Partnerships that formed in the first half of 2021 reveal the strategic direction of various supply markets, in addition to the suppliers and companies that compete in those markets. Here are selected announcements made in the first half of 2021 that are of interest, signal upcoming/ongoing trends, and/or announce new products and services.
Location Intelligence, Location Intelligence, Location Intelligence
We will continue to see an increase in activity around location intelligence. Of 500 executives surveyed by BCG in the US, UK, and Singapore, 95% responded that mapping and geospatial data “are important in achieving desired business results today, and 91% indicated it will be even more essential in three to five years.” According to the survey, companies are using location intelligence for “network and supply chain optimization to improve operations efficiency and reduce costs.” This is seen strongly in retail and e-commerce (60%), logistics and delivery (56%), and financial services (49%).
Feb, 2021 – Saybrook, an investment firm focusing on logistics operations and Geospatial Intelligence, has partnered with Esri to push forward technology innovation based on Esri’s ArcGIS. The goals of this partnership are to 1) drive industry-wide transparency, standardization, and advanced analytics across all channels of a connected digital network, 2) provide a standardized platform for developers to launch innovative solutions to supply chain challenges, and 3) promote location intelligence as the key to unlocking data inconsistency and reducing systemic bottlenecks. Explore the entire Esri partner network here.
April 2021 – HERE Marketplace has added CustomWeather data for industries to build location-aware, weather-intelligent applications. The Marketplace provides software developers access to sets of weather and climate data. “Weather conditions and environmental data are increasingly used by automakers, in transportation and logistics, and across supply chains to improve operations, driver safety and end-customer satisfaction.” HERE Technologies has built a global ecosystem of partners from around the world to enrich their solutions with location intelligence.
Is A New Trend in the Supply Chain Technology Market Emerging?
April 2021 – Panasonic and Blue Yonder, a US-based supply chain software company, formed a strategic partnership in January 2019. Recently, Panasonic Corp announced it will buy, in its biggest acquisition in a decade, Blue Yonder, “to tap growing demand from companies as the COVID pandemic tests their resilience to disruption.” Panasonic recognizes “the need for more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.” This is an important announcement and could very well signal a new trend in supply chain-related technology purchasing. Commenting on the acquisition, Jason Busch astutely asks: “Will we see big corporates, trading companies and others becoming strategic buyers of procurement, supply chain, risk management and other technology firms? For those following Panasonic, a move like this is in line with their M&A strategy as they have been moving forward as a tech innovation company and have been “looking to increase [their] presence in disruptive technology, including the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, data, and predictive analytics.”
May 2021 – Nokia is following along the same path perhaps, with the launch of a blockchain-powered Data Marketplace. According to the announcement, the Marketplace “ensures trusted data exchange and authorization mechanisms,” allowing for a wide range of vertical use cases, “including electric vehicle charging, environmental data monetization, supply-chain automation and preventative maintenance powering numerous vertical segments, including transportation, ports, energy, smart cities and healthcare.” For example, oil and gas organizations can connect with third party partners for supply chain visibility and aviation and automotive OEMS and can use for predictive maintenance.
Supplier Data and Discovery Market Continues to Expand and Evolve
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shed a bright light on the critical need for ensuring supplier reliability and reducing chances of risk in the supply chain. This has created, and continues to create, a great deal of activity in the supplier intelligence market.
May 2021 – Active supplier data provider Tealbook and partner-friendly EcoVadis, a business sustainability ratings provider, announced a new partnership. “The integration will allow EcoVadis’ supplier sustainability ratings to be displayed on Tealbook’s supplier profiles. This will enable their joint customers to leverage all supplier information on one holistic profile, adding another dimension to Tealbook’s sustainable supplier certifications.”
April 2021 – Business spend management and revenue management software and services provider Corcentric, announced a strategic partnership with market intelligence and supplier risk information provider, Beroe. “The integration of Beroe Know Your Supplier (KYS) with the Corcentric Platform offers Corcentric customers an essential and unique opportunity to easily link supplier profiles with leading third-party risk data providers by removing the need to strike individual agreements. Beroe’s KYS provides Corcentric Supplier Management customers information from the leading providers of supplier risk data including financial, reputational, sustainability, and cyber risk information.”
