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Global food supply chains are caught in a honey trap
December 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Wendell Steavenson YESTERDAY

Our willingness to pay more for premium is causing counterfeit products to proliferate
blockchain  counterfeits  food  fraud  honey  honeybees  regulators  supply_chains 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
Consciously decoupling the US economy
December 1 , 2019 | Financial Times | Rana Foroohar.

The US is economically decoupling from the rest of the world.....Europe is being pulled into China’s technology orbit via the 5G standards and technologies that make up part of the Belt and Road Initiative......one of the most important things the US could do right now to ensure both national security and its own position in the 21st-century digital economy would be to work with allies on transatlantic standards for emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence and so on....... decoupling is no longer a fringe idea......the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is now admitting that we are in a more fragmented world — one that won’t reset to the 1990s — and advocating what amounts to a US industrial policy--- a major shift in thinking. Deglobalisation, the idea of the US and China decoupling economically, is now mainstream.....heightened awareness of the relationship between national security and technology........it is becoming a given that the US needs a more coherent national economic strategy in a world in which state capitalism is in the ascendant. The question is how to get there. And that’s where the internal contradictions in America’s laissez-faire, free-market system start to become a problem......what role should government play?........What should the private sector expect from government and what should they be willing to do in exchange (e.g. Will FAANG repatriate profits to the U.S.? Will Silicon Valley and Wall Street volunteer to retrain the millions of underemployed millennials? How can we move from 40 years of supply-side thinking that has benefited multinational companies, towards something that better supports local economies and workers? ...if America is going to compete with a state-run economy like China in the digital era — one that seems to support a winner-takes-all dynamic — we are going to need bigger, public-sector directed shifts.
5G  adversaries  CFR  China  China_rising  decoupling  deglobalization  digital_economy  industrial_policies  military-industrial_complex  multinationals  new_tech_Cold_War  One_Belt_One_Road  public_sector  Rana_Foroohar  security_&_intelligence  state_capitalism  supply_chains  tariffs  technical_standards  technology  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | The World-Shaking News That You’re Missing
Nov. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

** “Has China Won? by  Kishore Mahbubani

A new wall — a digital Berlin Wall — had begun to be erected between China and America. And the only thing left to be determined, a Chinese business executive remarked to me, “is how high this wall will be,” and which countries will choose to be on which side.

This new wall, separating a U.S.-led technology and trade zone from a Chinese-led one, will have implications as vast as the wall bisecting Berlin did. Because the peace, prosperity and accelerations in technology and globalization that have so benefited the world over the past 40 years were due, in part, to the interweaving of the U.S. and Chinese economies.

The messy, ad hoc decoupling of these two economies, driven by miscalculations by leaders on both sides, will surely disrupt those trends and the costs could be huge. We might want to talk about that.

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gave a speech here a year ago trying to kick-start that discussion. “For 40 years,” Paulson noted, “the U.S.-China relationship has been characterized by the integration of four things: goods, capital, technology and people. And over these 40 years, economic integration between the two countries was supposed to mitigate security competition. But an intellectually honest appraisal must now admit both that this hasn’t happened and that the reverse is taking place.” That reversal is happening for two reasons. First, because the U.S. is — rightly — no longer willing to accept China’s unfair trade practices. Second, because, now that China is a technology powerhouse — and technological products all have both economic and military applications........“after 40 years of integration, a surprising number of political and thought leaders on both sides advocate policies that could forcibly de-integrate the two countries across all four of these baskets.” the digital Berlin Wall took a big step up on May 17, when Trump blacklisted China’s Huawei.......Lots of Chinese tech companies are now thinking: We will never, ever, ever leave ourselves again in a situation where we are totally dependent on America for key components. Time to double down on making our own......similarly, U.S. manufacturers are thinking twice about building their next factory in China or solely depending on a supply chain from there.....this is the sound of two giant economies starting to decouple.....the State Department has been restricting visas for Chinese graduate students studying in sensitive fields — like aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing ....
What to do?
Friedman is worried that by imposing more and more export and visa controls we will be cutting ourselves off from the access we need to the global investment pools, customers and collaborative scientists and engineers to maintain our technological lead.

I still believe that the most open systems win — they get all the signals of change first, they attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers/innovators and they enrich and are enriched by the most global flows of talent, ideas and capital. That used to be us.....

China is our economic competitor, economic partner, source of talent and capital, geopolitical rival, collaborator and serial rule-breaker. It is not our enemy or our friend.

The only effective way to manage a relationship this complex is:
1) with an all-of-government approach. You can’t have the Justice Department doing one thing, the Pentagon another, the Treasury another, the trade negotiators another, the State Department another and the president tweeting another. And
2), we need as many Pacific and European allies as possible so it’s “The Whole World Versus China”
blacklists  books  China  China_rising  co-ordinated_approaches  decoupling  Donald_Trump  dual-use  economic_disengagement  economic_integration  espionage  future  Hank_Paulson  Huawei  miscalculations  new_tech_Cold_War  open_borders  security_&_intelligence  seismic_shifts  self-sufficiency  signals  students  supply_chains  technology  Tom_Friedman  undermining_of_trust  U.S.-China_relations  visa_students  walled_gardens  Xi_Jinping 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
US navy secretary warns of ‘fragile’ supply chain
November 4, 2019 | Financial Times | by Peter Spiegel and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York.

Richard Spencer says America is at risk of relying on China and Russia for critical warship components.....many contractors are reliant on single suppliers for certain high-tech and high-precision parts, increasing the likelihood they would have to be procured from geostrategic rivals.......moreover, China (Beijing) was trying to “weaponize capital” through its Belt and Road Initiative whereby Beijing offers developing countries “loan to own” debt that they could not pay back in order to gain leverage over critical assets.....efforts to improve the domestic supply chain have been hampered by repeated government shutdowns and haphazard federal budgeting in recent years......undermining the ability to convince domestic suppliers that there will be a steady stream of business for them if they invest in building out their manufacturing capabilities......the Secretary of the U.S. Navy has recently launched a “trusted capital” programme whereby large private equity firms are invited to bid on failing or non-existent supply needs in areas from ship maintenance to weapons manufacturing.
adversaries  China  developing_countries  fragility  industrial_policies  maritime  military-industrial_complex  One_Belt_One_Road  precision  private_equity  rivalries  Russia  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  U.S._Navy  SPOF 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
Plant-based ‘meat’ craze drives demand for yellow peas
JULY 3, 2019 | Financial Times | by Emiko Terazono.

