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Supply Chain by the Numbers
   
 

- Aug. 11, 2016 -

   
  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Aug. 11, 2016
   
 

Walmart Hopes Acquisition will Drive eCommerce Growth; Does High Advertised Truck Driver Pay Not Equal Reality? US Companies were Increasingly "Slow Pay" in 2015; US Baby Deficit in Progress

   
 
 
 

8%

That was the rather weak growth in Walmart's US ecommerce sales in 2015, when compared to Amazon's 28% growth and overall growth in the US of about 15%, according to the Dept. of Commerce, meaning Walmart was losing market share to both Amazon and other rivals. That certainly explains Walmart's announcement Monday that is was acquiring fast growing ecommerce platform company Jet.com for a whopping $3.3 billion - that's pretty good for a company just 18 months old. Jet primarily operates an on-line market hosting other etailers that do their own fulfillment, similar to China's Alibaba and Amazon's own marketplace service. It says it recently saw Gross Merchandise Value at an annual run rate of $1 billion, meaning that was the retail value of products sold through the Jet.com platform, a pretty impressive number. Jet.com is also said to be considered cool and a great on-line shopping destination by millennials and more upscale consumers in a way that Walmart.com is not currently. Other analysts say the key will be marrying the Jet.com platform with fulfillment for orders from Walmart's massive store network, its main advantage versus Amazon.

 
 


 
 
 

$74,674

That was the mean advertised wage in job postings for regional truck drivers in Q2 in the lower Michigan area, according to analysis released this week by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan. That made truck driving among the highest mean advertised salaries within the 16-county region. Yet, despite that supposed high earnings potential, truck driving was also the single top job post in the region during the period, with more than 7,000 on-line job listings. What gives? Well, let's start with the fact that very few drivers actually make that advertised wage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics , for example, found that the median pay for truck drivers in 2015 was actually only $40,260 a year. It of course turns out that to reach those top pay levels, a truck driver earning 40 cents a mile would have to drive at least 3,400 miles a week, much higher than the average distance actually covered by most drivers. In addition, with the rugged lifestyle with many days at a time away from home, lots of them simply take some time off from driving, reducing their pay on an annual basis. So the driver shortage here in the US rolls on.

 
 
 
 
 
5%

That was the level of increase in the metric of Days Payables Outstanding, or DPO, across the 1000 largest US public companies in 2015, according to fresh data from REL, a Hackett Group company. DPO is a measure of how many day's worth of cost of goods sold a company has in payables to suppliers. It is a bit of a funny metric, because while increasing average DPO reduces working capital requirements and thus improves cash flow, it does so at the expense of suppliers, which have their own financial metrics and cash flow reduced. Regardless, average DPO was 50.1 days in 2015, up from 47.1 in 2014. Contrary to many reports in recent years about companies - noticeably in the consumer goods and retail sectors - extending payment times to suppliers - REL's aggregate DPO metric was basically flat from 2010 through 2014, until the relatively small jump last year.

 
 
 
 

59.8

That was the number of babies born in the US for every 1000 women between the ages of 15 to 44 - the lowest so-called fertility rate ever recorded in the country. This means there are on average fewer than six babies born for every 100 women in this age group annually. In 2010 there were 6.4 births for every 100 women in the group, so fertility rates are now down about 7% since then, and they are down 10% since 2007, according to data from Centers for Disease Control. The US birthrate - measured as the number of children on average each woman in the US has over her lifetime - is now at about 1.8, well below the so-called replacement rate of 2.1 children per female. It was last above that 2.1 level in 2007. "Demography is destiny," as they say, and nations from Japan to Russia and more are feeling the negative effects of low birthrates. Only immigration - both legal and illegal - is keeping the overall US population from falling, as it has in many of these other countries. All this has big supply chain impacts in the end.

 
 
 
 
 
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