It is the human rights abuse that everybody likes to maintain is not happening. But within corporate supply chains across the developing world – from the cocoa-growing lands of the Ivory Coast to the seafood sector of Thailand – human trafficking and modern day slavery is still commonplace, with people being made to work and live in appalling conditions with little or no pay.
A decade or so ago, companies in industrial manufacturing and other process industries did not need to focus on resource productivity. If they gave any attention to the topic, it was to undertake small, incremental measures with the hope of generating marginal improvements. That period is over. Today, there is no debate: resource productivity must be among the top priorities - if not the top priority - of industrial manufacturers around the world.
It's easy for tech-savvy executives to get excited about Big Data and advanced analytics these days. Newly available tools allow companies to do things they couldn't do before, like recommending specific products to online buyers or mining workers' compensation claims data to recommend better treatment options for injured employees. But whiz-bang capabilities don't create real value unless an organization incorporates these new techniques into its day-to-day operations.
Analyst Insight: Alignment is the positioning of parts so they are in their proper position to run correctly – as in car parts. Alignment is also the ability to optimize the business results by aligning people, programs and business processes. According to Supply Chain Insights, Alignment continues to be one of the top three supply chain business initiatives in 2015. – Mickey North Rizza, VP Strategic Services, BravoSolution
Analyst Insight: Car ownership in developing economies is on the rise. By 2020, annual world vehicle production could reach 85 to 90 million units. That will mean another 75 to 100 plants, each producing around 300,000 cars a year, will be needed, essentially in or close to the world's fastest-developing countries. Automakers have to create new global production strategies to serve these multiple diverse markets. – Pierfrancesco Manenti, Vice President, Research, SCM World
Recently, McDonald's, the world's iconic largest food service provider, has been (forgive the cliché) through the grinder. Poor performance has led to the departure of its CEO and plenty of critical attention in the business pages. Part of this story relates to the provenance, or origins, of its products: Chains that provide more upmarket "fast casual" dining such as Panera, Chipotle, and Shake Shack have brands that speak of freshness, health and trustworthy sourcing.