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.....From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods including burgers, bacon, tuna and yoghurt...The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself — which is plentiful, boosted by Chinese curbs on Canadian imports in the wake of the Huawei row, and a move by India to place tariffs on pulses — but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace........companies are received just 25% of their pea-protein orders as suppliers diverted the shipment to other buyers....in the face of increased demand....locking down supplies had been front of mind. “We’ve started building up a stockpile. Everyone else is doing it as well.”....Yellow peas, a pulse or dry edible seed that is part of the legume family alongside soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas, have become the protein source of choice for many food companies as consumers are turning away from soyabeans......there is no exchange-based market for pea protein isolate and prices are hard to track,... demand is so strong that buyers have struggled to secure long-term supply deals. “For companies that want to lock in prices for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, there is reluctance from their suppliers to guarantee higher quantities at lower prices,”...Beyond Meat has signed a three-year contract for its pea protein with Puris, adding to a supply agreement with Roquette, which expires at the end of the year. .....Ripple Foods, a California start-up that produces pea-protein based milk, has seen sales double every year since it launched in 2016. The company, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, contracts farmers to grow yellow peas and then processes its own pea protein. That insulates Ripple from price swings.....taking Ripple out of the pea protein market...An increasing number of food and ingredient companies have invested in the pea protein sector over the past few years. Cargill.... backed Puris at the start of last year, putting in $25m and launching a joint venture.

New plants to produce pea protein are expected to get up and running over the next year. Roquette is building a processing plant in Manitoba, Canada, while Verdient Foods of Saskatchewan, a plant protein group backed by James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of the film Titanic, is also planning new capacity.

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Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  Cargill  food_tech  legumes  Nestlé  plant-based  pulses  Puris  proteins  Ripple  Roquette  soybeans  stockpiles  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tyson  Verdient 
july 2019 by jerryking
Robotaxis: can automakers catch up with Google in driverless cars?
January 31, 2019 | Financial Times | by Patrick McGee.

A new network of small tech companies could allow the car industry to compete with Waymo.

The automotive industry is among the most capital-intensive in the world: If the economy sours, assets turn into liabilities overnight as factories churning out thousands of cars begin to haemorrhage cash. So when toxic mortgage securities blew up in 2008, causing a recession, banks performed terribly — but carmakers fared even worse.

That is what makes auto consultants at Bain so worried. They fear that carmakers are about to be hit with a one-two punch: first, they project a US recession in the next 12 to 18 months. Then, increasing numbers of baby boomers will retire, causing a structural decline so big that, they warn, US car sales could shrink from more than 17m last year to just 11.5m by 2025 — the same level seen in 2008-09, which caused GM and Chrysler to go bankrupt and Ford to suffer a $14.6bn loss.....But there is hope. If carmakers play their cards right, they could be saved by what GM has called “the biggest business opportunity since the internet”. The potential saviour is the rise of shared, driverless “robotaxis”, which Bain expects to become mainstream in some large cities in six to eight years. This new market, virtually non-existent today, promises to be huge. ... Intel projects a “passenger economy” worth $7tn by 2050....Car brands typically earn $2,000 from a vehicle sale. That is just $0.01 per km over the lifetime of a vehicle, whereas for robotaxis “the potential is 20 to 25 cents per km”,...To realise this potential the industry will need to update its entire business model. The challenge for carmakers is to gain the expertise in self-driving algorithms, in-car entertainment, streaming services and fleet management for ride-hailing that will be central to this new era......Luckily, there has been an explosion of small companies developing the skills and technologies that carmakers can make use of. .......Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving unit that began as a Google project, is widely seen as the leader in this new landscape....it has built a commanding lead since its founding in 2009. And with at least 600 of its vehicles driving more than 25,000 miles a day, it is perfecting its algorithms in a way that could blindside the competition. Last year UBS projected that Waymo “will dominate” the operating systems for autonomous vehicles, taking “60 per cent of the total projected revenue pool in 2030”.......The threat of Waymo is not that it will build better cars. It has no need to. Instead it is ordering vehicles from Chrysler and Jaguar — effectively turning them into suppliers — and then fitting them out with self-driving software and hardware built in-house. But its potential goes beyond superior self-driving capabilities. Once robotaxis are mainstream, Alphabet can collect data from Google Maps and Search, entertain with YouTube and the Play Store, offer advice through Google Home smart speakers and use its software knowhow to manage fleets. Aside from the vehicle itself, Waymo is a vertically-integrated “closed system”........Carmakers are responding by partnering up like never before and making big investments to acquire new expertise. Volkswagen has linked up with Ford, while arch-rivals BMW and Mercedes have pooled their mobility efforts. In 2016 GM paid $500m for a stake in Lyft, the ride-hailing group, and it spent more than $1bn to buy Cruise, a self-driving company.......These deals, however, are merely the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the car brands, an entire ecosystem of niche companies has spurred into existence. Known as the “data value chain”, these groups specialise in the software, sensors, data processing and navigation needed to make autonomous cars a reality. None has the willpower, resources or vision to take on Waymo. Instead, they are forming clusters, exercising “swarm intelligence” to independently work towards the same collective goal of creating a safe, driverless experience......The implications of this ecosystem are profound. It suggests the carmakers can catch the likes of Waymo up without being the best-in-class in the new technologies. They merely need to be competent enough to know who is best — and then partner with them.
Alphabet  automotive_industry  automobile  autonomous_vehicles  Bain  blindsided  capital-intensity  GM  Google  large_markets  partnerships  supply_chains  Waymo 
january 2019 by jerryking
Let the grocery chains fix Canada’s cannabis-supply mess
January 11, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | ANDREW WILLIS.

Despite the long run-up to legalization of recreational marijuana last October, demand for legal cannabis is outstripping supply and the retail system is a mess. ....The Ontario government held a lottery last Friday to award licenses for its first 25 stores, which aren’t expected to open until April. Experts say the nascent industry’s nation-wide logistical issues will take months, if not years, to fix.

Who wins out of this chaos? Criminals. Removing the social stigma from cannabis without ensuring robust cultivation and retail networks are in place opens the door to black-market suppliers, the folks the federal Liberals were trying to put out of business when they started down the path to legalization. Who can set things right, by getting cannabis into the hands of those who want it at prices the black market will be hard pressed to match? How about Jim Pattison, along with the Weston and Sobey clans and the folks running Metro Inc. Provincial governments should be looking to the national grocery and drug store chains to deliver on the federal Liberals' promise of a modern approach to marijuana sales.

