Gartner Inc. has released the findings from its eighth annual Supply Chain Top 25, its initiative to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business, and once again Apple topped the list. The supply chain top five included two other mainstays; Dell and P+G; and two that are newer to the ranking, but have been rising steadily; Amazon and McDonald's.
With 92 percent of retailers selling online, 68 percent maintaining brick-and-mortar stores, and 64 percent utilizing catalogs, retailers are embracing a multichannel approach to meet buyer expectations and battle for market share, according to Jones Lang LaSalle's latest report, Retail 3.0: the evolution of multi-channel retail distribution.
Sysco Corp. has operated very successfully for many years as a decentralized company, distributing $40bn annually in food and associated products to restaurants, schools and other meal-serving organizations. The company felt that it could do better in terms of logistics, however, and decided to centralize inbound transportation operations that previously were distributed among its 70 business units.
The efficiencies and cost-containment initiatives that the physical supply chain has seen have not been brought to the financial supply chain by most companies, says Robert Kramer, vice president for working capital solutions at PrimeRevenue. That's unfortunate because there are literally trillions of dollars in accounts receivable in corporate supply chins that can be freed up, he says.
In "truly collaborative" trading relationships, targeted operational metrics, such as inventory days, total landed cost, and cash-to-cash cycles, can be expected to improve by 50 percent over those without collaborative execution capabilities, according to a joint research project of E2open and SCM World.
The center of gravity for consumer-focused companies is subtly but unmistakably moving toward developing economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia. The middle class in emerging markets will make up 30 percent of the global population by 2020. These customers represent the future.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda have announced plans to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement aimed at deepening trade and investment ties between the two nations.
Could China grow into a nation of shoppers? The country is better known around the world for its factory workers and exports. But to put China's economic growth on a steadier glide path, especially in a global slowdown, the Chinese government wants to shift the drivers of the economy towards consumer demand at home.