March 2021 – Suplari announced that it is integrating RapidRating’s Financial Health Ratings into Suplari’s Spend Intelligence Cloud. “Procurement, sourcing, supply chain risk, and finance professionals who manage spend from thousands of direct and indirect suppliers using Suplari’s spend analytics and insights platform can now view and get notified about a supplier’s degrading or improving financial position ahead of time, and take timely actions to mitigate supply risk, ensure business continuity, and build deeper relationships with suppliers.”
May 2021 – Achilles Information, a supply chain risk and performance management provider, is partnering with Orpheus Cyber, a provider of cyber risk ratings and threat intelligence services and a UK Government accredited cyber threat intelligence company. “In partnership with Orpheus, Achilles will provide cyber risk ratings on suppliers and share these ratings with buyer and supplier members of Achilles networks.”
March 2021 – Exiger, a supply chain and third-party risk management solutions provider, is partnering with cybersecurity ratings provider SecurityScorecard. The partnership will support Exiger’s efforts to secure supply chains across the defense industrial base, the health care sector and other critical infrastructure sectors.
March 2021 – Public Spend Forum (PSF) announced a partnership with the Shatter Fund, a fund exclusively focused on investing in high potential disruptive technology companies led by female entrepreneurs. “This partnership furthers PSF’s mission to create Open Government Markets by lowering the barriers to entry for emerging and innovative companies while making it easier for government to find innovative companies…As part of the partnership, PSF will deploy GovShop, its AI-enabled government to industry matching platform, to identify emerging women-led tech companies who have the potential to support critical public missions including those in the defense and national security sectors.”
March 2021 – InQuartik Corporation, an Intellectual Property intelligence provider, and SkyMinder, a Business Information platform powered by CRIF, that provides access to credit and financial data on companies all over the world, have partnered. Users can gain in-depth insights into the patents of companies worldwide via the SkyMinder Patent Due Diligence Report. “InQuartik’s advanced algorithms will analyze, select, and present the up-to-date patent asset status and accurate evaluation of the firm’s patents from WIPO, EPO, and key Patent Offices of US, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, and many others…Patents are the most important and effective intangible assets to use when evaluating and auditing companies.”
March 2021 – Thomas announced that it will provide industrial sourcing data, trends, and insights from the Thomasnet.com platform to Bloomberg clients as part of an Alternative Data catalog on the Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point. Thomasnet.com is a standard resource used for evaluating and selecting North American manufacturers and suppliers of mechanical and electrical components, custom manufacturing service providers, PPE providers, private label manufacturers, and machinery and equipment manufacturers.
March 2021 – Dun & Bradstreet is launching the D&B Data Marketplace, which is a virtual marketplace that connects users with prescreened alternative data sets that complement the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. The marketplace is in beta and data partners are continuously being added. Examples of current partner offerings include Emolument (salary and wage data), US Construction Monitor (construction permits and projects), CSRHub (ESG business intelligence), and IHS Markit (commercial fleet data), to name a few.
April 2021 – RapidRatings(RR) and Trust Your Supplier announced a supplier profile integration with RR’s FHR Network—a secure membership platform that gives private company suppliers the ability to share their financial health rating and build more meaningful relationships with global business partners. More coverage here.
Labor and Workforce: An Increasingly Challenging Area of Spend
The biggest cost of doing business often involves labor costs, which can account for 70% of total business costs. For contingent workers, finding the best workers at the right price, often when time is an issue, can be challenging. Spending by US companies on temporary staffing is predicted to grow this year. “Temporary staffing revenue will rise by 11% this year to a total of $134.7 billion — surpassing the pre-pandemic level in 2019.”
May 2021 – PRO Unlimited, a workforce management solutions provider, announced the launch of its new Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. “Available for over 160 markets worldwide, PRO’s DaaS solution provides organizations with comprehensive hiring intelligence.” Providing the foundation, PRO integrates multiple sources, including third-party partners and market data firms such as Burning Glass and Emsi. Other sources include its database of anonymous first-party data, PeopleTicker rate data, validated public data, and a large supplier network.