Mr. Pattison, who runs the 45,000-employee Jim Pattison Group, has been showing shoppers the love for six decades. Think about what greets you when you walk into one of the former car salesman’s Save-On-Foods grocery stores in Western Canada, or a large-format Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro outlet.
Andrew_Willis  black_markets  cannabis  criminality  grocery  retailers  supermarkets  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  gangs  nationwide  organized_crime 
january 2019 by jerryking
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
October 4, 2018, 5:00 AM EDTILLUSTRATOR: SCOTT GELBER FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
By and October 4, 2018, 5:00 AM EDT

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA......investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.

This attack was something graver than the software-based incidents the world has grown accustomed to seeing. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.......Over the decades, the security of the supply chain became an article of faith despite repeated warnings by Western officials. A belief formed that China was unlikely to jeopardize its position as workshop to the world by letting its spies meddle in its factories. That left the decision about where to build commercial systems resting largely on where capacity was greatest and cheapest. “You end up with a classic Satan’s bargain,” one former U.S. official says. “You can have less supply than you want and guarantee it’s secure, or you can have the supply you need, but there will be risk. Every organization has accepted the second proposition.”
China  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  hacks  semiconductors  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  infiltration 
january 2019 by jerryking
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
affluence  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  brands  competitive_advantage  core_competencies  future-proofing  high_net_worth  high-quality  luxury  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  sustainability  vertical_integration  vineyards 
november 2018 by jerryking
Globalised business is a US security issue | Financial Times
Rana Foroohar YESTERDAY

there is a much broader group of people in both the public and the private sector who would like to reverse the economic integration of China and the US for strategic reasons..... a two-day event sponsored late last month by the National Defense University, which brings together military and civilian leaders to discuss the big challenges of the day. Dozens of experts, government officials, and business leaders gathered to talk about the decline in the post-second world war order, the rise of China, and how the US could strengthen its manufacturing and defence industries. The goal would be to create resilient supply chains that could withstand not just a trade war, but an actual war......“If you accept as your starting point that we are in a great power struggle [with China and Russia], then you have to think about securing the innovation base, making viable the industrial base, and scaling it all,”....Included on the event’s reading list was Freedom’s Forge, which outlines the role that US business — notably carmakers — played in gearing up the US for war in the early 1940s. At that time, because of the depth and breadth of the auto industry’s manufacturing and logistical might, the sector was viewed as being just as important to national security as steel and aluminium.

That is not to say the US security community is pro-tariffs or trade war .... But there is a growing group of thoughtful people who believe that American national security interests will require a forcible untangling of the investment and supply chain links between the US and China. They point to high-tech areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, financial technology and biotech as important not only to the military but also for private sector growth.....While America’s military is still figuring out how make sure its supply chains are not controlled by strategic adversaries, the Chinese have played a much more sophisticated long game. The difference can be summed up in two words: industrial policy. China has one. The US doesn’t. The US has always steered away from a formal policy because critics see it as the government “picking winners”. But the Chinese don’t so much pick winners as use a co-ordinated approach to harnessing the technologies they need. They do it not only through investments and acquisitions but also through forced joint ventures, industrial espionage, and cybertheft [jk: predatory practices].....many multinationals were shortening their supply chains even before the current trade conflicts.

It is a trend that will probably speed up. Multinational companies, much more than domestically focused ones, will suffer collateral damage from tariffs. They will also be a major target of Chinese backlash. Anecdotally, this is already leading some groups to shift production from China to other countries, like Vietnam. If the military-industrial complex in the US has its way, those supply chains might move even closer to home.
adversaries  anecdotal  automotive_industry  books  China  China_rising  collateral_damage  co-ordinated_approaches  cybertheft  economic_integration  industrial_espionage  industrial_policies  military-industrial_complex  multinationals  predatory_practices  Rana_Foroohar  WWII  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  trade_wars  U.S.  U.S.-China_relations 
july 2018 by jerryking
US companies on edge over China tariff threat to supply chains
April 5, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York 6 HOURS AGO.

Vermeer's situation demonstrates how complex international supply chains mean that new tariffs can have damaging unintended consequences. Vermeer, where Mr Andringa is chief executive, imports cabs assembled in its plant in Tianjin, China, that it uses for its drilling vehicle made in Iowa. Using the lower-cost imported cabs helps Vermeer stay competitive against German and Chinese rivals, in the US market and around the world. But the components were on the commerce department’s list of imports from China threatened with a new 25 per cent tariff. If the administration follows through on that threat, Vermeer’s competitive position will be eroded.
Donald_Trump  trade_wars  supply_chains  manufacturers  unintended_consequences  tariffs 
april 2018 by jerryking
Investors should bet on smaller nimbler companies and countries
March 25, 2018 | FT | Rana Foroohar.

The assets that seem undervalued and safer are all smaller things. Southeast Asian “countries, as well as Southern Europe and parts of Latin America have lots of slack relative in particular to the US, but also core Europe and even China”, says Jay Pelosky, head of the investment advisory firm Pelosky Global Strategies. “They have more room for growth, profit expansion, investment, and a lot more political breathing space.”....Meanwhile, if the US and China really do end up engaging in a full-blown trade war, it may be the smaller Southeast Asian nations that will benefit, since they will continue to be open for business with both. The Association of South East Asian Nations could become an alternative supply chain and preferred trading partner for either region......It may be that Big Tech companies, like big banks, have simply become too sprawling for their own good. Smaller, more localised players will probably also avoid the worst effects of tariffs......Aside from being a less visible target for protectionism, small firms with lower debt levels are better positioned to cope with rising interest rates. Research group Strategas notes that small-cap stocks are the only asset class that has outperformed inflation in every decade from the 1930s onwards. 
investors  Rana_Foroohar  nimbleness  small_cap  ASEAN  asset_classes  supply_chains  Big_Tech 
march 2018 by jerryking
Levi’s Wants Lasers, Not People, to Rip Your Jeans - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner | Photographs by Christie Hemm Klok for The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 27, 2018
blue_jeans  Levi_Strauss  supply_chains  apparel  automation  accelerated_lifecycles 
february 2018 by jerryking
Produce or Else: Wal-Mart and Kroger Get Tough With Food Suppliers on Delays
Nov. 27, 2017 | WSJ | By Annie Gasparro, Heather Haddon and Sarah Nassauer

