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.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Our PRO introduction to finding go-to technology vendors in a crisis is now unlocked

The response to the coronavirus outbreak has gotten more urgent since last week, when Spend Matters’ analysts brainstormed and began this PRO subscription series about the procurement technology providers that can help in a crisis, like the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A national emergency has been declared in the U.S., and more actions are being taken by nations, businesses and individuals to stem the virus’ spread. The series is meant to inform our PRO subscribers about the go-to vendors to seek out in a crisis, but we would like to share the introduction to it outside the paywall given the crisis, to help all Spend Matters readers.

Short of finalizing investment decisions in specific technologies, our hope is that this will get you far down the path of pursuing the right investments now, and on the upswing from the crisis. If you need a specific COVID-19 tech provider shortlist, recommended options based on your specific needs or want to speak to an analyst about any topic, don’t hesitate to reach out, as we’re offering a significant incentive for new Spend Matters practitioner clients.

Through March 2020, Spend Matters is offering a special PRO Expert Survival Pack to procurement practitioners only at up to 50% off our normal subscription and services package. — Click here to learn more

Coronavirus forces a scramble and stricter measures to curb its spread

Late Friday, the White House declared a state of national emergency to address the coronavirus’ spread, and over the weekend in cities across the nation, people responded with a resolve to cancel events, call off school and curb their typical daily activities. Instead they prepared for self-imposed stays at home and stocked up on staple items, leaving many grocery stores with bare shelves for items like toilet paper and pasta.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday he would like to see a 14-day national shutdown imposed to prevent the virus’ spread, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, hit 64 with more than 3,700 cases of infection reported, the AP said. Its worldwide figures stood at 6,500 dead and nearly 170,000 people infected.

Coronavirus update: Trade with Europe isn’t part of U.S. travel ban

“The restriction stops people not goods," President Donald Trump tweeted, in part, after his Oval Office address where he announced travel restrictions with much of Europe as part of his strategy to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. His speech mentioned the travel ban and trade at the same time, making it unclear if the U.S. intended to shut down imports and exports with Europe. Also, read this story for the latest headlines on the coronavirus' effect on people and the economy.

In reaction to coronavirus, U.S. suspends travel with Europe — but not the UK

FM Global Resilience Index

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. will bar travel from Europe for 30 days, beginning late Friday, said U.S. President Donald Trump in an Oval Office address to the nation Wednesday night. He said the UK, which recently separated from the European Union after the prolonged Brexit debate, is not part of the ban. 

China’s coronavirus outbreak puts global supply chains at risk


The coronavirus has killed 1,665 people and sickened 68,500 in China, with other deaths now reported in Taiwan and France, according to Reuters on Sunday.

A special Dun & Bradstreet report, called the “Business Impact from the Coronavirus,” said the risk to companies around the world also is profound — with the outbreak hitting China’s regions that are home to “over 90% of all active businesses,” many of which are branches or subsidiaries of foreign companies. That means global supply chains will be affected.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. importing, exporting drops; LinkedIn to get new CEO; Avetta adds 2 execs

Tariffs and slower global growth showed their effects as Americans imported less from around the world and exported fewer U.S. goods and services — resulting in a narrower trade deficit, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is the first drop in the trade deficit in six years, but that it wasn’t achieved in a way that would eventually create a trade surplus. Afternoon Coffee: Procurement and supply chain news.

2020 GEP Outlook report: ‘In this increasingly tumultuous world, more will be asked from procurement’

GEP, a provider of a full suite of procurement technology, released its 2020 Outlook report that itself has a suite of forecasts for the year, including economic and geopolitical developments as well as trends in technology and business that bear watching.

Since Brexit just began after years of uncertainty, we got an update on GEP’s expectations for the UK and Europe. And we’ll explore some of the report’s more interesting findings — which focused on the concept of “budget-to-pay” and the resurgence of should-cost modeling.

Avoid these 7 mistakes when bidding on a U.S. government contract

Businesses seeking to win U.S. government contracts often make mistakes in their bids — missteps that can waste time and money spent on bidding and that cost companies the chance at lucrative deals, according to Public Spend Forum, a sister site of Spend Matters.

Public Spend Forum goes into detail on each mistake, and it is even offering a workshop on these seven points. Register here for the workshop, to be held March 17 in Washington, D.C.

Here is a synopsis of the mistakes:

Tradeshift has $240 million funding round, plans to restructure and focus on near-term profitability


Tradeshift, a solution provider known for its network, supply chain payment offerings and marketplaces, announced today that it has a funding round of $240 million in equity and debt that sets “the company on a direct path to profitability in the near future,” the announcement said.

CEO Christian Lanng spoke with Spend Matters and said this marks a time for refocusing on high-value efforts and restructuring the company, which was founded in 2010.

“It's been a very long journey to get critical mass. It actually doesn't feel this long today. Ten years is quick in our space,” Lanng said.

Read more about the changes at Tradeshift.

Coupa acquires Yapta, boosting its T&E capabilities

Coupa announced today that it is buying Yapta, a website that monitors airline and hotel prices in real time and rebooks at the lowest price. The addition to Coupa’s business spend management suite of offerings bolsters its travel and expense capabilities, according to the announcement.

Success is ‘the provider’s responsibility,’ Scanmarket says in webinar on implementation, ROI and services


Talk of digital transformation and which procurement technology to acquire take up a bulk of the conversation about how businesses should grow, but leaders in procurement software say that businesses should not ignore the implementation and consulting services that should be deployed along with the latest solutions.

In a recent webinar about getting a solid return on your technology investment, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch talked with Scanmarket about how its team of experts helps customers succeed in using the new tool, deploying it with change management, setting the KPIs to match the buyer’s goals and assessing the success in the months after implementation.