Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 11, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Oct. 11, 2013

Supply Chain Strategies Mostly MIA; China Giving Much Aid - with a Purpose; UAW Targets Nissan Plant in Last Stand in the South; Accenture Gains Procurement Outsourcing Share



Number of permanent workers at Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi, who are subject to an intense and unusual campaign from the United Autoworkers to organize. In what some are calling the UAW's last stand, the union is trying to make the factory the first of a number of auto plants in the South - mostly for international OEMs such as Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, and more - to become unionized. The unorthodox campaign, however, is more designed to put pressure on Nissan from external forces than to win over a majority of the worker vote. That includes protests at Nissan dealers in Brazil (where the next summer Olympics will be held and Nissan is a sponsor) and use of actor Danny Glover and local college students to spread the word that "Labor Rights Are Civil Rights."



$189 Billion

Amount of foreign aid China doled out to developing countries in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to a column in the Wall Street Journal this week. But unlike similar aid from Western nations, which usually are given as pure grants, the Chinese aid program is more clearly mercantile. According to a study by Rand Corp. cited in the column, slightly over 80% of the pledged aid from China recently has been allocated for development of natural resources and, secondarily, for infrastructure. The tangible benefits for China are through the explicit consignment of production from the resource-development projects for export to China, as specified in the loan agreements that govern the programs. Western aid is for humanitarian purposes and to gain favor; China's is to lock up natural resources.



Percent of companies that have a true supply chain strategy, according a study performed by the University of Tennessee, and noted in the recent book Supply Chain Transformation by UT's Paul Dittmann (reviewed last week by SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore). Dittmann says a supply chain strategy is a formal document that lays out the supply chain's plan over at least a three-year horizon, and should be focused first how customer needs will evolve and how a company's supply chain capabilities need to change to meet them. Does your company have a supply chain strategy? Not many do.



Combined market share that Accenture will have in the procurement outsourcing business that Accenture will have assuming its announced merger with rival Procurian goes through. The analysts at HfS estimates that in 2012, Accenture had a 19.4% market share, while Procurian had 8.9%. Accenture will pay some $375 million for Procurian, a large multiple over its $142 million in annual revenue. But the company will bring a strong technology portfolio into Accenture, as well as growing position in direct materials sourcing, not just the indirect materials and services that have generally characterized the procurement outsourcing market.