Grocers are giving food companies a tougher mandate: Ship on time, or pay the price.
Food retailers want their suppliers to resolve the persistent problem of delayed or incomplete deliveries, which they say costs them millions of dollars a year in lost sales and overtime pay.
Retailers used to give suppliers more leeway, since any number of factors—bad weather, a surge in demand, technology malfunctions—can foil deliveries of cereal, cheese, candy and other packaged goods from warehouses scattered around the country.
But now as traditional grocers battle Amazon.com<http://Amazon.com> Inc. and other online retailers that prioritize delivery speed, as well as price-cutting discounters, more are taking a strict line with suppliers, telling them on-time deliveries will translate directly into more sales and profits.
Delayed deliveries can leave holes on store shelves. Sales of some $75 billion a year are lost because products are out of stock or unsalable for other reasons, according to the Food Marketing Institute, a trade organization. That is about 10% of annual grocery sales industry-wide at a time when sales growth is hard to come by. “It’s a massive opportunity from a financial and customer standpoint,” .....The country’s biggest grocers are leading the charge. Kroger is fining suppliers $500 for every order that is more than two days late to any of its 42 warehouses, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is charging suppliers monthly fines of 3% for deliveries that don’t arrive exactly on time, according to the retailers. They began issuing the fines in August........Wal-Mart has signaled it could do more than levy fines if problems persist. Charles Redfield, executive vice president of food for Wal-Mart U.S., told suppliers they could also lose shelf space if they don’t solve their delivery issues, according to people in attendance at a supplier meeting earlier this year. Retailers can threaten suppliers with loss of promotional space in stores, analysts said.....Packaged-goods companies are straining to keep up with the demands and remain in the good graces of retailers. They need GPS trackers and software to adjust routes in real time. Filling full orders fast is also challenging, since many manufacturers house items all over the country. That is particularly true for refrigerated items needing costly cold storage—which has fueled investments in more fulfillment centers......“Shipping complete orders on time is a completely reasonable request but turns out it’s harder than it sounds.”...
Wal-Mart  Kroger  grocery  supermarkets  supply_chains  retailers  delays  food  shipping  Amazon  cold_storage  penalties  delivery_times  fulfillment  CPG  Kraft_Heinz  P&G  on-time  shelf_space  supply_chain_squeeze 
november 2017 by jerryking
Inside the Decline of Sears, the Amazon of the 20th Century - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Oct. 31, 2017 1:48 p.m. ET
186 COMMENTS
Shoppers hunting for this holiday season’s hot toy, the L.O.L. Surprise, may have trouble finding it at Sears or Kmart stores. Worried about the financial health of the retail chains, the company that makes the toy, a ball that children unwrap to reveal small dolls, has reduced shipments to Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -5.75%

“We cut their credit line and shortened payment terms,” said Isaac Larian, chief executive of toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. “If they pay one day late, we will cut them off.”

Sears once dominated American retailing and helped build famous brands, including Whirlpool appliances, Craftsman tools, Schwinn bicycles and Allstate insurance. Now, bleeding cash and losing shoppers, the 124-year-old company is scrambling to keep suppliers—the lifeblood of any retail chain—from bolting.

To guarantee shipments from LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. , Sears is paying them cash up front for some goods, said people familiar with the matter. Levi Strauss & Co. has stopped supplying women’s jeans to the chain, said another person. At Clorox Co. , “We have certainly adjusted our payment terms,” said CEO Benno Dorer.

A monthslong feud between Sears and Whirlpool Corp. burst into the open last week when the sides couldn’t agree on terms to keep their century-old partnership going. Earlier in 2017, Sears sued two longtime manufacturers of its Craftsman tools to keep them shipping merchandise to stores.
retailers  Sears  Kmart  brands  decline  payment_terms  Whirlpool  Levi_Strauss  Allstate  Schwinn  Craftsman  supply_chains 
november 2017 by jerryking
J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail
By Khadeeja Safdar
Updated May 24, 2017

For decades, fashion was essentially a hit or miss business. Merchants like Mr. Drexler would make bets on what people would be wearing a year in advance, since that’s how long it took to design and produce items. Hits guaranteed handsome returns until the next season.

Now, competitors with high-tech, data-driven supply chains can copy styles faster and move them into stores in a matter of weeks. Online marketplaces drive down prices, and design details such as nicer buttons and richer colors are less apparent on the internet. Social media adds fuel to the style churn—consumers want a new outfit for every Instagram post. “The rules of the game have changed,” said Janet Kloppenburg, president of JJK Research, a retail-focused research firm. “It’s not just about product anymore. It’s also about speed and pricing.”

Mr. Drexler’s plan is to emphasize lower prices, pivot toward more digital marketing and adopt a more accessible image........Mr. Drexler didn’t appreciate how the quality of garments could easily get lost in a sea of options online, where prices drive decisions, or how social media would give rise to disposable fashion. Online, price has more impact than the sensory qualities of clothing. “You go into a store—I love this, I love this, I love this,” he said. “You go online and you just don’t get the same sense and feel of the goods because you’re looking at a picture.”.....Amazon.com and other algorithm-based websites can change prices by the hour based on demand, and the variety of options makes it easy to mix and match brands.

“The days of people wearing head-to-toe J.Crew are over,”......Today, with nearly two billion people using Facebook every month, he feels differently: “You cannot be successful without being obsessed with the product, obsessed with social media, and obsessed with digital,” he said. “Retail is now about all that.”

Mr. Drexler said he hasn’t given up on quality. Instead, he is now lowering prices on about 300 items and creating an analytics team dedicated to optimizing prices for each garment......TPG co-founder David Bonderman recently acknowledged J.Crew and its peers are struggling with declining mall traffic and the shift to online shopping. “The internet has proven much more resilient and much more important than most of us thought a decade ago,” he said at a conference earlier this month.
retailers  e-commerce  Mickey_Drexler  J.Crew  fashion  apparel  LBOs  private_equity  hits  copycats  social_media  Instagram  data_driven  supply_chains  Clayton_Christensen  disruption  brands  Old_Navy  Banana_Republic  Madewell  digital_influencers  TPG  fast-fashion  disposability 
may 2017 by jerryking
How Glencore AG became a giant in the global agriculture trade - The Globe and Mail
ERIC REGULY
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017

Interested in acquisitions, Glencore AG has accumulated an extensive network of grain assets around the world, and has no plans of stopping
Eric_Reguly  Glencore  soybeans  CPPIB  Argentina  ADM  Bunge  Cargill  Louis_Dreyfus  oilseeds  Viterra  agriculture  growth  opportunities  Rotterdam  grains  logistics  storage  transportation  trading  agribusiness  supply_chains  Marc_Rich 
may 2017 by jerryking
Inside the brutal transformation of Tim Hortons - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2017

