General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: Tariffs Fuel China’s Record Trade Surplus with U.S., Analysts Question Sears’ Moves

China shows a record trade surplus with the U.S. for September, and companies’ efforts to get their supplies before U.S. tariffs hit may be fueling the trade gap, Bloomberg reports. As Sears grapples with mounting debt and possibly filing for bankruptcy within days, analysts say the department store giant of yore didn’t do enough to succeed today, Adweek reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news about procurement and supply chains.

Commodities Roundup: Mining in Goa, Aluminum Price Volatile, and Copper’s Recovery

conflict mineral

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 about particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters this week.

Afternoon Coffee: Sears in Fight for Its Life, Postal Service Seeks Rate Hike

Sears appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy, and the troubled retailer is facing pressure from lenders to liquidate, The Wall Street Journal says. And the U.S. Postal Service has requested a rate increase for letters, postcards and parcels. If approved, the increase could start in late January. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

APICS Becoming ASCM: CEO Abe Eshkenazi Details the New Direction

marketing procurement

APICS announced recently it was launching a new supply chain organization that would push the industry association out of its niche for talent development and into corporate transformation strategy. Called the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the new organization seeks to create a fully encompassing group for all professionals who touch the supply chain. More than a rebrand, the creation of ASCM signals a shift in strategy at APICS as well as within the businesses of the customers that the association serves, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi told Spend Matters in a recent interview at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago.

Afternoon Coffee: Hurricane Michael Rips at Florida, Coupa Releases New BSM Product Updates

Hurricane Michael is lashing the Florida Panhandle with tropical storm winds before the dangerous Category 4 hurricane makes landfall Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post reported. Coupa Software said this week it has launched the latest updates to its Coupa BSM Platform, focusing on supplier risk management and compliance, efficiency, and ease of use in the business spend management area. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Direct-to-Consumer Businesses Disrupting Supply Chains, Maersk Buys into Loadsmart

category management

Technology is a big disruptor, but so is the long-standing effort to cut out the middleman. The direct-to-consumer trend is shifting the supply chain in key ways and for an array of businesses — like direct-from-wineries, Supply Chain Dive reports. Shipping giant Maersk is investing in the startup Loadsmart, a freight-booking service for the trucking industry, The Wall Street Journal reported. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: IBM’s Food Supply Blockchain Opens for Business, Hurricane Michael to Hit Florida This Week

IBM announced Monday that its food supply blockchain is ready for businesses to join and help track products from the source to the retailer. The company has been testing the blockchain for 18 months and now plans to increase its use, a press release said. Hurricane Michael has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is headed toward the Florida Panhandle. It could make landfall Wednesday afternoon. Florida's governor has issued a state of emergency for many counties. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Economic Outlook: Procurement Should Expect Headwinds and a Downturn Ahead

e-procurement market outlook

KKR’s David McNellis, the head of research for KKR’s Global Macro and Asset Allocation Team, shares his views on the macro economy, with a forecast for a downturn in the U.S. and other countries. Of note to procurement professionals are McNellis' view on inflation and commodities outlooks, as well as the top four risks that businesses need to prepare for heading into 2020.

Key to Supply Chain Innovation? Early Adopters of Technology Do Well, Study Says

SciQuest

With disruption upending every segment of business over the past decade, it may not be surprising that new research ties technological innovation to high supply chain performance. A 2018 web survey by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions found that over 80% of companies that identified as “innovators” or “early adopters” of new technologies also ranked their organization’s performance as slightly or significantly above average.

Afternoon Coffee: Bloomberg Says China’s Hardware Hack Is Called the Most Significant Supply Chain Attack on U.S. Companies 

Bloomberg Businessweek’s investigative report on a hardware hack from China has sent ripples across the supply chain community as companies and their managers consider the fallout — with the report saying U.S. officials described it as “the most significant supply chain attack” against American companies. The report said a tiny chip was added to an electronics panel in China before being sent to its buyer, a U.S. company that served bigger clients like Amazon, Apple and U.S. national security efforts. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

With Business Up But Politics Volatile, Uncertainty Is the New Certainty for Procurement

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at TYGES International.

Life should be good for procurement professionals these days, if conventional wisdom is to be believed. Companies are hiring, spending and facing growth-related opportunities/challenges not seen in almost two decades. There’s renewed confidence with the business-friendly policies, and there’s a sense that a 4% GDP growth can be the new normal for the U.S. economy. But reality is not quite as rosy. From vitriolic trade negotiations to overnight tariffs, sanctions and currency fluctuations, companies are facing levels of volatility not seen in decades.

Commodities Roundup: Zinc, Rising Architecture Billings, Higher Oil Prices

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, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: zinc, China pollution, oil prices rising.