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Commodities Roundup: Auto sales rise in China; U.S. steel capacity utilization falls; European metals firms push for level playing field


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:

What should employers do to gain the full value of their independent workers?

In less than a decade, half of the U.S. workforce will be independent workers. A study said more than 30% of the global workforce works in a non-employee capacity and almost 40% of workers under 35 have some sort of “side hustle” in addition to a full-time gig. But what should employers do to ensure these workers are being appropriately hired and utilized while companies gain the full value of their independent workers?

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Equipping yourself to be unstoppable 

Since March, the world has felt increasingly uncertain with the COVID-19 disruption, fluctuating wildly while we hold on waiting for normalcy to return. As our businesses are in a state of pivoting, it’s important to remember that this will lead us to find new ways to excel, experiment with fresh ideas and chart a course through intimidating terrain. Procurement can take a lesson from the natural world — that while today might feel like a grinding uphill battle, we must remain focused and not lose faith that we can endure. SIG has some resources to help you through.

Fiverr’s Q2 2020 financial results soar, driven by coronavirus freelance activity and other factors

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Amid the workforce disruption of the coronavirus crisis, Fiverr’s Q2 2020 revenue grew by 82% over revenue in Q2 2019, and the company achieved positive adjusted EBITDA for the first time, said the online freelancer services marketplace and ecosystem in announcing its latest financial results Wednesday.

Upwork’s Q2 2020 financial results demonstrate resilience amid COVID-19, but investors want more

Upwork, the online freelancer marketplace and workforce solution provider, released its Q2 2020 financials. The results reflect that the company has shown resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic to date. And management views the current shift to remote work and the need for a more flexible workforce as positive leading indicators for the business. But investors appeared to be less optimistic.

Why the sustainable procurement movement matters

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Katie LoFaso, Senior Content Manager at Fairmarkit, a sourcing provider.

In addition to cost savings and protection of reputation, a sustainable procurement program also improves a company’s overall risk mitigation and procurement metrics, making it yet another valuable tool for CPOs to add value to their business and provide input to a company’s overall business strategy. The idea that sustainability is in conflict with profits and a company’s fiscal responsibility to its stakeholders has time and again been disproved. Learn more about how professionals in industries like retail and beauty products view the sustainable procurement movement.

Q&A: ‘Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend, it will continue to be difficult to get it right’

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A recent study suggested that most companies’ contingent workforce management (CWM) programs are not doing very well at managing the sourcing and consumption of services. That raises the question of whether some approaches to services spend may be better than others.

We talked with Jon Kesman, Head of Procurement Solutions at Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), to get his perspective on what are some of the problems with current approaches within CWM programs and what may be needed to overcome them.

“Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend,” Kesman told us, “it will continue to be difficult to get it right.”

In the following Q&A, Kesman further explains his viewpoint and elaborates on what may be more effective ways to manage the procurement of services.