Since taking over the iconic chain in 2014, its new Brazilian owner, 3G Capital, has purged head office, slashed costs and squeezed suppliers. Shareholders are happy, but is 3G tearing the heart out of Timmy’s?.....3G is regarded as ultra-disciplined owners who are sticking to the same playbook they have followed at companies including Burger King, Anheuser-Busch, Kraft Foods and Heinz: massive layoffs, replacing legacy managers with hungry youngsters and, above all, a fanatical devotion to financial benchmarks and cost-cutting. (It remains to be seen whether this will also be the approach for RBI’s latest acquisition, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.)....Will 3G's analytics-driven overhaul of Tim Hortons—using the same template the private equity firm’s founders have deployed at railroads, brewers and food makers—succeed in the long run, or is it in danger of cutting the heart out of a Canadian icon? ......Suppliers are also feeling the squeeze. From the get-go, RBI made it clear it would be reviewing vendor relationships. And the company pushed for better terms, including extensions on bill payments to as much as 120 days from 30 days or less. Maple Leaf Foods, a major partner that supplied meat to Tim Hortons, declined to accept the new terms, and walked away....
Former employees also say RBI has cut back on product research and development spending at Tim Hortons, offloading some of that work to suppliers. That’s not uncommon in the fast-food world, but it can be risky. “Suppliers can do a great job with innovating and R&D, but you’re limited to what the supplier is trying to develop,” ......3G has never encountered a brand quite like Tim Hortons. It isn’t just another coffee company. It is a Canadian destination, an integral part of many Canadians’ day and a brand that defines us, to some degree, around the world.......“The risk, in looking at Tim Hortons through the lens of efficiency alone, is to miss the greatest value of the asset, and that is the Tim’s brand and its deep connection to the fabric of the country,” says Joe Jackman, founder of strategic retail consultant Jackman Reinvents, whose clients have included Old Navy, Hertz, Rexall and FreshCo. “You can’t cost-cut your way to retail nirvana.”
3G_Capital  brands  Canadiana  coffee  community_support  cost-cutting  cultural_touchpoints  data_driven  downsizing  efficiencies  fast-food  franchising  goodwill  head_offices  iconic  JWT  layoffs  Maple_Leaf_Foods  Marina_Strauss  organizational_culture  playbooks  private_equity  R&D  RBI  restructurings  staying_hungry  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tim_Hortons  transformational  walking_away 
february 2017 by jerryking
Movement politics: a guide to the new globalisation
NOVEMBER 24, 2016 by: Alan Beattie.

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization, by Richard Baldwin, Harvard University Press, RRP£22.95/$29.95, 344 pages.

....Just as South Korea has changed, so newly industrialising countries are less keen on setting up entire industries at home and instead try to insert themselves into global supply chains. Sometimes this means changing, not just exploiting, their comparative advantage. Baldwin cites Vietnam, which joined Honda’s supply network by starting to manufacture motorcycle parts using production and technical expertise imported from the parent company. Thus Vietnam’s existing advantage of low-cost labour joined with the management and technical know-how of Japan to create a new specialism......

This framework explains a lot about current tensions around globalisation. For one, the stricken manufacturing towns of the American Midwest, many of whose poorer inhabitants switched to voting for Donald Trump, have experienced first-hand what it feels like rapidly to become a redundant link in a global value chain.

Second, it shows why modern trade deals, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and EU, are centred on rules protecting patents and copyrights, and allowing foreign corporations to sue governments if they feel their investments are being expropriated. Multinationals are less concerned with goods tariffs, which are now generally low and belong to an earlier era of trade governance, than they are with trying to protect the specialist knowledge on which their global supply chains depend.

It also foresees the future of globalisation once technology has relaxed the third constraint, the movement of people. The easier it becomes to manage processes from afar — improved videoconferencing, remote-controlled robots — the more virtual immigration can substitute for actual and the specialisation of global supply chains proceed even faster.
books  book_reviews  supply_chains  Vietnam  Honda  international_trade  comparative_advantage  patents  videoconferencing  TTP  MNCs  redundancies  globalization  Midwest  Rust_Belt  industrial_Midwest  value_chains  copyright  transatlantic 
november 2016 by jerryking
A Seismic Shift in How People Eat - The New York Times
By HANS TAPARIA and PAMELA KOCHNOV. 6, 2015

....Consumers are walking away from America’s most iconic food brands. Big food manufacturers are reacting by cleaning up their ingredient labels, acquiring healthier brands and coming out with a prodigious array of new products. ....Food companies can’t merely tinker. Nor will acquisition-driven strategies prove sufficient, because most acquisitions are too small to shift fortunes quickly. ....For legacy food companies to have any hope of survival, they will have to make bold changes in their core product offerings. Companies will have to drastically cut sugar; process less; go local and organic; use more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods; and develop fresh offerings. General Mills needs to do more than just drop the artificial ingredients from Trix. It needs to drop the sugar substantially, move to 100 percent whole grains, and increase ingredient diversity by expanding to other grains besides corn....a complete overhaul of their supply chains, major organizational restructuring and billions of dollars of investment, but these corporations have the resources.
abandonment  food  foodservice  brands  supply_chains  innovation  shifting_tastes  Nestlé  Perdue  Tyson  antibiotics  trends  Kraft  supermarkets  fresh_produce  OPMA  consumer_behavior  General_Mills  iconic  consumers  McDonald's  ingredient_diversity  seismic_shifts  new_products  Big_Food 
november 2015 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
Can Wal-Mart Clerks Ship as Fast as Amazon Robots? - WSJ
Dec. 18, 2014 | WSJ | By SHELLY BANJO, SUZANNE KAPNER and PAUL ZIOBRO.

The fast rise of rivals like Amazon.com Inc. and a far reaching change in shoppers’ habits has made it obvious that traditional retailers need to compete online. The trickier question is how to pull it off. Retailers’ answer is something called “omnichannel”—an attempt to use one set of inventory and assets to fill all orders.

The plan is driven by economic reality. Companies that already spend heavily maintaining thousands of stores aren’t able or willing to shell out the billions of dollars necessary to replicate Amazon’s 135-plus network of warehouses and fill them with inventory. While they are building distribution centers, they also hope some sweater sets can be shipped to online customers from a local Macy’s , or that Internet shoppers will pick up the television they ordered at a nearby Target.

Retailers are relying on the approach more heavily than ever this holiday season. It makes perfect sense in theory. In practice, though, the efficiencies possible in tightly packed, highly automated warehouse are hard to reproduce with inventory spread across stores built for live customers. Workarounds run up against space constraints, and items aren’t always where computer algorithms predict them to be.

“This is the first year,” said Jason Goldberger, head of Target.com, which is shipping orders from 136 of the company’s 1,800 U.S. stores. “We’ll learn.”

