General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: Shutdown Strains Supply Chains; EU Offers Narrow Response in U.S. Trade Talks

The government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history, but what it means in the present is that U.S. agencies that oversee the flow of goods maybe cutting back to the point of affecting supply chains, The Wall Street Journal reports. Trade talks with the European Union heated up Friday with the EU offering a plan. It is considered narrow and may not defuse tensions between the two, the WSJ reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. May Relax China Tariffs to Spur Better Deal, WSJ Reports; Tariffs Put Pressure on U.S. Auto Suppliers

The U.S. is debating whether to ease tariffs against China to encourage a better trade deal and ease stock market concerns that have rattled both nations’ economies, the Wall Street Journal reports in a story breaking Thursday afternoon. And in a related story, an auto supply manufacturer in Michigan says he’s always asked his procurement team to source locally, but with the U.S.-China trade war and the resulting tariffs on steel and aluminum driving up prices, he’s now switching from U.S. suppliers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Certify, a T&E Veteran, Launches a Procure-to-Pay Solution

Known for its travel-and-expense software solution, Certify on Thursday announced that it is launching a procure-to-pay product. The new cloud-based P2P product is called Certify Purchasing and is billed as a way to automate key accounts payable tasks like requisitions and vendor payments. The SaaS-offering works with desktop and mobile devices, Certify said. CEO Robert Neveu said the move builds on the company’s travel-and-expense experience.

Afternoon Coffee: Scout RFP Raises $33 Million — with Workday, Salesforce’s Help; Online-only, Freelancer Bank N26 Raises $300 Million

ScoutRFP, whose platform focuses on sourcing and supplier engagement, raised $33 million in a Series C funding round from the typical venture capital partners — as well as some unlikely ones: Workday Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, the company announced this week. In freelancer-related news, N26, a Berlin-based “online-only bank” recently became Europe’s most valuable fintech start-up, according to the Financial Times. It plans to expand into the U.S., and one of the key target markets of N26, and other online-only banks, is freelancers and micro-businesses. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

A.T. Kearney 2019 Predictions: Trade Wars, Rising Prices and Super Strong Technology

Since 2017, A.T. Kearney has compiled a business and technology forecast for the upcoming year, identifying 10 trends ranging from geopolitics to projected consumer demand and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting predictions for 2019 and recap how some 2018 predictions panned out.

Afternoon Coffee update: Brexit Deal Goes Bust; With Microsoft-Walgreens Deal, Healthcare Rivalry with Amazon Heats Up

Microsoft announced Tuesday it has signed a multiyear deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance to serve its employees and businesses, reports CNBC, which also looks at Amazon’s recent moves into the healthcare sector. Denver-based banking platform Joust on Tuesday announced the launch of its “multi-feature financial app tailored to the unique needs of freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent contractors.” Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Brexit Deal Faces Deadly Vote; When Do Retailers Seek Supply Chain Visibility?

With the latest Brexit plan facing a tough vote Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking support for the deal, Bloomberg News reports. But the plan is expected to die. So what's next? And in technology news, retailers know the supply chain has the potential to deliver big losses or big gains, but seeking more visibility into it often occurs only after a big problem occurs, Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chains.

Afternoon Coffee: Some Countries See Bright Side in U.S.-China Trade War

The U.S.-China trade war is widely viewed as a drag on the global economy, but for some Asia-Pacific nations, the ongoing dispute may have some silver linings. After nine months of increases, U.S. consumer prices fell in December, mainly due a steep drop in the price of gasoline, CNBC reports. Still, underlying inflationary pressures remained strong, with rental housing and healthcare costs rising steadily. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. Apparel Firm Cuts Ties to China Internment Camp; Diamond’s Origin Now Displayed at Tiffany

A U.S. supplier of team gear to college bookstores says it has cut ties with a company in China that uses labor in an internment camp holding ethnic minorities, the Associated Press reports. Tiffany & Co. announced it has added the country or region of origin for its diamond engagement rings and some diamond jewelry, Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: ZeroChaos Rebrands as Workforce Logiq; GE GeniusLink Taps ODEM for Blockchain Tools

Global workforce management provider ZeroChaos has changed its name to Workforce Logiq, it said this week. The name is meant to highlight its IQ in the field and its focus on business intelligence as well as its AI-powered models used to manage the contingent workforce, an announcement said. GeniusLink, a part of GE's Global Operations organization that provides external experts and  crowd services to GE and external clients, will be partnering with Switzerland-based ODEM for its blockchain tools and technology. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Travel to China Means Assessing the Risks — Supply and Personal

Trade isn't the only contentious issue has with China these days. Travel to the country comes with an advisory statement that was reissued last week by the U.S. State Department. The warning doesn’t suggest that travelers not go to China, just that they be aware of the risks and “exercise increased caution.” So since plenty of procurement and supply chain professionals must travel to China to ensure smooth operations for their companies, let’s look at recent coverage of the issue from riskmethods and MetalMiner.

Afternoon Coffee: Sears to Consider Last-Gasp Bid at Auction Next Week; Elevate Acquires Flexible Lawyering Platform Halebury

On Tuesday, an attorney for Sears Holding Corp. told a bankruptcy judge that the $4.4 billion offer by ex-CEO Eddie Lampert will be considered next week as the retailer moves forward with an auction, The Wall Street Journal reports. And Elevate, an L.A.-based provider of legal consulting, technology and other services, announced its acquisition of UK-based Halebury. Founded in 2007, Halebury is what has become called a “lawyer on demand” provider, offering temporary lawyers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.