Supply Chain by the Numbers: Week of January 29, 2009

-January 29, 2009


This Week's Supply Chain by the Numbers - GM Suppliers, RFID Inlay Price, GM Jobs Bank, Kimberly-Clark's Gross Margins


The Supply Chain and Logistics Numbers Worth Knowing This Week: Visit Quantity Equals Supplier Quality; 5-Cent Tag is no Plug Nickel; Crying All the Way to the Jobs Bank; Gross Margin Percent Blowing Along at Kimberly-Clark



The average number of suppliers that GM’s supplier quality team visits per day, according to recent comments from Bo Andersson, group vice-president, global purchasing and supply chain at GM.



5.8 cents

The price of an EPC compliant RFID “inlay” (at order levels of 5 million or more), as announced last week by Chinese RFID company Invengo as it enters the US market. An inlay consists of a chip and antenna, but must generally be converted into a usable label or tag, but the new price point is a substantial drop from the 7-8 cents the US market had been at for a few years, and gets us closer to the mythical “5-cent” tag.


The current number of union GM employees in the infamous “jobs bank” that paid these workers nearly 100% of base pay to come to a hall and basically hang out every day (though some did volunteer work). The jobs bank program at GM and Chrysler are coming to an end, part of the bailout deal with Washington, with GM formally announcing the end of the program this week. The number of employees in the jobs bank at GM alone exceeded 5000 at one point in the program.


Kimberly Clark’s gross margins for the fourth quarter, up from 30.7% in Q3, as the company said that its commodity costs had dropped dramatically. The rise in gross margin percent helped mitigate the impact of slower overall sales growth on the bottom line, which the company said, in part, was related to “inventory reductions” by retailers and consumers and increased sales of private label goods at retail.