Big retailers have thousands of often sizable stores built near where their customers live. But the chains were built decades ago on a hub-and-spoke model. Pallets of goods were trucked to centralized warehouses. From there, boxes were sorted and transported to thousands of stores. Now with e-commerce, retailers are faced with delivering millions of items to millions of customer homes.
Wal-Mart  Amazon  omnichannel  distribution_channels  hub-and-spoke  retailers  supply_chains  e-commerce  automation  distribution_centres 
december 2014 by jerryking
The Data Companies Wish They Had About Customers - WSJ
March 23, 2014 | WSJ | by Max Taves.

We asked companies what data they wish they had—and how they would use it. Here's what they said....
(A) Dining----Graze.com has a huge appetite for data. Every hour, the mail-order snack business digests 15,000 user ratings about its foods, which it uses to better understand what its customers like or dislike and to predict what else they might like to try...more data could help him understand customers' tastes even better. Among the information he wants most is data about customers' dietary habits, such as what they buy at grocery stores, as well as better information about what they look at on Graze's own site. And because the dietary needs of children change rapidly, he'd like to know if his customers have children and, if so, their ages.
(B) Energy-----Energy consumption is among its customers' main concerns, says CEO William Lynch. For instance, the company offers a product giving homeowners the real-time ability to see things like how many kilowatts it takes to heat the hot tub in Jan. Because of privacy concerns, Savant doesn't collect homeowners' energy data. But if the company knew more about customers' energy use, it could help create customized plans to conserve energy. "We could make recommendations on how to set up your thermostat to save a lot of money,
(C) Banking-----the Bank of the West would like "predictive life-event data" about its customers—like graduation, vacation or retirement plans—to create products more relevant to their financial needs...At this point, collecting that breadth of data is a logistical and regulatory challenge, requiring very different sources both inside and outside the bank.
(D) Appliances-----Whirlpool Corp.has a vast reach in American households—but wants to know more about its customers and how they actually use its products. Real-time use data could not only help shape the future designs of Whirlpool products, but also help the company predict when they're likely to fail.
(E) Healthcare----Explorys creates software for health-care companies to store, access and make sense of their data. It holds a huge trove of clinical, financial and operational information—but would like access to data about patients at home, such as their current blood-sugar and oxygen levels, weight, heart rates and respiratory health. Having access to that information could help providers predict things like hospitalizations, missed appointments and readmissions and proactively reach out to patients,
(F) Healthcare----By analyzing patient data, Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C., can predict readmission rates with 80% accuracy,
(G) Law----law firms that specialize in defense work are typically reactive, however some are working towards becoming more proactive, coveting an ability to predict lawsuits—and prevent them.How? By analyzing reams of contracts and looking for common traits and language that often lead to problems.
(H) Defense---BAE Systems PLC invests heavily in protecting itself from cyberattacks. But it says better data from its suppliers could help improve its defenses...if its suppliers get cyberattacked, its own h/w and s/w could be compromised. But "those suppliers are smaller businesses with lesser investments in their security," ...A lack of trust among suppliers, even those that aren't direct competitors, means only a small percentage of them disclose the data showing the cyberattacks on their systems. Sharing that data, he says, would strengthen the security of every product BAE makes. [BAE is expressing recognition of its vulnerability to network risk].
data  data_driven  massive_data_sets  Graze  banking  cyber_security  BAE  law_firms  Whirlpool  genomics  social_data  appliances  sense-making  predictive_analytics  dark_data  insights  customer_insights  real-time  design  failure  cyberattacks  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  network_risk  shifting_tastes  self-protection  distrust  supply_chains 
november 2014 by jerryking
Makers and Breakers - NYTimes.com
NOV. 8, 2014 | NYT | Thomas L. Friedman.

This is a great time to be a maker, an innovator, a starter-upper. Thanks to the Internet, you can raise capital, sell goods or services and discover collaborators and customers globally more easily than ever. This is a great time to make things. But it is also a great time to break things, thanks to the Internet. If you want to break something or someone, or break into somewhere that is encrypted, and collaborate with other bad guys, you can recruit and operate today with less money, greater ease and greater reach than ever before. This is a great time to be a breaker. That’s why the balance of power between makers and breakers will shape our world every bit as much as the one between America, Russia and China.
Tom_Friedman  entrepreneurship  hackers  Cleveland  innovation  start_ups  immigrants  rogue_actors  supply_chains  globalization  lean  small_business  microproducers  Israeli 
november 2014 by jerryking
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 21 2014,

The feng shui from Hong Kong is distinctly bearish. Li & Fung Ltd. is a logistics and supply management firm, in simple terms a middle-man that bridges the gap between big fashion and apparel retailers, such as Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Marks & Spencer Group PLC and their largely Asian suppliers. Owning no sewing machines and employing no seamstresses, it nonetheless is at the cutting edge of global retailing, making $8.7-billion (U.S.) in revenues over six months. It is no more nor less than the back office for some very big brands, organizing the supply of raw materials, the manufacturing, the distribution and warehousing of the frocks you see in the shops.
Carl_Mortished  Hong_Kong  Li_&_Fung  fashion  Marks_&_Spencer  asset-light  logistics  supply_chains  data  apparel  Target  Wal-Mart  retailers  middlemen 
august 2014 by jerryking
Amazon, in Threat to UPS, Tries Its Own Deliveries - WSJ.com
By GREG BENSINGER And LAURA STEVENS CONNECT
Updated April 24, 2014
Amazon  logistics  UPS  supply_chains  fulfillment 
april 2014 by jerryking
Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
Market Trends and Retailers’ Strategies in Fresh Produce
26-27 April 2007 | Dr. Marian Garcia, Kent Business School, University of Kent.

Suppliers of fresh produce are less able to differentiate their products at the consumer level
==> They are in a weak bargaining position as price differentiation is almost the only available strategy.

Impact on Fresh Produce Suppliers
* Despite increasing rationalization of the supply base, retailers are still able to switch volumes between suppliers of fresh produce.
* As a result, suppliers of fresh produce are often forced to accept low prices in order to get volume growth, which does little to improve their immediate and long-term financial performance.
* In response to consumer trends and marketing demands, innovative growers of fresh produce have increased their cooperation and involvement with buyers and other members of the supply chain to ensure their produce meet consumer expectations.
* Closer relationships between the various members in the supply chain, ensure information is shared and can be used to improve the competitive position of all members in that supply chain.
fresh_produce  marketing  trends  consolidation  information_flows  grocery  supermarkets  OPMA  strategies  retailers  Tesco  Sainsbury's  ASDA  supply_chains  private_labels  relationships 
january 2014 by jerryking
With Safeway deal complete, Sobeys demands price cuts from suppliers - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jan. 08 2014,

In its letter, Sobeys says its acquisition of Safeway Canada will provide it with a new growth platform in Western Canada, the country’s fastest-growing region, while also significantly increasing the retailer’s economies of scale. To help it gain scale, Sobeys will require the retroactive 1-per-cent “synergy savings rate” from suppliers, it says.

