Global Supply Chain Management — January, 2008

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Could Wii Shortfall Have Been Avoided?
Nintendo's Wii video game was the "hot" item for the 2007 holiday season. People camped out for hours and trolled stores and internet sites in an often futile effort to find the game, which was in very short supply. In an article posted on the Harvard Review website, Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL), argues that the shortfall could have been avoided with better use of demand management tools, particularly point-of-sale data. Sheffi's article was partially a response to a Dec. 14 New York Times article by George Harrison, senior vice president for marketing for Nintendo America. Harrison stated that the shortage occurred because Nintendo has to plan its production five months ahead and projecting that far in the future is difficult.
While acknowledging that accurate forecasting is a tough task that "has become trickier over recent years," Sheffi says that...
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Companies Will Spend More in 2008 On Supply Chain Technology, Says AMR
AMR Research, Boston, predicts that the supply chain technology market will continue to post substantial gains in 2008. Spending increases will be powered by the need for companies to acquire new capabilities and to replace 1990s-era legacy applications, according to The Supply Chain Management Spending Report, 2007-2008, published in December. Among the report highlights are:

• A 12 percent growth in supply chain technology spending that will be aimed at controlling costs, raising productivity, and improving customer service. In the U.S., companies...
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Logistics Innovation Pays for Itself
Innovation is a key success factor for logistics companies and is becoming an increasingly important selection criterion among their customers, according to a current market study by Arthur D. Little and the European Logistics Association. The study says that suppliers of logistics services can increase their EBIT margins by 8.5 percent if they have a first-class innovation process.
This will be even more important in coming years as the logistics market...
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Truck Tonnage Edges Up Despite Weak Shopping Season
Weekly reports from chain store sales point not only to a lackluster holiday shopping season but also to weak post-holiday bargain hunting. Chain store sales fell 0.2 percent in the last week of December, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, while data from Redbook Research pointed to a 0.7 percent decrease.
Despite this disappointing performance, truck tonnage managed a small gain in November, according to The American Trucking Associations. On a seasonally adjusted basis, ATA's truck tonnage index...
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Survey Reveals Slow Rebound for Truck Purchases in 2008
CK Commercial Vehicle Research, Columbus, Ohio, asked 59 for-hire, government and private fleet managers about their 2008 equipment purchasing plans as part of the research firm's regular Q4 Fleet Sentiment survey. Results indicate that power-unit and trailer purchases will be somewhat soft....
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Dell Computer Will Ask Suppliers To Report Carbon Emissions
Dell Computer has become the first IT company to join the Carbon Disclosure Project's Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration, a group working to develop standardized methods of reporting carbon dioxide emissions across a company's supply chain. The company said it joined the group because of its belief that working on a standardized system makes it easier and more efficient for suppliers to report emissions and helps avoid multiple reporting requirements. Dell will begin working with its suppliers on reporting data relevant to its business, and CDP will provide guidance on reporting requirements.
"Our global supply chain is...
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What are the Critical Skills of Supply Chain Leaders?
Supply chain leaders embody five critical skills, according to an article by John T. Mentzer, distinguished professor of business in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the University of Tennessee. The article is published on the Industry Week web site.
Here are the five skills, in summary:

1. Supply chain leaders surround themselves with the best and brightest supply-chain professionals. This can be accomplished by regularly recruiting at major supply chain-management schools--most productively during recessions, when other companies cut back on hiring and top talent can be had more easily.
2. Supply chain leaders are metrics driven....
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Past Global Supply Chain Management Issues:
November, 2007
September, 2007
July, 2007

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