General News Content

Afternoon Coffee: U.S., China to resume trade talks; Solar power projects at historic high

The deputy trade negotiators for the U.S. and China will re-start talks on Thursday for the first time in about two months to find a solution on the protracted trade war. C.H. Robinson said it will invest $1 billion in technology over the next five years on its path to becoming a leader in the third-party logistics industry. And according to a new report, the U.S. solar industry now has the largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in history. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: ASCM issues 1st sustainability certification; Jason Busch covers Digital Procurement World; Spend Matters launches Future 5

Today’s Afternoon Coffee brings you a slew of can’t-miss procurement and supply chain news, happenings and announcements, from Amsterdam, San Francisco and Brazil (by way of Las Vegas). Buckle up!

Afternoon Coffee: SolutionMap updates quarterly rankings; new Deloitte-ASCM digital tool; Cargill expanding in China

For this quarter, Spend Matters has updated its SolutionMap rankings of 56 procurement software providers. In other news, Deloitte and ASCM teamed up on a project to help businesses digitally transform, releasing the Digital Capabilities Model for Supply Networks. Also, agribusiness giant Cargill is expanding in China. And U.S. factory production rises for August, but the U.S.-China trade war has dragged it down over the last 12 months, the AP reports. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Drone attacks on Saudi send oil prices surging; OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy; Crisp exits stealth mode

The drone attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil plant has shut 5% of global crude output and led to a 19% jump in oil prices, the biggest surge in oil prices since the 1991 Gulf War, Reuters reports. The pharma company that made millions from selling prescription painkiller OxyContin says it is bankrupt. Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy late Sunday, after reaching a tentative settlement with many state and local governments that are suing it over the toll of opioids, reports NBC. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Mastercard Track bolsters P2P muscle by adding payments features; Upwork, Workforce Logiq do a gig together

Spend Matters reported today that Mastercard Track has added payments tools, with a product called Business Payment Service, to its offering, with which it intends to penetrate the procure-to-pay space even further. Old Navy, soon to be newly free from the Gap, its parent, has just announced some new #squadgoals. Upwork, the largest global freelancing platform in terms of spend, and Workforce Logiq, a leading workforce management solution company, have announced an exclusive partnership that will create a new channel for enterprises to access online freelance talent. And trucking companies fear the new California gig economy law will lead to a hike in shipping costs besides upending operations in the state. Afternoon Coffee: your happy-Friday source for procurement and supply chain news.

Mastercard Track adds payment features in bid to disrupt B2B market


Mastercard is ramping up its effort to be a player in the B2B payments market by adding payment tools for Mastercard Track, its product launched in 2018 that intends to make inroads into the procure-to-pay technology space.

This week, Mastercard Track announced in a press release that it has added the product Business Payment Service, describing it as “a single connection bringing together multiple payment types, greater control and richer data to optimize B2B transactions for both suppliers and buyers.”

Automation of accounts payable and facilitating payments are hot topics in P2P, and Spend Matters’ analysts have been covering the issues with our PRO subscription series defining AP automation and an in-depth look at Mastercard Track, introducing its capabilities and analyzing its potential to disrupt the market.

Afternoon Coffee: DHL Supply Chain partners with Convoy; Blackstone to invest in warehousing in India

Contract logistics giant DHL Supply Chain has linked up with truck load-matching platform Convoy to access carriers and rates. A new fracking technology powered by natural gas instead of costly diesel is a way shale producers are cutting costs to improve their returns. And the Blackstone Group is in active talks to invest $209 million in a venture with Allcargo Logistics Ltd. to build warehouses in India, trying to take advantage of the e-commerce warehousing boom. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: California bill to make companies treat gig workers as employees; Annual metals forecast outlook report out now; Peter Smith publishes another book!

California’s State Senate passed a bill that mandates companies such as Uber and Lyft begin treating their workers as employees, the New York Times reports. Spend Matters sister site MetalMiner just launched two landmark resources for a key segment of direct materials buyers. And our friend and former colleague Peter Smith, until this year the managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, is celebrating his latest book release — called “A Procurement Compendium.” Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: AI-powered AppZen raises $50 million; Beeline and TalentNet hook up; Uber Freight HQ settles in Chicago

AI-based finance solution provider AppZen has raised $50 million from investors, and TechCrunch reports a jump in valuation. Beeline, the world's largest independent provider of solutions for sourcing and managing contingent labor, announced its partnership with TalentNet, a talent acquisition and curation platform that leverages clients' brands to build private talent pools of readily available workers. And LevaData and Resilinc announced their own global partnership to co-develop innovative solutions to mitigate supply chain risk. Afternoon Coffee: bringing you a Super Tuesday of procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Tariffs impacting U.S. Amazon sellers more than Chinese counterparts; UPS adding value to its supply chain

The U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods have impacted both U.S. and China-based Amazon vendors, but U.S. sellers are taking a bigger hit to their sales. UPS has converted four of its major U.S. international air freight gateways into foreign trade zones, in a move to mitigate risk and promote savings. And China Labor Watch comes down on Apple Inc and Foxconn for alleged labor violations. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

How AI in healthcare supply chain management (SCM) can cut costs


Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the healthcare industry in monumental ways. Far from having computers make decisions about diagnosis or treatment options, however, many advancements on the horizon deal with the more mundane aspects of managing healthcare facilities and professionals that impact one of the biggest challenges in modern medicine — cost control.

Syft, a provider of healthcare-focused solutions that changed its name this year from Management Health Solutions, researched the potential benefits of modernizing healthcare supply chain management (SCM) in its recent report.

Afternoon Coffee: ‘Modest’ job growth; Everest sees expanding RPO market; Peloton has logistics problem, lessons

Jobs numbers came out today, and The Wall Street Journal characterized the addition of jobs as modest. In another story, Everest Group reports that the use of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is growing. Afternoon Coffee is also seeing that Peloton has logistics problems, supply chain transparency is on the rise, and more robotic baristas are coming.