO of Trax Technologies, a transportation spend management firm that comes from a private equity merger of two family-owned businesses. Trax focuses on the technology that targets activities once a shipment is picked up from the shipper and delivered to the customer.

“Transportation spend management (TSM) is at the place that e-procurement of indirect goods was 20 years ago. We're at the birth of the industry,” Wall said. “It's where the consolidation of providers is just beginning. Private equity is just now entering into the space with a much bigger presence.”

Coupa acquires LLamasoft, beefing up supply chain planning data for its business spend management solutions

In its fourth acquisition this year, Coupa on Monday announced the acquisition of LLamasoft, a specialist in supply chain design and planning solutions that Coupa will leverage to expand the direct procurement capabilities it offers within its platform for business spend management (BSM). Coupa said it paid about $1.5 billion for LLamasoft. In a call with Spend Matters, they detailed the deal, and our analysts delved into what this means for the procurement technology market.

GEP kicks off digital convention by seeking lessons on coronavirus crisis and DuPont’s insights for practitioners


The online GEP Innovate 2020 conference kicked off Tuesday with a message from GEP leaders and industry heavyweights that the procurement technology suite provider works with.

GEP CEO and co-Founder Subhash Makhija led a discussion with leaders from DuPont and Aptiv, an automotive electronics manufacturer, about what's going on with the coronavirus pandemic and what they've learned from dealing with the business disruption.

Afternoon Coffee: Warehouse employment at all-time highs with e-commerce shift; Air IT acquires MSP Netstar; California fires, Gulf hurricanes


In today's headlines, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said warehouse employment is at an all-time high because of the trend of e-commerce fulfillment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In other news, Air IT, an IT and communications specialist, acquired MSP Netstar, a managed IT services provider. Also, California and Louisiana are bracing for natural disasters and supply chain disruption as fires and a possible hurricane threaten to hit this week. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Coupa launches diversity and inclusion spend portal; Stampli Direct Pay debuts; JPMorgan creates smartphone card reader

In today's headlines, Coupa announced it's launching a new diversity and inclusion portal to help companies find diverse suppliers. In other news, the AP automation specialist Stampli announced a new payment solution that could be an alternative to virtual credit cards. Also, JPMorgan launched its new QuickAccept card reader to create faster, cheaper payments for small businesses. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Fed Chair Powell cautious on cross-border digital currency for U.S.; Coupa-American Express partnership expands to U.S.; Billtrust goes public

In today's headlines, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. doesn't need to be the first country to implement cross-border digital currency, rather they want to get it right. In other news, Coupa announced it will now have virtual card capabilities with partner American Express in the U.S. market. Also, Billtrust, a B2B payments specialist, will go public with a valuation around $1.3 billion. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

SAP exec shares tips on digital transformation, coronavirus disruption and implementing change at the SIG Summit

procurement software

During an online SIG Global Executive Summit keynote address last Wednesday, an SAP executive and a business consultant who specializes in technology, sourcing and supply chains gave a one-two punch on how procurement leaders can help their companies approach digital transformation.