“This 1 per cent synergy savings rate will be deducted from payments starting the end of January 2014,” the letter says. “Retroactive savings will also be deducted. The rate applies to all branded and private label grocery products.

“In addition, and as you are aware, current market retail pricing conditions leave no room for absorption of cost of good increases. As such, Sobeys Inc. will not accept any cost of goods increases through 2014.”

It will make some exceptions in cases of pharmaceutical supplies and “single commodity items,” which are currently priced daily or weekly, such as sugar, or possibly “where extraordinary unforeseen circumstances apply,” the letter says.
Marina_Strauss  grocery  supermarkets  retailers  Sobeys  Safeway  scaling  consolidation  supply_chains  economies_of_scale  synergies 
january 2014 by jerryking
The Race for Faster Delivery of Everything - Corporate Intelligence - WSJ
December 11, 2013, 7:34 PM

The Race for Faster Delivery of Everything

Article
Comments (2)

Corporate Intelligence HOME PAGE »

By
Tom Gara
delivery  time-based  Amazon  AmazonFresh  supply_chains  UPS  EBay  EBay_Now  shippers  perishables  logistics  delivery_times  speed  fulfillment  same-day  delivery_services  fast-paced 
december 2013 by jerryking
WHOLESALE The real squeezed middle?
From dealing with ongoing margin pressure in a low growth environment, to dealing with higher customer expectations,
and mounting concerns about the black market, the challenges facing wholesalers are considerable. However, the picture is not all gloom. Opportunities still exist for operators able to supply goods in line with changing industry trends, while maintaining a low cost base. Increasingly this will be through supply chain integration and enhanced service levels. But, ultimately winners will be wholesalers that can effectively reinvent themselves by developing new
hooks into their customers.

Demand is highly influenced by end user trends. However, wholesalers only have limited ability to respond quickly.

The ability to source and alter stock in line with changing trends is vital, especially in terms of broadening of the
product range.

Wholesale is generally a high volume low margin industry with operating margins of only 1-2%.

Margins are constantly being squeezed. Bargaining power in many consumer goods markets has been weakened by
powerful manufacturers and dominant retailers.
responding to end-user trends
margin pressure

Most wholesalers now offer a range of new added value services. White label provision and web integration
increasingly common

Service level agreements increasingly tight

Symbol groups have become more popular across the grocery sector, with increased investment in own-label
development. In other sectors branding has never been more important.

The introduction of tightly-managed production techniques has resulted in greater sophistication in distribution
chains

Wholesalers are now expected to have systems in place to run goods direct from production plant to end-users

Disruption in overseas supply chains caused by ‘growing pains’ in emerging markets is becoming increasingly
common.
enhanCed serviCe levels supplY Chain integration

The black and grey markets, and fraud in general is on the increase. Alcohol duty fraud is a particular concern

Sourcing from correct brand owners is becoming more difficult. Fines for the possession of fraudulent stock are
becoming more severe.
fruits  vegetables  wholesalers  challenges  problems  margins  supply_chains  fresh_produce  OPMA  slow_growth  black_markets  low_growth  customer_expectations 
october 2013 by jerryking
Dal route
October 2013 | Report on Business Magazine | Gary Salewicz
lentils  supply_chains  food  farming  agriculture  pulses  grains  India  Saskatchewan 
september 2013 by jerryking
L’Oreal Looks to Collaboration for More Agile Manufacturing Process - The CIO Report - WSJ
September 23, 2013 | WSJ | By Joel Schectman

L’Oreal Looks to Collaboration for More Agile Manufacturing Process
L’Oreal  cosmetics  supply_chains  manufacturers 
september 2013 by jerryking
Loblaw’s big bet on thinking small - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 16 2013 | G&M | SUSAN KRASHINSKY AND JOSH KERR.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
The push into the small-format direction is driven by changing consumer habits, as demands on time force consumers to look for more one-stop shopping solutions in their neighbourhoods, without having to drive to bigger retailers. The convenience store industry has already responded by attempting to alter its down-market image and offering more fresh foods. Loblaw has integrated pharmacies, as well as health and beauty products, into its locations. And along with Shoppers, drugstores have increasingly been selling everything from digital cameras and iPods to milk and dry goods, household items, and expanded beauty products.

This not only helps those retailers to market themselves to busy, younger urban shoppers, but it also addresses Canada’s aging population. Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, and prefer to stick closer to home when running errands, Mr. Tyghe observed. “It’s very much about proximity and convenience.”

While the new general store model has worked for Shoppers – the price per share of Loblaw’s offer represents a 27-per-cent premium to Shoppers’ closing price a day before the announcement – there is room for Shoppers to improve in its food offerings, said Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival. The challenge, he said, will be to augment that section with some of Loblaw’s products without disrupting the overall shopping experience.

“They have to be very careful with the Shoppers Drug Mart model – a lot of allegiance there,” Mr. Stephens said.

Ultimately, the advantages for Shoppers stem from the buying power the chain inherits, which will allow it to provide whatever product mix works for changing consumer habits at a lower cost.

The “buying clout and synergies” Shoppers would gain post-acquisition will prompt competitors to find ways to match these benefits, said Kevin Grier, a senior market analyst at the George Morris Centre
big_bets  buying_power  convenience_stores  digital_cameras  downsizing  grocery  Loblaws  mergers_&_acquisitions  one-stop_shop  pharmacies  post-deal_integration  proximity  retailers  Shoppers  size  small_spaces  store_footprints  supermarkets  supply_chains  Susan_Krashinsky  synergies  time-strapped 
august 2013 by jerryking
Sysco Earnings: Restaurant Demand Is Slack - WSJ.com
August 12, 2013, 2:05 p.m. ET

Sysco Earnings: Restaurant Demand Remains Weak
Restructuring Charges Weigh on Bottom Line

By TESS STYNES
agribusiness  Sysco  restaurants  supply_chains 
august 2013 by jerryking
Economist Ricardo Hausmann Says U.S. Should Reinvent Manufacturing
January 4, 2013 | MIT Technology Review | By Antonio Regalado.

[ less keen on setting up entire industries at home and instead try to insert themselves into global supply chains. Sometimes this means changing, not just exploiting, their comparative advantage.]

Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next.

