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Lumber Liquidators’s China Based Supply Chain Linked to Reported Health Concerns


Lumber Liquidators is reported to be one of the largest and fastest growing retailers of hardwood and laminate flooring in North America.  This weekend, a broadcast report from CBS News’s 60 Minutes program turned a public light on this retailer’s supply chain and the consequences are becoming quite troublesome from a brand and financial perspective. The 60 Minutes report concluded that: “Much of its (Lumber Liquidator’s) laminate flooring is made in China, and as we discovered during our investigation, may fail to meet health and safety standards, because it contains high levels of formaldehyde, a known cancer causing chemical.” All laminate flooring carried by Lumber Liquidators bears a label indicating that it is CARB Phase 2–compliant, referring to the California Air Resources Board, which sets standards for formaldehyde emissions in wood flooring. The program reported these findings after conducting its own sanctioned tests of select flooring and after interviewing workers […]

An Example of One Creative Technology Approach in Addressing U.S. West Coast Port Congestion


Today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal includes an article, Ports Get Creative as Cargo Piles Up. (paid subscription or complimentary metered view) This article describes the application of innovation and creative use of Uber like technology can certainly help alleviate the current backlog across U.S. west coast ports. Supply Chain Matters trusts that industry teams will indeed employ other creative uses of technology to help alleviate the current congestion as well as more permanently avoid current choke points. The WSJ describes how the newer and far larger container ships have contributed too much of the current congestion citing observers noting that the containers are less organized on these newer ships. Rather than waiting with dock workers to extract specific containers from the stacks of piled-up containers and match them to a specific transport movement, a new approach is to schedule local short-haul truckers to pick-up the first container off […]

Maersk Line Reports Increased Q4 and 2014 Full Year Profitability: But at What Potential Price?


This week, AP Moller-Maersk, the conglomerate parent for global container transporter Maersk Line reported extraordinary profits for 2014 as it continues with its strategy to  consolidate into certain core industries. The conglomerate sold its 20 percent stake in Danske Bank resulting in a $5.5 billion direct windfall profit for shareholders. