Author Archives: JP Morris



Afternoon Coffee: Shutdown Averted But Border Wall Issue Headed for Court; U.S.-China Trade Deal Inches Closer

Congress on Thursday approved funding to keep the government running but the legislation didn’t include money for a wall, leading to the president on Friday to declare an emergency and seek funding on his own from other budgets — a move that will be challenged in court, the Associated Press reports. And negotiators in U.S.-China trade talks report that they’re slowing moving toward a broad agreement, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Ditches N.Y. as HQ2 Site; Airbus to Stop Making Jumbo A380

In a surprising move, Amazon has pulled its plan to build another headquarters in New York, the Associated Press reports. And Airbus said Thursday that it will discontinue its A380, which at 800 seats was too large for a market that tends to prefer smaller planes, the Associated Press reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Avetta, Browz to Combine Their Supply Chain Risk Management Companies

Two providers of supply chain risk management, Avetta and Browz, announced Thursday that they’re joining forces under the Avetta name to serve a combined 85,000 clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avetta CEO John Herr, who will lead the combined companies, said in an interview that the company will now have the “critical mass” in staff, clients and geography to expand and compete in existing areas and new markets. Herr said the global marketplace for supply chain risk management solutions is valued at $14 billion and that it has a lot of room for growth.

Afternoon Coffee: Freelance Platform Fiverr Acquires ClearVoice; Sears Plans Smaller Stores, Less Apparel

Eddie Lampert’s winning bankruptcy bid for Sears is taking shape, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that his plan to save the ailing retailer includes opening smaller stores and reducing the focus on selling apparel. And Fiverr, the fast-growing online platform that connects businesses and freelancers who specialize in digital creative services, announced Wednesday that it had acquired the content marketing platform ClearVoice. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Contract AI: How Legal Departments Evaluated, Use Artificial Intelligence Tools

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A new report for Seal Software sheds light on how companies’ legal departments are preparing for or using the latest tools associated with artificial intelligence to analyze contracts for hidden opportunities and risks, according to the white paper by Ari Kaplan Advisors. Seal uses machine learning and other technology to review contracts, extract data and do analytics, the California-based company said in a news release. It all adds up to a “Contract AI” solution. Some respondents pulled back the curtain on how they’re deploying the technology.

Afternoon Coffee: 2nd Government Shutdown Unlikely, President Says; Tipalti Announces Growing Transactions, Staff

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a second government shutdown likely won’t happen at Friday’s deadline despite him not being happy with plans for border security, CNBC reports. The global payables automation provider Tipalti on Tuesday announced two new hires and that the California-based firm has surpassed $6.5 billion in annual transactions. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: AI Strategy for U.S. May Get Boost; Palm Oil Producers Turn to Satellites for Sustainability

Artificial intelligence research in the U.S. may get a boost from the White House, with the possibility of an executive order that would direct federal agencies to prioritize AI research and development, the Associated Press reports. Reuters reports that big palm oil users, like Nestle and Mondelez, are turning to more satellite technology to curb deforestation and boost sustainability efforts. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Corcentric to Buy Determine

Spend management provider Corcentric announced early Monday that it is buying Determine, a provider of source-to-pay and contract lifecycle management solutions, in a deal worth about $32 million for most of Determine’s assets, according to a press release. Corcentric, based in New Jersey, is a provider of procurement and finance solutions that help companies purchase, pay and get paid, and Determine is a French company that’s main offering is the Determine Cloud Platform, which provides procurement, legal and finance professionals with analytics for their supplier, contract and financial performance, the press release said.

Afternoon Coffee: Toys R Us Demise Still Affects Mattel, Hasbro; Sears Lives to Avoid Liquidation

Last fall’s liquidation of Toys R Us continued to be a disruption through the holiday season, as lower sales numbers from toy makers Mattel and Hasbro show, The Wall Street Journal reports. The troubled Sears department store chain was thrown a lifeline Thursday afternoon when a bankruptcy judge approved a plan to keep hundreds of stores open and thousands of people employed, the Chicago Tribune reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.

Raj Sharma, on Public Spend: ‘The government market is one of the most closed in the world’

A sense of frustration — and optimism — comes through in Raj Sharma’s interview about the state of public procurement, or government contracting.

“Government markets are supposed to be open — the fact is, the government market is one of the most closed in the world, with significant barriers to entry,” says Sharma, co-founder of Public Spend Forum, a sister site of Spend Matters. “Many suppliers find it too difficult to penetrate, and end up walking away from the complexity, costliness and unyielding regulations.”

In an interview with Nancy Clinton of Spend Matters UK/Europe, Sharma details how he has dedicated much of his professional life to finding ways to improve government contracting and ways people can better interact with government.

Afternoon Coffee: Trump-Xi Meeting Before Tariff Deadline Is Unlikely; J.C. Penney Alters Supply Chain Again

A trade meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping is unlikely before the March deadline that ends the moratorium for raising tariffs, CNBC reports. The news rattled stock markets, CNBC reports. And the struggling department store J.C. Penney announced that it will stop selling major appliances and will sell furniture mostly online, The Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Supply Chain Risk: Insights on the Issues and a Look at Hacking Threats

Check out a webinar on supply chain risk that covers a whole range of risks — from trade wars to global warming — and what’s driving them. The conversation covers what to expect in 2019 as well. Also, learn about the risks faced online in a white paper that delves into cyber attacks and how to mitigate them.