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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Sept. 27, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Sept. 27, 2013

US Apparel Sector Reviving - but without Many Jobs; Walmart Battles Inventory Bloat; US Cargo Thefts Continue On; S&OP Could Use Some More Scenario Planning




Number of factories workers that Parkdale Mills now needs in a South Carolina plant to make some 2.5 million pounds of yarn a week in the now highly automated facility. In the 1980s, it would have taken as many as 2000 workers to achieve the same level of output. That from a New York Times article last week that points to signs even the US apparel industry is reviving after nearly 20 years of steep falls in production levels – but noting automation is critical to that revival, so the impact on jobs will be negligible.




Number of cargo thefts in the months from June through August in the US, according to the latest report from FreightWatch. The average value of each incident rose to a substantial $166,454 – bit was as high as an average of an amazing $700,000 for the six thefts of alcoholic beverages in the period, and about $400,000 for the thefts involving apparel/shoes and jewelry. The greatest number of theft incidents, however, was in the food/non-alcoholic beverage sector, which had with 45 thefts and accounted for 22% of all incidents. Next was the electronics industry sector, with 29 thefts (14% of the total), and then metals 25 thefts (12% of all incidents). Despite all our technology today, cargo theft continues on.


The number of times in the past 10 quarters that Walmart's US segment has been able to achieve its stated goal of not allowing inventory levels to grow faster than its sales growth, according to an article this week on Bloomberg. That part is factual. Less certain is Bloomberg’s reporting that Walmart is going to slow down its purchases from suppliers in Q3 and Q4 to battle the inventory bloat, based on emails Bloomberg has seen. Walmart says those email statements are taken out of context and "misleading," as it is constantly adjusting inventory targets across its many product categories.



Number of respondents in the recently released "Closing the Gaps in S&OP" benchmark report that say they do little or no scenario analysis as part of the S&OP processes, despite such scenario work now being considered essential to S&OP excellence. While 55% said they do scenario analysis for the core issue of looking at potential changes in actual demand versus forecast, it drops off rapidly from there in other areas the experts at Oliver Wight recommend for scenario analysis, such as supply side changes (27.6% of respondents) and competitive actions (just 15.9%). This excellent report can be downloaded here: Closing the Gaps in S&OP Benchmark Report 2013

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