General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: WSJ Says Apple’s Supply Chain Reeling from Cuts; Wonolo Raises $32 Million in Funding

Apple has thrown its supply chain for a loop by cutting production of its latest iPhone models, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the situation. On Monday, Apple and Facebook stocks were among tech companies losing share price, Bloomberg reports. And Wonolo, the online work platform that connects hourly workers with local temporary jobs/gigs, announced it has closed a $32 million Series C funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

A Potential Basware Takeover: Speculation Abounds

Earlier today, Basware, a Europe-based procure-to-pay provider that, through integrated partner capabilities, also offers broader source-to-pay solutions, responded to “media speculation” that it had received a takeover offer, resulting in a material run up in its share price. In a press announcement published Friday, Nov. 16, the vendor said it had been "approached with a non-binding and highly conditional indicative proposal for a possible tender offer for the entire share capital of Basware." The wording of the full release may provide some hints as to what kind of firm is considering an offer. But who the potential acquirer is perhaps matters less than what a Basware takeover could mean more broadly for the procurement technology market, in which Basware has made considerable gains within recent years.

Afternoon Coffee: Trump Optimistic on China Trade Talks, Companies Gird for No-Deal Brexit

President Donald Trump on Friday said he has a positive outlook about China’s recent list of trade issues that it’s willing to discuss, and the stock market responded favorably to the possibility of less volatile policies between the two countries, Bloomberg News reports. And as UK Prime Minister Theresa May tries to steer a shaky Brexit deal through Parliament and save her administration, companies are having to plan for the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without trade deals and provisions for logistics, the Wall Street Journal reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Brexit Deal Clears Hurdle But Could Sink PM,  Paramount WorkPlace Unveils Updates

UK Prime Minister Theresa May got her Cabinet’s approval for the Brexit deal worked out with the EU, but ensuing battles may undercut her administration’s hold on power as it seeks Parliament’s approval, The Wall Street Journal reports. And Paramount WorkPlace on Thursday announced the release of its latest software solutions for procurement, requisition and expense, according to a press release. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon’s Supply Chain Center Goes to Nashville, Brexit Deal a Tough Sell

Amazon’s HQ2 plan was split between two cities — but its plans also involve a third city, Nashville, which will get a Center of Excellence supply chain hub, Supply Chain Dive reports. And UK Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting with her Cabinet today to consider a Brexit deal reached this week with the European Union. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Confirms Final HQ2 Locations, California Wildfires Disrupt Supply Chains

Ending its more than yearlong process of searching for a second corporate headquarters, Amazon announced Wednesday it had officially selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the winners. The three active wildfires in California are disrupting logistics operations in the state, closing warehouses and blocking transit routes. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: SAP Buys Qualtrics for $8 Billion, UPS Freight Avoids Strike

German software giant SAP is buying Utah-based experience management company Qualtrics for $8 billion, the companies announced. Qualtrics’ software gives businesses insight into people by collecting information about the experiences and emotions of customers and employees, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. And Teamsters members voted for a contract offer from UPS Freight, averting a strike and clearing the way for service to resume this week, Supply Chain Dive reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: China’s Exports Hit $42.7 Billion, Amazon Tests Shipping Business

China sent $42.7 billion in exports to the U.S. in October, a 13.3% year-over-year increase, Supply Chain Dive says, citing reports on Chinese customs data. China's exports had increased at about 13% for September, and many credit the flood of goods to pressure from tariffs. Amazon’s pilot shipping program comes with severe discounts, which some see as the online retailer’s intention to take on competitors in the logistics supply chain, CNBC reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Commodities Roundup: Auto Sales, Construction Spending and China’s Rare Earth Output

Toyota supply chain

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. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: auto sales, copper prices, China's rare earth output and more.

Upwork Reports Q3 2018 Financial Results: Trends Continue, But Q4 Growth A Concern

Upwork Inc., ​the global online freelancer marketplace and enterprise solution company that had a successful IPO in early October, reported its third quarter 2018 financial results Wednesday. Spend Matters hasextensively covered Upwork in past years, and the Upwork Enterprise technology platform made a strong showing in our Q3 2018 SolutionMap for contingent workforce technology.

Since the company’s Q2 2018 and earlier financial results became known shortly before the IPO, it was not a surprise that Q3 results reflected a continuation of mostly positive trends. Q3 2018 gross services volume (GSV) increased by 27% over Q3 2017 to $449.5 million, putting the company on track to cross the $2 billion annualized run-rate Q4. Total Q3 2018 revenue increased by 23% period-over-period to $64.1 million.

There’s one possible surprise to investors: Upwork’s guidance on Q4 revenue indicates a range of $64.5 million to $66.0 million. The lower end of the range would imply essentially no growth in revenue Q4 over Q3, and the high end would imply only 3% growth (compared to 8% over the last two quarters). And the stock price saw a slide in early trading Thursday. For now, financial analysts and investors are trying to gauge and understand a complex, entirely new type of business that has a vision of destination but is still working out the route to get there.

Afternoon Coffee: Jaggaer’s 18.3 Release Updates B2B Shopping Features, Turvo Takes on Several Logistics Solutions

Jaggaer this week announced its release of 18.3 Puma, which provides several updates to the spend management suite's business shopping experience, according to a press release. New features, which will be live on Nov. 11, 2018, include user-based search recommendations; a new user interface that offers "two-click-and-a-buy" capability; and integration of punch-out pricing directly into search results. Logistics software startup Turvo has plans to do what other providers in this space haven’t tackled — connect wide swaths of the logistics supply chain, from transportation management to freight booking, payments, tracking and communications, The Wall Street Journal writes. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news about procurement and supply chains.

Dun & Bradstreet Compliance and Procurement Report Indicates Lower Concern For Regulatory Risks, Growing Confidence in Execution


Fewer compliance and procurement professionals believe that existing regulation has increased the risk to their business and more of them had greater confidence about the implementation of compliance and procurement procedures through year’s end, according a recent Dun & Bradstreet report that updates one released over the summer. Even as the U.S. implemented several new tariffs and the UK continued to grapple with an EU exit strategy, perceived risk fell as the scope and content of the trade-related actions became clearer. That number declined 13 points to 52% for the October 2018 sentiment report.