Author Archives: JP Morris



3 tips to improve the ‘first mile’ of your supply chain

Overhauling how your business manages its supply chain is a daunting task, but a good starting point is to look at a segment of the supply chain and focus on three tips: clean your data to improve visibility, automate supplier collaboration and consider what new technology is available to you to make these things happen.

The specific part of the supply chain that many organizations would benefit from focusing on is the “first mile” — when businesses set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. In our previous article, “How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success,” we discussed the problems that snowball, add to risk and cut into margins.

Now, let’s dig into the top three tips for addressing these problems:

More Trump tariffs to be levied on goods from China — starting Sept. 1

In a tweet Thursday that rattled stocks, the Trump administration announced that, starting Sept. 1, 10% in tariffs will be levied against $300 billion in more goods that are made in China for companies that import them into the United States. The companies pay the tariffs, and the extra expense typically leads to higher prices for U.S. consumers. The Dow had been up about 300 points, but on the news, it fell 200 points.

Procurement Leaders is acquired by World 50

Procurement Leaders — an organization known for its executive conferences, membership and research in the procurement sector — has announced its acquisition by World 50, an executive membership organization. Procurement Leaders CEO Nandini Basuthakur, announced the news Wednesday, saying: “We will continue to offer our unique suite of insights, applications and connections that accelerate global and cross functional transformation to our customers. This will now be further strengthened by the pairing of World 50’s powerful access across the broader C-suite.”

Afternoon Coffee: Southwest, American hurt by 737 MAX grounding; Caterpillar pays $70 million in tariffs; Europe heat wave

The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes is having more fallout — with Southwest and American airlines reporting negative developments. Caterpillar details its hit on tariffs: $70 million last quarter, but it raised prices to cope. And record heat is hitting Europe, causing a lot of problems. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success

Businesses want and need to deliver for their customers, and that’s often done by putting a ton of thought and effort into the last mile of the process to ensure success and customer satisfaction. But, while getting products and services to customers is vital, it’s not the first step.

For that, we need to focus on the first mile — that time in any company’s supply chain process where you can set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. The first mile is just as important as the last mile for meeting customer commitments, and it’s even more important when it comes to maximizing margin, managing inventory and recognizing revenue.

To succeed, you’ll need to improve your processes by implementing a digital transformation. That involves more than using digital forms instead of paper. To truly transform, real-time data and visibility need to be at the heart of how your company runs. Problems in the first mile need a modern solution.

How to Tackle Spend, Pick the Right Technology and Gain Visibility

We recently talked with Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari, to find out how companies are handling all of their spend data and learn why they need to digtialy transform. "The traditional function of procurement was, in the early days, to enforce a set of processes to prevent employees from making irresponsible or unwise spending decisions. It’s the quickest path to saving money," he said. "But today, our customers tell me that they are being asked to provide strategic value above and beyond cost savings and risk reduction. This is where digital transformation comes into play. If organizations want to move the needle beyond the tactics they’ve been employing, they need to be open to leveraging innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence."

Supplier diversity and supplier management: Don’t choose, do both

Supplier diversity connects to many trends occurring in supplier relationship management (SRM) these days, including developments like the rise of digital transformation, supplier networks and supplier collaboration.

As a business trying to start the supplier diversity process, it can be a daunting task to wade through-diverse supplier certifications and classifications to help you find a certified minority-, woman-, veteran- or LGBT-owned vendor for your company. But it can be worth it.

The methods that have made supplier diversity successful over the years now apply to other areas of procurement as well. Find out how.

U.S.-China trade at G-20; Apple to build in China; Amazon, the shipper; Learn about M&A interest in procurement software firms

What's going to happen at the G-20 economic summit in Osaka, Japan? It began today, and we have two stories giving insight into what may happen when Trump and China's leader sit down for trade talks Saturday. In another story, Apple is reportedly moving its Mac Pro production to China, bucking trends of supply chains possibly leaving China. And Spend Matters has some M&A insight into the procurement software market. Learn about the 10 types of businesses being targeted. Afternoon Coffee: It's the jolt of procurement and supply chain news that you need on a Friday.

Coupa expands AWS relationship, beefs up its business spend management

cloud solutions

Coupa made two announcements Tuesday morning: It’s expanding its relationship with Amazon Web Services to help enterprises with technology spend, and it bolstered its business spend management (BSM) with several new developments.

Best-of-Breed Solutions with Simple Integration Give Businesses More Choice

LinkedIn ProFinder

Businesses deserve to have the procurement technology that best suits their needs, and with the rise of the cloud and easier integration of best-of-breed solutions, businesses of all sizes can choose from an array of offerings to solve specific problems.

This increased choice stems from the trend toward more open computer networks and APIs, the application programming interface. What the API does is let companies bring data, workflows and in some cases third-party functionalities to their existing backbone system or ERP to create their own version of an end-to-end suite.

As companies mature in their digital transformation from manual processes to automation, they’re in a better position to consider the buffet of solution options that will help them become more strategic.

With $60 million funding round, Ivalua reaches ‘unicorn’ status of $1 billion valuation

Ivalua, likely the fastest growing privately held source-to-pay procurement suite technology provider, announced Tuesday morning that, with its latest funding round, it has gained “unicorn” status for start-ups by reaching $1 billion in valuation.

It raised $60 million from a new investor, Tiger Global Management, and Ardian Growth, one of Ivalua’s early investors that raised its investment level. Tiger Global joins Ivalua’s founders, KKR and Ardian as shareholders, the announcement said.