Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Feb. 6, 2014

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Feb. 6, 2014

WalMart Provides Support to US Manufacturing; Retail Organized Crime Makes Major Hit; Bangladesh Apparel Makers Not Paying the Minimum ; RFID Tags Can be Seen Longer Distance


$10 Million

Amount of money retail giant Walmart announced this week it will donate to support US manufacturing. The monies provide funds for a five-year program that will offer grants to domestic manufacturing innovators. The announcement was the latest in Walmart's year-old push to boost US manufacturing. It has vowed to buy an additional $50 billion in US-made products over the next decade from existing levels before the announcement. Kent International, a New Jersey-based bicycle maker, made a joint announcement with Walmart this week that it will move its production to Clarendon, South Carolina, and create 175 new jobs and assemble 500,000 bicycles annually by 2016, after having move production offshore in the 1990s.



$30 Billion

Amount of retail store theft in the US last year that came from “organized” retail crime, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation. What does that mean? Organized theft is defined as group efforts to steal merchandise and sell it immediately for cash or drugs, according to the NRF. In fact, grocery giant Kroger has its own organized crime division, as likely do other retailers. “This is not shoplifting,” says the company’s Dennis Dansak, who says the thefts are valued at $800-1200 per incident. Wow.



Percentage of apparel makers in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka that are not paying workers the increased minimum wage of $68 dollars per month, according to a study by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. That new minimum wage was an increase of 77% when enacted in 2013, after news reports of worker mistreatment and several apparel factory disasters that killed a large number of workers and drew global scrutiny to the country’s work practices. In the port city of Chittagong, a mere 5% of factories could afford to pay the new minimum wage, the report noted. Retailers and brand companies have been leaving Bangladesh of late due to the negative attention and major political conflicts there, including violence, over the past year or so.



Number of meters from which a passive RFID tag can be read with new technology that has been developed by a number of engineers at the University of Cambridge in the UK. That according to new reports this week after the breakthrough was described in an academic journal. That compares to a read range of just 2-3 meters for existing solutions. The researchers also claim the technology (which uses what is called a “distributed antenna system”) will improved read rates in some applications from 50% to 100%, meaning you could consistently read an entire shopping cart of tagged grocery goods or all cartons on a pallet in one pass, which isn’t possible today. More on this soon from SCDigest.