Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Dec. 3, 2015 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Dec. 3, 2015

US Manufacturing Output Ends Long Winning Streak; UN Climate Summit - Follow the Money; eCommerce Continues to Gain Share at Brick and Mortar Expense; US Cargo Thieves Heist Lots of Beef, Nuts



That was the level of the US Purchasing Managers Index for November, according to the monthly report from the Institute for Supply Management release this week. That broke a string of 35 consecutive months of US manufacturing expansion, as indicated by PMI scores over the 50 mark. That November number was also the lowest figure since June of 2009 - the very bottom of the Great Recession. At one level, the disappointing number was not a big surprise, as the index had been trending down in recent months, just barely over the 50 mark in both October and September. In other bad news, the new orders index also fell below the 50 mark for the first time in a long while at 48.9, four percentage points below the October score. That measure is a strong predictor of future manufacturing activity. The Prices Index registered 35.5, a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from the October reading of 39, indicating lower raw materials prices for the 13th consecutive month..




That's how much money developed economies will need to pay to developing ones to compensate for previous carbon emissions and to help those nations move to more clean energy sources, according to recent comments from Prakash Javadekar, India's environmental minister, on the cusp of the UN Climate Summit meeting in Paris that started this week. In 2009 at a previous UN climate meeting, developed economies had vaguely committed to funding such environmental transfer payment related to global warming to the tune of $100 billion annually - though where the money would come from and how it would be disbursed was never clear. But now many developing nations are saying that even that $100 billion is nowhere near enough. "The $100 billion is just a reparation," India's Javadekar says, claiming trillions more is needed in the name of "climate justice." China the world's second largest economy, also wants in on the cash flow.


That's the number of pounds of beef that a brazen cargo thief recently made off with in a heist in Wisconsin. That load was worth about $110,000. A driver showed up for the pick-up at Nicholas Meat near Loganton, WI, but never delivered the beef to its destination, apparently using a fake ID and fraudulent information about the carrier he worked for to get access to the trailer. Meanwhile, in California's nut growing region, in recent weeks pistachio and walnut processors were hit by cargo thefts that led to the loss of loads valued at approximately $300,000 apiece. The evidence continues to be that cargo thieves in the US and globally are increasingly be more organized and professional, with the dollar value per incident rising even as the total number of thefts modestly declines.



That was the robust rise in on-line retail sales in the five-day Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period. Amazon's did even better than that, with sales over the same five days up 24.1%, as it continues to grow faster than the overall ecommerce market. All that according to the researchers at ChannelAdvisor. How does this compare with traditional Black Friday in-store sales? The numbers vary depending on the source. Data from ShopperTrak, which tracks in-store purchases, showed brick and mortar sales were down an estimated 10.4% over the Black Friday weekend. Separate figures from RetailNext showed a less dramatic decline, estimating in-store sales fell 4.7% over the same period. Whatever the exact numbers turn out to be, clearly on-line continues to gain substantial share - with huge supply chain implications over time. Interestingly, the Adobe Digital Index found on-line sales were so brisk that out-of-stock rates hit an all-time high, with 13 out of 100 products it sampled showing an out-of-stock message over the wekend.