That sounds plain enough, but the results of Hausmann’s analyses are often surprising. A country with a competitive garment industry might want to move into electronics assembly—both need an industrial zone with quality electrical power and good logistics. A country that exports flowers may find it has the expertise in cold-storage logistics necessary to spark an export boom in fresh produce.
economists  manufacturers  reinvention  competitiveness_of_nations  industrial_zones  competitive_advantage  economies_of_scope  linkages  policymaking  kaleidoscopic  comparative_advantage  supply_chains  value_chains  capabilities  cold_storage 
march 2013 by jerryking
Supply chain models for small agricultural enterprises
Oct 2011 |Annals of Operations Research: 359-374 | by Wooseung Jang and Cerry M. Klein.
supply_chains  farming  agriculture  decision_making 
march 2013 by jerryking
The year the Valley embraced sustainable food innovation
Feb. 21, 2013 | GiGaOM | By Katie Fehrenbacher.

When I ask Tetrick why his company is “venture backable,” he says because they are creating a powerhouse of innovative thinkers that can come together across disciplines, and traditional food companies just aren’t as nimble. Tesla used that same argument for why as a startup it can revolutionize the car industry, and out innovate against the large automakers.

But Tesla is a sort of outlier on a lot of levels. It’ll be harder to disrupt more traditional industries without Moore’s Law in your corner. But in the meantime, as these startups sink or swim, at least they’ll be putting the spotlight on a crucial problem: the food industry is broken and it needs technology and innovation to be fixed.
Silicon_Valley  food  food_tech  innovation  Vinod_Khosla  venture_capital  start_ups  Peter_Thiel  nimbleness  supply_chains  dysfunction  Moore's_Law 
february 2013 by jerryking
Supply chain is critical
January 2013 | The Grower Online |PETER CHAPMAN
Peter_Chapman  supply_chains  agribusiness 
january 2013 by jerryking
Supply chain management from farm to fork | Canadian Manufacturing
September 15, 2011 | | Frank Mahdavi.

The supply chain for any manufacturer can be complicated, but when it comes to food, the stakes are as high as human life. All it takes is one compromised ingredient and a long and complicated chain must be quickly untangled to make things safe again. The key to managing a tight supply chain is communication.
Communicating_&_Connecting  supply_chains  product_recalls  tracking  traceability 
january 2013 by jerryking
How to Feed Nine Billion
From the December 2012 · TheWalrus.ca By Evan Fraser, Andrew Rimas •

Droughts, commodity speculation, and growing demand are placing an unprecedented strain on our global food system. Can we avoid a full-blown crisis?
supply_chains  food_crops  commodities  droughts 
november 2012 by jerryking
Business continuity: Making it through the storm
Nov 10th 2012 | The Economist |Anonymous.

Hurricane Sandy was another test of how well businesses can keep going when disaster strikes...GOLDMAN SACHS’S latest shrewd investment was in sandbags and back-up electricity generators. As Hurricane Sandy approached New York, the bags were stacked around its headquarters. It was one of the few offices in downtown Manhattan to remain dry and well-illuminated as “Frankenstorm” battered the city.

Meanwhile, a block farther down West Street, the headquarters of Verizon were awash with salty flood water, soaking cables delivering phone and internet services to millions of customers. The firm was able to reroute much of the traffic through other parts of its network, but local service was disrupted....Sandy is the latest catastrophic event to test the readiness of the world’s leading firms to cope with disaster. Most firms have improved “business continuity” preparations over the years. The Y2K scare at the turn of the century moved IT risk high up the list of worries. The attacks of September 11th 2001 warned firms of the danger of putting all their computers (and staff) in the same place (jk: concentration risk; SPOF)....“Firms are increasingly reliant on networks, but often fail to understand the risks that networks bring,” says Don Tapscott, a management guru. Global supply chains, just-in-time and shifting to the “cloud” tend to bind once unrelated activities ever closer together, making them more prone to failing at the same time. The current fad for moving data to the “cloud” may appear to reduce risk because there is so much spare capacity in the web. Yet some firms offering cloud services have more concentrated operations than (jk: concentration risk).

Firms are starting to recognise their vulnerability to cyber-attack, but few have much idea what they would do if it happened. Mr Tapscott thinks boards should have a committee explicitly focused on understanding IT and network risks and ensuring they are properly managed....Dutch Leonard, a risk expert at Harvard Business School, says that the best-prepared firms use a combination of planning for specific events and planning to cope with specific consequences, such as a loss of a building or supplier, regardless of the cause. He also recommends copying an approach used by the armed forces: using a group of insiders to figure out how the firm could be brought down [ jk: white hats]....Firms should make lobbying government to invest heavily in upgrading that infrastructure a core part of their risk-management strategy, argues Irwin Redlener of the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

Goldman Sachs has long been a leader in disaster planning because it understands that the situations in which it might not be able to function are exactly the sort of events when very large changes in the value of its investments could occur, says Mr Leonard. Yet too many firms underinvest in planning for disaster because they don’t think it will pay, at least within the short-term timeline by which many now operate, reckons Yossi Sheffi of MIT.
beforemath  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business-continuity  catastrophes  compounded  concentration_risk  crisis  cyberattacks  cyber_security  disasters  disaster_preparedness  Don_Tapscott  Goldman_Sachs  Hurricane_Sandy  isolation  natural_calamities  networks  network_risk  New_York_City  optimism_bias  preparation  readiness  red_teams  resilience  risks  risk-management  short-term  SPOF  step_change  supply_chains  surprises  underinvestments  valuations  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
november 2012 by jerryking
Tracing materials across the value chain: The shifting landscape | GreenBiz.com
By Terry F. Yosie
Published June 11, 2012
Email | Print | Multiple Page View
Tags: Supply Chain
tracking  traceability  supply_chains  massive_data_sets  value_chains 
september 2012 by jerryking
Tracking and tracing in food networks
Melanie Fritz and Gerhard Schiefer
University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany m.fritz@uni-bonn.de and schiefer@uni-bonn.de
Abstract
Tracking and tracing functionalities are widely discussed and in some countries even required as core features in the assurance of food safety and quality. They deal with internal processes of enterprises as well as with the trade relationships between enterprises. This creates a complexity which cannot be solved by enterprises alone but requires concerted action. Action needs to build on agreements which cover a multitude of issues including but not restricted to
issues related to information systems and technology. One of the problems is that a solution in one of the issues is not sufficient for getting a tracking and tracing scheme into operation.
Feasible solutions require agreements on issues which involve different competences and competence groups which adds to complexity. This paper discusses some of the issues and links them to the organization of information systems and the development of an appropriate information infrastructure.
tracking  traceability  food  supply_chains 
september 2012 by jerryking
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per page:    204080120160

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