Supply Chain by the Numbers: Week of September 17, 2009

-September 17, 2009


This Week’s Supply Chain by the Numbers – Sara Lee, Copper Prices, Kraft Foods Strategic Suppliers, Chinese Tire Exports


The Supply Chain and Logistics Numbers Worth Knowing This Week: Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee's Supply Chain Merger, Signs of Economic Mettle, Kraft Reduces Suppliers to Make Savings Delicious, Duty Bound Tires



The reduction in total supply chain costs that Sara Lee says it has achieved by combining its grocery and food service/restaurant supply chains, which until recently were run separately, according to chief supply chain officer George Chappelle in a recent interview.




The recent price of copper per metric ton, still down 33% from its 2008 peak of $9000 per ton, but more than 100% above the trough in late 2008 of about $2800. Other metals have seen similar price gains from the bottom – a positive sign for the economy, most think, but a development which adds costs to manufacturers and may be a sign of coming inflation.


The number of strategic suppliers, out of some 70,000 in total, that Kraft Foods hopes to cut over the next few years, saying the move will reduce complexity and increase purchasing leverage, leading to savings of as much as $300 million annually.

$1 billion

The approximate amount of tire exports from China into the US annually that will be affected by the Obama administration's decision to add tariffs of 35% or more to those imports, after claims by the United Steelworkers Union that the Chinese producers were receiving government subsidies and “dumping” tires below cost. The move brought cheers from labor and some US tire manufacturers, and boos from free traders, China (which may retaliate), and some tire sales channels here.