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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

The May ISM-New York Report on Business: The Rebound Begins

The May ISM-New York Report on Business was released on June 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here: pdf2020_ISM-New_York_May_ROB_v02.pdf. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The April ISM-New York Report on Business: Searching for the Bottom

The April ISM-New York Report on Business was released on May 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download pdfhere. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The March ISM-New York Report on Business: Contagion

The March ISM-New York Report on Business was released on April 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here pdf2020_ISM-NewYork_March_ROB_v01.pdf. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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Procurement Industry Event Updates

The whole world is trying to figure out how to respond to the coronavirus threat. As a result, we're starting to hear news of procurement industry event cancellations. We will track news of them in this post, making updates as the news comes in.

Many of the events listed below are going 'virtual', so click on the link for each event to read their official announcement.

If you are running an event or hear word of a cancellation that is not listed here, please contact me here.

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The February ISM-New York Report on Business: Short Term Upturn

The February ISM-New York Report on Business was released on March 3rd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download pdfhere. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

In February, New York City purchasing managers reported improved Current Business Conditions, Current Revenues, and prices paid.

Current Business Conditions rose for the second month in a row, reaching a 10-month high of 51.9 in February, up from 45.8 in January. 

The Six-Month Outlook fell for the second consecutive month, reaching 53.8 in February, down from the 3-month low of 57.3 reported in January. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

Employment, a seasonally adjusted index, fell for the second month in a row, coming in below the breakeven point at 49.3, down 6.8 points from the 56.1 reported in January. 

Quantity of Purchases continued to edge downward, reaching a 5-month low of 41.7 in February, down from 43.1 in January. 

Top line and forward revenue guidance moved in opposite directions for the fourth consecutive month. Current Revenues was the biggest mover in February, rising 16.9 points to reach a 9-month high of 58.3, up from a 4-month low of 41.4 in January. Expected Revenues fell to 50.0, the same level reported in December, after a 1-month increase to 64.3 in January.

Prices Paid fell to a 29 month low of 54.2 in February (referencing 52.3 in September of 2017). This index fell 13.9 points from January's 4-month high finding of 68.1.

Further Consideration

“Of all the factors increasing uncertainty, I think the coronavirus outbreak has the greatest potential to negatively impact global business conditions in February. The US stock market dropped in response to the virus’ spread on January 27th, but rebounded midweek as corporations reported strong earnings. As the virus spreads and manufacturing and travel are further impacted, there is no telling what the full fallout will be, or when it will end.” – Commentary on the January ISM-New York Report on Business

I wrote that comment about the risk of the coronavirus and its impact on supply chains one month ago, so you can appreciate my apprehension when I received the file of February survey responses. And yet, I see this month’s report as an indication of quiet confidence. Sure, concerns remain about the spread of the virus and how it will affect business performance as far out as the Holiday shopping season, but it is not time to panic yet.

In another risk-averse measure of business confidence, the DOW set a single-day point record on Monday, rebounding after a down week to gain over 1,290 points. Your personal explanation of that may depend on your point of view, but the markets hate uncertainty. In fact, at this point, the greatest danger may be from the overreaction itself. Medical masks, widely derided as ineffective in the face of the coronavirus threat, are now running short in places where they are both needed and effective. That is a self-imposed hurdle.

New York Metro purchasing managers took an interesting turn this month. The long-term view represented by the Six-Month Outlook and Expected Revenues has been outpacing Current Business Conditions and Current Revenues for months and months. Not in February. This month the longer-term uncertainty caused everyone to see conditions for what they are – pretty darn good, considering.

Remember to check back in with me on Thursday, April 2nd for the release of the March ISM-New York Report on Business. 

The 2020 Report Release Schedule is as follows:

January 3

February 4

March 3

April 2

May 4

June 2

July 2

August 4

September 2

October 2

November 3

December 2

About the ISM-New York Report on Business

Like ISM’s national report, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month. 

A note specific to the New York Metro area, where all of this report’s respondants are located: they are predominantly in professional services industries. It is important to keep this in mind when we think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

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The January ISM-New York Report on Business: Current Conditions Still Underwater

The January ISM-New York Report on Business was released on February 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here: pdf2020_ISM-NewYork_January_ROB_v02.pdf. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

In January, New York City purchasing managers reported Current Business Conditions that - while improved - still failed to reach the breakeven point.

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Economic Update: The Q4 2019 Freight Payment Index

If you’ve been a long time follower and reader of the Buyers Meeting Point blog, you know that economics is a key part of the coverage we provide. As the Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business, I have the responsibility for taking the monthly surveys completed by purchasing managers in the New York Metro area and interpreting them, looking for insights and trends on demand for professional services. This report, along with the other regional and the national ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing reports, are often based on data collected for one purpose and then leveraged for another.

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The December ISM-New York Report on Business: Happy new year?

The December ISM-New York Report on Business was released on January 3rd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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Let there be peace on earth...

…and let it begin with me.

I don’t know if you’ve seen (or remember) the Christmas commercial Microsoft made a few years ago. I get chills every single time I watch it. I’ll put the YouTube version below (click through to watch it on YouTube) – it is well worth 2 minutes of your time and MUST be watched with audio to get the full effect. Make sure you continue watching until the very end or you’ll miss the best part.

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The November ISM-New York Report on Business: Continued Small, Steady Moves

The November ISM-New York Report on Business was released on December 3rd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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Plenty to be Grateful For

I love my job. And it is a good thing, because this is the kind of job where you don’t really get to have hobbies (unless laundry counts as a hobby).

As my kids are getting older, they’re asking more detailed questions about the things they hear and see on tv. This past weekend, one of them asked me what “layoffs” are. After I explained, they wanted to know if my husband or I had ever been laid off. They were SHOCKED to learn that I was laid off once… almost… and that it led to my career in procurement. My daughter’s reaction captured it all, “Procurement? You love procurement! That’s AMAZING!”

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The October ISM-New York Report on Business: Baby Steps in the Right Direction

The October ISM-New York Report on Business was released on November 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The September ISM-New York Report on Business: Proceed with Caution

The September ISM-New York Report on Business was released on October 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The August ISM-New York Report on Business: More Up Than Down

The August ISM-New York Report on Business was released on September 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The July ISM-New York Report on Business: One Month at a Time

The July ISM-New York Report on Business was released on August 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The June ISM-New York Report on Business: Not Since 2009

The June ISM-New York Report on Business was released on July 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information on the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The May ISM-New York Report on Business: Nevermind…

The May ISM-New York Report on Business was released on June 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information on the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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The April ISM-New York Report on Business: Lofty Long-term Expectations

The April ISM-New York Report on Business was released on May 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information on the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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When procurement looks in the mirror, what do we see?

Sometimes a post on social media connects with people such that it takes on a life of its own. That happened this week in the wake of the Ivalua NOW event in Paris.

Philip Ideson shared a picture of Duncan Jones from Forrester Research sharing a striking statistic about procurement’s self-assessed v. actual maturity. You can see the image above, but here are the raw numbers:

  • Procurement organizations who self-assess as at the beginning of their maturity curve: 4%
  • Procurement organizations who are actually at the beginning of their maturity curve: 60%
  • Procurement organizations who self-assess as advanced: 65%
  • Procurement organizations who are actually advanced: 16%

While it is fair to ask questions about the Forrester methodology and maturity framework that might explain away some of the discrepancy, the fact remains that procurement’s perception of our own maturity is significantly skewed from reality. As a profession, we are significantly overestimating our organizational maturity by a huge margin.

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The March ISM-New York Report on Business: Reversing Course

The March ISM-New York Report on Business was released on April 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information on the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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