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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Feb. 1, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Feb. 1, 2013

Supplier was Horsing Around with Tesco's Value Burgers; Ocean Spray Finds Transportation Savings Cocktail; Apple Ups Its Audits Yet Again; JCP decides to Save Some Pennies By Slowing Down RFID Push




That's how many supplier audits Apple conducted in 2012, a 72% increase over 2011, a year which saw an 80% increase over 2010. That as the company continues to battle complaints about treatment of workers at some of its suppliers' factories in Asia. The data comes from Apple's remarkable Supply Responsibility Report for 2013, released earlier this week, which takes a simply unique approach in terms of transparency and self-criticism. Most of the audits are scheduled, but Apple said 28, or about 7%, were surprise visits.




The revised number of sub- product categories across footwear, bras and denim that JC Penney has now asked its suppliers to RFID tag, pulling significantly back from the promise by its CEO Ron Johnson in August that all its stores would be fully RFID-enabled across all SKU by Feb. 1. That was needed, he said at the time, to support a new self-service, pay anywhere in the store strategy. What happened? Not clear. After SCDigest broke this story, Penney's said costs were the issue (WiFi, checkout stations, handhelds, maybe even tag costs - it didn't detail), but one insider also said there were issue coordinating the technology rollout at the same time that merchandise and store design strategies were also in flux.

10 Million

Amazingly, the number of hamburger patties withdrawn over the last couple of weeks from the UK market after a major supplier was found to have been adding horsemeat into beef, or rather, the major supplier's supplier was found to be doing the deed. The mischief was found Ireland's food safety authority and retail giant Tesco through DNA testing of the meat. It turns out prime supplier Silvercrest was sourcing the meat from somewhere outside the UK and Ireland, contrary at minimum to Tesco's rules and perhaps those of Aldi, Lidi and other chains in the country. Now, Tesco says it will start performing costly DNA testing of the meats it sells. What is next when it comes to supply chain risk?



Amount of reduction in transportation costs in a major lane Ocean Spray Cranberries said that it gained this week by moving a distribution center to Florida and then partnering with a competitor on a backhaul program for rail car movements from New Jersey to Florida (the competitor) and then back (Ocean Spray). That included a change in mode from mostly truck to rail, and also is said to have resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions of 20%. Perhaps they toasted the success with a "cranberry and vodka" or something like it.

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