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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- June 28, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of June 28, 2013

Chinese Government Not Interested in Helping Captive US CEO; Coal-Based Powerplants May be in Trouble; Walmart Hopes Density is Destiny; Companies have Tight Wallets for IT Spend




Number of days that Chip Starnes, president of Specialty Medical Supplies, was kept captive by scores of workers after visiting the company’s factory near Beijing. The worker moves came over disputes about pay and a rumor that factory was being move to India, before Starnes was finally being released on Friday. The most interesting fact may be that Chinese authorities did not lift a finger to help Starnes, who started off the ordeal positively but said he felt very threatened near the end. May be time to rethink that Chinese assignment.




The number of current US coal-powered electricity generation plants that could be forced to shut down, under new rules proposed by President Obama this week, according to some experts. It appears the rules can be implemented through EPA regulations, rather than through legislation that would have to get through the Congress. Those rules as part of a goal to reduce CO2 emissions 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. Some warn the price of such a move would be higher and more volatile electricity prices for manufacturers and consumers.


The approximate number of people in the US who live within 5 miles of a Walmart store, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal on the retail giant’s efforts to cut the e-commerce gap it has had with Part of that strategy is to use those stores as fulfillment points for e-commerce orders, which it believes, given that customer proximity, will give it time and cost advantages over Amazon's distribution center-based fulfillment model. Walmart is testing the concept in 35 stores and plans to expand it to 50 this year.



The share of companies that consider themselves "aggressive" in terms of adoption of supply chain technology, according to the sixth annual Gartner-SCDigest supply chain study, which we reviewed this week. (See Insight from the 2013 Gartner Supply Chain Study.) Interestingly, the data came out far from bell curve, with most in the middle: instead, just 28% considered themselves " mainstream," while 66% said they were "conservative" when it came to supply chain technology investments. That data to the chagrin of technology vendors everywhere.

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