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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- May 11 , 2012


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of May 11, 2012


US Manufacturing Rising; Trucking Costs Headed Up; Kraft Forecasts Better; Order Picking Productivity Improves with Aisle Bifurcation



The share of the US economy represented by manufacturing in 2012, according to a recent report by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. That makes it the third straight year the US has had an increase in manufacturing’s share of GDP. The numbers were 11.7% in 2010 and 11.0% in 2009. The 12.2% for 2011 of course is well down from the levels seen in the 1950s, when manufacturing reached 28% of the economy, but this is the first time since then that the percentage has risen over a three-year period.




The rise in its cost basis that LTL carrier Estes Express Lines, according to CEO Rob Estes Jr., echoing the comments of many other trucking industry executives this week at a National Industrial Transportation League's Freight Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. The overall message to shippers: our costs are rising, mostly due to costs around recruiting and retaining drivers, and rates are going to have to increase accordingly.


Percentage point gain in store order forecast accuracy at Kraft after implementing a new approach to demand planning that relies less on statistical forecasting and myriad adjustments and more on just calculating individual retail store needs based on actual sales, on-hand inventory and more (store-level DRP). That according to Kraft’s Tom Drake this week at the RedPrairie user conference in Hollywood, FL. Kraft is using RedPrairie’s Flowcasting solution.


Increase in productivity that food distributor Ben. E. Keith said it had achieved in recent years by using new approach to case picking in six-level very narrow aisle storage area. Workers on order picker trucks only pick from the first three levels on the way down the aisle, and the top three on the way back. The resulting reduction in up and down movements on the truck drove the nice productivity gain, Ben. E. Keith’s Michael January this week at the WERC conference in Atlanta.

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