Supply Chain by the Numbers

-February. 10, 2010


This Week’s Supply Chain by the Numbers for Feb. 10, 2010


Estee Lauer's SKU Count Gets Prettier; Dr. Doom says US Dollar Headed for a Fall; Schneider Plans Large Hire for Short Hauls; Hunstman Chemicals Continues move Offshore



Drop in the SKU count in Q4 2009 versus the same period in 2008 at cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, according to its quarterly earnings call last week, continuing the trend of manufacturers and retailers shedding SKUs counts.





The predicted drop in the value of the dollar over the next 2-3 years against “commodity currencies” (countries that are major commodity producers) and China, according to famed economist Nouriel Roubini, in an interview this week. That would ultimately substantially raise the costs to US companies importing these commodities such as metals and oil or exports from China.


The number of new drivers trucking giant Schneider National says it will hire in 2010 (up from 400 currently) to support its “short haul” operations, generally meaning freight moves of 50 miles or less. Schneider says it is seeing strong growth in its short haul business, presumably coming from moves to and from rail heads for intermodal transport and vendors moving closer to customers.


The amount of its total capacity chemicals giant Huntsman now has in the US – down from 80% a decade ago, according to its CEO this week, as the US' manufacturing footprint continues to change. (See Great Recession of 2009 will Leave Permanent Mark on US Production Capacity.)