Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Jan. 16, 2014

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Jan. 16, 2014

Famous Closed GM Truck Plant Partially Saved by Chinese Company; How Much Revenue per Employee? Christmas On-line Sales Continued to Grow Rapidly; US Drops out of Top 10 in Economic Freedom


$200 Million

Investment being made by Chinese auto glass maker Fuyao Glass Industry Group to acquire and set up a new factory in 1 million square feet of a closed GM truck assembly plant on Moraine, OH, near Dayton. That factory, made famous by the HBO documentary "The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant," was shuttered in 2008. It began in 1951 as a Frigidaire appliance factory (GM owned Frigidaire at the time), and not long ago employed 4000 making the trucks. The new plant will employ some 800, and production is planned to begin by June 2015. There is another 1.5 million or so square feet of the complex still open, however.




This seems almost unbelievable, but this is about the level of revenue per employee for Fortune 500 companies in recent years. That according to the new book Procurement 20/20 by a quartet of McKinsey consultants. That astounding number is up from just $40,000 as recently as 1970. That 22-fold rise is hard to fathom, and has come from a combination of great improvements in productivity and of course outsourcing of production and white collar functions. Maybe before long they will be tracking revenue per robot?



Growth in the level of on-line US retail during the 2013 Christmas shopping season, according to an announcement this week by the National Retail Federation. Coming in at around $95 billion, that means ecommerce represented about 15.8 % of the $602 billion in total sales (excluding autos, restaurants, and fuel) during the period. The total includes categories such as food and consumer packaged goods where sales numbers are still pretty low, while the percentage in categories such as electronics is obviously much higher. That rate of ecommerce growth of late has been decelerating a bit, however, to around 9-10% each month versus 15% of so for several years before that.



Rank of the US in the just released 2014 Index of economic freedom from The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. This is the first time the US has fallen out of the top 10. Just six countries were given a pure "free" designation: number 1 Hong Kong followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Canada. Ahead of the US in the " mostly free" category, in order, were Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, Denmark, and Estonia. It's an interesting list whether you like the measure or you don't, and can be found here: 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.