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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Dec. 12, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Dec. 12, 2013

A Stylish RFID Blocker Wallet; Companies Planning for Planning Investments; Applying Carbon Costs Internally; Inventory Bloat at Specialty Retailers



Worried about bad guys stealing your personal data by secretly reading your RFID-enabled credit card information? (Which is in fact very easy to do, by the way.) Forget the cheap $4.00 protective sleeves out there. For a mere $75.00, you can get a Wurkin Stiffs RFID Blocker Wallet at Nordstrom. "Blocking radio signals from your credit and debit cards to keep your personal information secure. Protects your credit cards from identity thieves while looking stylish," the Nordstrom web site says.




Percentage of companies that say they plan to make significant investments in supply chain planning (process and technology) over the next few years. That according the SCDigest’s just released Supply Chain Planning Benchmark Study. 44% say they are planning to make at least modest investments, and about 14% plan little investment. Another 14% said they aren't sure. To download this excellent new report: Supply Chain Planning Benchmark Study 2014.



Growth in inventory levels year over year in Q3 at Abercrombie & Fitch, while sales projections by some analysts call for a drop in Q4 sales at the apparel retailer of 14%. But Abercrombie is hardly alone in the sector in seeing inventory spike. Inventory levels in Q3 were up 14% at Chico's, 14% at Limited Brands, and 9% at Gap, though Gap says it is up just 4% on a per store basis. Overall in specialty apparel, "The ratios are the worst we have seen in quite a while," said Simeon Siegel, a Wall Street analyst at Nomura Equity Research, meaning inventory growth versus sales projections, and he worries markdowns will be rampant.



Number of large US companies that tell the Carbon Disclosure Project they are currently putting some type of internal price on carbon, even though there is no actual cost yet here. That much is clear - but not much else. Whether those costs are really being used for decisions, or just as a sort of side information that is worth taking into account when grappling with business and supply chain issues today isn't clear, though some companies such as Disney clearly are really using carbon costs to a degree. The costs assigned to carbon are all over the map too, ranging from $6 to $60 per metric ton.

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