The Industry News Category

Commodities Roundup: How the Trump Tariffs Will Affect GOES, Nickel Price Momentum


For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what matters this week.

North American Staffing Sector Optimistic on 2018 Revenue, Concerned by Skills Shortages

North American staffing and recruiting professionals are overall optimistic on revenue, according to Bullhorn’s 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report, although challenges such as skills shortages remain salient. In a survey of 1,442 staffing and recruiting professionals, three-quarters anticipated an increase in 2018 revenue as compared to 2017 revenue. Twenty percent of the respondents predicted revenue to increase by more than 25%. Small firms were more optimistic than their larger counterparts.

SAP Ariba Takes Aim at Procurement CoEs Services with A Targeted Shared Services Offering


Procurement shared services teams — also known as centers of excellence (CoEs) — don’t get enough respect. In larger companies, they are often critical not only to bringing greater operating efficiency to AP and P2P transaction processing but are also increasingly involved in strategic areas including market intelligence, strategic sourcing and even sourcing optimization. Many of SAP Ariba’s customers have CoEs or are in the process of building of them. But as far as we know, no source-to-pay technology provider has come out with a specific module just for them. Until now.

SAP Fieldglass Introduces its Digital Network to Support Multichannel Services Sourcing and Engagement

SAP Fieldglass has announced the launch of its Digital Network, a new way for businesses to “find, hire and manage an array of workforce channels, such as freelancers, contingent workers, statement-of-work consultants and permanent employees,” according to an SAP blog post. The announcement indicates the Digital Network will provide enterprises with an end-to-end, digitally integrated, multichannel sourcing and engagement process, including access to third-party digital platforms and other solutions. The company introduced 11 providers of various kinds and said the number would increase over time. 

The Ariba Network in 2018: Volume, Trending and Vision

So far today at SAP Ariba Live, The Ariba Supplier Network has been on full display. Barry Padgett, SAP Ariba’s recently appointed president, appears to be putting the network front and center in his organization’s overall strategy and vision. This marks a strategic evolution from Alex Atzberger’s focus on core SAP Ariba application enhancement as a primary objective, at least as Spend Matters sees it. At Live, Padgett is thinking big. He has talked in terms of “opening up” the network dramatically from API and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) perspectives, far beyond what SAP Ariba has done to date.

Ariba Live 2018 Kicks Off: “Very Nice”

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Three members of the Spend Matters analyst team (Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and Jason Busch) are attending SAP Ariba Live this year. By our count from the initial tech analyst session, more than 25 other analysts and influencers are attending, as well. We didn’t know we had so many peers who actually covered procurement technology! Perhaps this illustrates the rising interest in procurement solutions generally. We can almost hear Sacha Baron Cohen saying in his Borat voice, “Procurement Tech. Finally. Very Nice.”

Trump Tariff Mania: Reactions and Implications for Procurement

The Department of Commerce’s Section 232 process regarding steel and aluminum imports took a big step forward Thursday when President Trump announced his administration planned to implement tariffs of 25% and 10% for steel and aluminum, respectively. Obviously this is a big deal for the steel and aluminum sectors, domestically and internationally. Trump’s announced figures are actually higher than the recommendations proposed in Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ report to Trump, which called for 7.7% tariffs for aluminum in one option. Even so, MetalMiner published a detailed analysis of the Section 232 proceedings last week, outlining what could happen in every scenario.

How Hiring Managers View the Changing World of Work: Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report


Upwork, a global online freelancer marketplace and enterprise solution provider, announced Wednesday the release of its second annual “Future Workforce Report: Hiring Manager Insights on Flexible and Remote Work Trends.” The study is specifically concerned with “knowledge work.” The underlying survey, conducted by independent research firm Inavero, was based on a sample of more than 1,000 hiring managers within U.S. organizations, across 10 industry verticals and ranging in size from under 50 employees to more than 5,000. Because this is the second year of the study, year-over-year changes are indicated in the report. 

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds


For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

The Medical Device Reprocessing Industry: Will the Third Time be the Charm?

Alfred Hitchcock provided a great definition of the difference between surprise and suspense. It goes like this: If a bunch of guys are playing poker and a bomb goes off under the table, that’s a surprise. If, however, we know that the bomb is there and we watch the timer tick down while the men play on, that’s suspense. When Warren Buffett said that the ballooning costs of healthcare “act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” the financial markets acted like a bomb went off and the media covered the story like none of us knew it was there. Let me save you the suspense: egregious profiteering in the medical-industrial complex is the head of the tapeworm that Buffett spoke about.

Commodities Roundup: Aluminum Cools, Department of Commerce Reveals Section 232 Recommendations to Trump

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what matters. Here's the latest.

E-Procurement 2018 Trends for Practitioners and Providers: An Overview

For a consumer of information, there’s something magical in coming across “predictions,” whether they’re about the weather, which team is going to win Super Bowl or something even more exciting (to us) — trends in the e-procurement market. But that’s the thing about magic: it often has no substance. That’s why the Spend Matters analyst team focuses less on predicting the future and more on sharing analysis gained from research and engagement with practitioners and providers.