Monthly Archives: December 2011

Rising US steel prices, global demand trends and supply chain impact

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Dec 24, 2011) describes a 25 % rise in steel prices due to increased US demand from automakers and steel pipe demand for natural gas extraction. But as demand in China decreases, and … Continue reading

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The “hourglass economy”, WalMart and “fishing equipment” assortments

An interview with Stephen Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer at Walmart, in Fortune (Dec 26,2011) describes the “hourglass economy” in the US in 2011, with a decrease in the size of the middle class, lowered spending capability for the lower percentiles … Continue reading

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Ebooks, publishers and libraries – what is the coordinating contract ?

An article in the New York Times (Dec 25, 2011) describes worries by publishers reagrding ebooks sold to libraries. The ease of borrowing, and the absence of a return trip to the library for ebooks, makes the process frictionless and … Continue reading

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The impact of HR 2245 “Preserving Access to Life Saving Medications Act 2011”

Bill HR 2245 plans to require drug manufacturers to notify the Federal govt, 6 months in advance, of potential shortages. Shortages are defined as situations where the total supply is less than observed demand. The Federal govt is then required … Continue reading

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The global supply chain for Michael Kors and impact

An article in the New York Times (Dec 20, 2011) describes Michael Kors Holding, an apparel company that generates 95 % of its revenues in the US and Canada, makes its apparel in Asia, and is incorporated in the British … Continue reading

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Planning the impact of fog, snow and rain at UPS to prevent delivery delays

A Wall Street Journal article (Dec 23, 2011) describes the 120 million packages delivered by UPS in the week of Dec 25, with late shipments creating costs between $5 and $ 30. UPS claims that its monitoring of the weather … Continue reading

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Business Class seat comfort based airline competition and supply chain impact

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (Dec 19,2011) describes airline competition to attract business class passengers, who pay 3 to 10 times the economy fare, are 15 % of the seats but 50% of the flight revenue.Business class seats, with new features, … Continue reading

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Reverse Logistics – managing the US Army withdrawal from Iraq

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (Dec 19, 2011) describes the management of the ramp down in Iraq, with 2 million items to be accounted for removal. The choices (1) donate to Iraq,(2) ship back to the US Army for use, (3) … Continue reading

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The “internet of things” and supply chain impact

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Dec 18, 2011) describes the role of smart sensors and cameras using real time information to impact health care, energy and water conservation and transportation. A GE project uses cameras in hospital rooms … Continue reading

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Reducing design elements to improve supply chain performance at Lego

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (Dec 19,2011) describes Lego’s decision to outsource themeparks, sell the entertainment division and decrease the number of design elements available to designers from 12,900 to 7,000. The company describes each new element as creating both mold … Continue reading

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