Sourcing and Categories Content

Commodities Roundup: Lewisport mill for sale; stainless prices up in China; U.S. fuel inventory surges

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. MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters. This week:

Procurement must identify third-party risk: Owning and mitigating threats

Business performance relies heavily on the strength and efficiency of relationships external to the organization. Our third-party partners’ performance, and exposure to risk, can make or break our own profitability, reputation and overall success if we do not monitor and manage these partnerships strategically.

As supply chains grow, and become ever more interdependent, and as outsourcing booms as an alternative to growing in-house talent, our exposure to risk grows too, and becomes harder and harder to mitigate.

SIG Summit: Exploring technology for SOW-based services procurement

The SIG Procurement Technology Summit, being held online this week, has been providing its attendees with an immersion in “industry trends, innovations and solutions that are shaping high-performance teams and best-in-class procurement organizations.” While procurement is responsible for efficiently securing materials, goods and services, procurement of SOW-based services may be one area in which fit-for-purpose technology is wanting. SIG was not about to miss this gap.

How AI is transforming the ways companies source enterprise services

Services sourcing is being dramatically changed by AI — a previously untapped domain and significant opportunity for businesses.

The pace of change has never been faster. Companies are accelerating the digitization of business operations and processes, resulting in the re-engineering of work around the world. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in procurement. Companies are revisiting their digital strategies to ensure near- and long-term continuity and resiliency across the value chain, all of the steps needed to keep a business running.

This is where the power of AI comes in.

SIG Summit keynote by GEP: The coronavirus crisis ‘has forced everyone’s hand’ to adopt technology

The Sourcing Industry Group kicked off its online SIG Procurement Technology Summit on Monday with a discussion of the coronavirus disruption and the importance of companies embracing digital transformation to help weather the crisis and create stronger businesses for the recovery and beyond.

In a video Q&A with SIG President and CEO Dawn Tiura, GEP Vice President of Technology Santosh Nair talked about what he’s hearing from customers and how GEP is responding with its suite of source-to-pay solutions, GEP SMART for sourcing and GEP NEXXE for supply chain insights and control.

“It’s no longer a luxury to consider using some aspects of the solutions,” he said. "The crisis has forced everyone’s hand.”

Supplier management — the need to implement at speed in times of crisis

Spend Matters in the U.S. and in Europe has amassed a whole spectrum of insight through our Coronavirus Response series to bring you a set of go-to places for specific guidance and advice during this time of crisis. One key area is supplier information and performance management (SXM). To that, we recently joined a webinar-based conversation with State of Flux, who, as experts in the field, are working with firms around the globe to help them build business resilience toward supplier risk exposure. The webinar offers seven areas of risk to consider, and CEO Alan Day says procurement pros need to act while the spotlight is on procurement and supply chains. "Because of COVID-19," he said, "we now have the focus and attention from the executives, so the time is now to implement or improve supplier management at speed.”

Fiverr’s Q1 2020 Financial Results and Future Guidance — Coronavirus and Signs of a Changing Market?

Fiverr International Ltd., the online freelancer/digital services marketplace, has reported its financial results for Q1 2020, showing that it took a coronavirus hit but is rebounding.

This comes a day after our post on the earnings report for Upwork, the online freelancer marketplace and managed solution company. As we mentioned in that coverage, now is a time when many wonder if the massive increase in working remotely and the shifting needs of, and new restrictions on, organizations will lead to a greater use of remote contingent workers and service providers.

A recent Spend Matters PRO brief focused on the potential of online platforms with remote workers to fill gaps in the uncertain times of the COVID-19 disruption (see CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Contingent Workforce and Services Solutions — How to find the right workers, services in a crisis). Both Upwork and Fiverr are mentioned in that PRO brief.

Let’s look at Fiverr’s dip and revival in the coronavirus era and see what it means for the wider contingent workforce market.

Coupa acquires ConnXus, adding a wealth of supplier diversity capabilities

In its second acquisition this year, Coupa has acquired the supplier diversity specialist ConnXus, according a Spend Matters interview Monday with Coupa, a suite provider of business spend management solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Coupa said talks had been going on since 2019 and that the coronavirus disruption played no role in the negotiations.

Promena’s view of the crisis: ‘Companies that do not manage processes digitally are facing difficulties’

Since Promena has a broad perspective on the business climate in these trying times, we wanted to know what it is seeing with the business reaction to the coronavirus crisis. Orçun Güven, Director of Promena Strategic Sourcing Services, joined us recently for an interview. He said the coronavirus disruption has shown the importance of having digital solutions instead of manual processes.