Sourcing and Categories Content

Commodities Roundup: Steel Prices, Sustainable Mining and U.S.-China Tariffs

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. We scour the landscape for what matters — from price movements to policy decisions. This week: Domestic steel price weakness, sustainable mining, and U.S-China trade tariffs and talks fallout.

Commodities Roundup: Climate Change, Auto Sales and the Platinum-Palladium Spread

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. This week: Climate change and innovation, Auto Sales, and the Platinum-Palladium Spread.

Visibility is Key to Managing CSR Risks in Indirect Spend, EcoVadis Says (Part 3)

Indirect spend often gets overlooked by businesses because the outcomes from buying those goods and services are not the company’s core product, which relies on direct spend. But the potential for lost money and increased risk is so great that businesses must find a way to manage indirect spend.

“The broad reach of indirect spend, coupled with a lack of visibility creates risk, so the key to gaining visibility and managing this risk is to prioritize indirect spend management within an organization and start assessing indirect supplier performance in a formalized way,” said EcoVadis, a risk mitigation provider that offers business sustainability ratings and intelligence.

EcoVadis joined us for a Q&A to explore the next steps to figure out how to identify weak points, prioritize areas to defend against and create a plan for mitigating risks.

Upwork’s Q1 Financial Results Are In — As Growth Continues

Upwork, a global online freelancer marketplace and managed services solution, on Wednesday announced its Q1 2019 financial results, which reflected continuing double-digit topline growth. Upwork’s shares on Thursday were trading early at $18.80, down from Wednesday’s high of $20.90. Upwork reported a gross services value of $487 million for the first quarter, up 21% period over period (Q1 2018). The company posted $68.9 million in revenue for an increase of 16% over Q1 2019 (and fitting nicely into last quarter’s guidance range).

Globality Uses AI to Transform Complex Services Sourcing

The sprawling, and often poorly managed, domain of services spend in procurement has not been fully solved by the digital transformation, but as companies adopt technologies to support their efforts, they are discovering the great potential that technology can unlock.

Managing services spend requires assisting the many stakeholders who are sourcing for a variety of needs. To help support all of those sourcing processes, procurement professionals need a robust technology like artificial intelligence (AI), which offers unprecedented capabilities and potential to streamline the process and improve the vendor match. To shed light on that topic, we talked to Globality, a solutions provider with an AI-based procurement platform that helps clients around the world source services.

“Digital sourcing reduces time and improves the quality of the process,” says Yuval Atsmon, Globality’s Chief Customer Officer.

In this Q&A, Atsmon explains the value of bringing AI to B2B sourcing and how Globality uses AI to deliver results that save global clients and service providers time and money.

Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago: Next Procurement Megavendor Steps Out of the Shadows

After attending Ivalua NOW 2019 in Chicago this week, the conference solidified in my curmudgeonly mind that Ivalua will be the next break-out vendor, following on the heels of SAP Ariba and Coupa (on a software/SaaS revenue basis, at least).

Ivalua is like the tortoise in the race with the hare, but in this case, the tortoise has been putting on roller-skates and building a jet pack into its upgraded shell (161 upgrades to be exact). And the firm’s stats prove the point.

Commodities Roundup: Steel Production, Ocean Freight Rates, Section 301, Truck Maker Talks Tariffs

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. We scour the landscape for what matters, from price movements to policy decisions. This week: Steel Production, Ocean Freight Rates, Section 301, and a Podcast: Truck Maker Talks Tariffs.

Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago: ‘We have this ambitious vision,’ CEO says of new release, roadmap

Ivalua CEO David Khuat-Duy on Tuesday kicked off the procurement solution provider’s customer event, Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago, with an eye toward maintaining its dedication to serving customers, discussing its latest release and shedding light on its plans for the future.

“We have this long-term strategy of building a very big company with a fantastic product that we can offer to the market. And this is our vision,” Khuat-Duy said. “We don't have a short-term vision, like exiting or doing something different. We have this ambitious vision.”

Using AI to Extend Digital Transformation to Services Procurement

Every time you shop at a favorite retailer’s online store or use an app to bank, you’re benefitting from the digital transformation of B2C services.

In the B2B environment, digital transformation of services is also taking place but at a slower pace. And in B2B for procurement, the shift is even slower, most often being used to automate processes and uncover potential cost-savings.

As discussed in The Digital Transformation of Services Sourcing: What It Is and Why It Matters, part 1 of this series, procurement departments will need purpose-fit technology to manage the vast areas of services spend. Procurement won’t necessarily do the hiring of services. That role will likely continue to rest with the stakeholders who need a marketing team or extra legal services. Since procurement departments may not be able to centralize the decision-making over services spend, they need another way to manage each stakeholder’s sourcing process — and the answer is artificial intelligence (AI). Read on to find out how AI is changing services spend.

Shifting to Digitization from Manual Sourcing Processes Isn’t Easy — Unless You Use Bonfire

For procurement project managers looking to overcome manual processes and engage stakeholders, digitizing your sourcing workflows can be a mammoth task.

It’s more than just using digital files like PDFs, Excel spreadsheets and email. Although they are a step in the right direction, those tools are not true digitization. Digitization is really about making a workflow that’s easier for people to use while saving time and money. It involves putting all the documents in a central, accessible source and making the whole process more collaborative with people across your company and with vendors.

Bonfire, a cloud-based provider of strategic sourcing and contract and performance management, knows your pain because it has already solved those problems.

Healthcare Supply Chain Has Its Own Needs, Challenges: An Insider’s View

locum tenens

With companies like Amazon and Walmart trying to break into the healthcare supply chain sector, it’s curious why they haven’t made great strides. It turns out that what works in many supply chains doesn’t automatically translate to the healthcare provider supply chain.

Mike DeLuca, executive vice president of operations at Prodigo Solutions, learned that lesson well from his work at UPMC, a $19 billion healthcare provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh and his current experience serving the technology needs of some of largest healthcare provider organizations in the country that are Prodigo’s clients. DeLuca was able to juxtapose the experiences after working in supply chain for Motorola and Alcoa.

“I naively thought supply chain was supply chain,” DeLuca said, “but what I learned over time is that’s not the case in healthcare.”

Commodities Roundup: Tesla-Panasonic Partnership Cools, Indian Steel Exports to U.S. Fall, Oil Market Primed for Growing Deficit

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. This week: Tesla-Panasonic Cooling, Indian Steel to U.S. Falls, Oil Market