February 2021 – Beeline, a software solutions provider for sourcing and managing the extended workforce, announced a deepening of its relationship with strategic partner Brightfield, a contract labor supply management software platform, to co-develop and launch SmartBuyer. SmartBuyer is “the first AI-enabled, embedded solution to tackle the challenge of over spending caused by ineffective job descriptions and uninformed buying behavior.”
April 2021 – The new SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator debuted, which measures hours worked and “extends market knowledge with near real-time trends in temporary staffing,” It comprises two sets of analyses: a year-over-year comparison showing how the most recent week compared to the same week 12 months previously and an indexed value which has been benchmarked against data from the week ending Jan. 19, 2019. Bullhorn is a cloud computing company that helps staffing and recruiting organizations transform their businesses, and Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) is a global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions.
Interesting Partnerships that Developed in the Areas of Logistics, Construction, Plastics, and Chemicals
May 2021 – Upply, a road transport digital marketplace for supply chain professionals, and world road transport organization, IRU, have partnered to provide its members with pricing information “to help them make the best possible business decisions.” Upply’s data on road transport prices will be made available to IRU members via its online Intelligence Platform service. “IRU’s Intelligence Platform brings together real-time regulatory and operational information for journey planning, with insights on key industry trends for longer-term strategic planning.”
May 2021 – Spire Global, a space-based Earth data analytics company, and TAC Index Limited, a specialist publisher of air cargo data for both industry users and the financial markets, jointly announced a strategic partnership to support the launch of TAC Space. “TAC Space will offer insights built from live tracking of global air cargo supply coupled with market data, to create a unique series of data sets…TAC Space can be leveraged alongside the current TAC Index product suite, including an air cargo pricing index product which tracks market demand.”
June 2021 – GEODIS provides expertise in supply chain optimization, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution & express and road transport, and has joined the Trust Your Supplier (TYS) network. “By joining TYS, GEODIS will have access to a single, aggregated view of complete supplier–provided details presented alongside authoritative third–party information. GEODIS’ suppliers will benefit by eliminating manual repetitive process, experiencing an acceleration of qualification & onboarding processes, and gain the potential for new business opportunities.”
May 2021 – The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ have launched Plastic IQ, a digital tool to help U.S. companies develop effective plastic packaging waste reduction strategies. “Created with support from Walmart, Plastic IQ is a forward-looking, data-based planning tool that is aligned with industry best practices. The tool allows companies to prioritize actions to address plastic packaging waste, meet their sustainability goals, and ultimately accelerate progress toward a circular economy.” Plastic IQ is open access.
May 2021 – Gardner Business Media and media brands Plastics Technology, MoldMaking Technology, and Additive Manufacturing are launching a new trade show for the North American plastics processing market next year. The Plastics Technology Expo (PTXPO) will debut in March, 2022 in Rosemont, lllinois. The show is in response to a need expressed by processors, moldmakers and suppliers alike.
April 2021 – Dodge Data & Analytics and The Blue Book Building & Construction Network announced that they are combining their businesses in a merger.” The combination will result in the Dodge | Blue Book Construction Industry Database, containing more than 10 billion data elements and comprising the most complete, up-to-date and accurate information about projects, people, firms and products in the industry.”
March 2021 – ConstructConnect, a provider of construction data, network, and technology solutions, announced the launch of its new U.S. Construction Put-In-Place Forecast service, offered in partnership with Oxford Economics. The service “provides unparalleled visibility of U.S. public and private construction spending across all 50 states, as well as more than 400 cities and 3,000 counties—offering critical market intelligence on the myriad ways in which pandemic-induced structural shifts in economic activity and consumer behavior will impact construction markets looking ahead.”
May 2021 – BluePallet, a digital marketplace built with the support of The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) is an exclusive strategic partner of the NACD through 2024 and aims to “change the way chemical producers, distributors and end users connect with each other…BluePallet charges a monthly fee per connection, compared to the traditional market model of charging a fee on each transaction.”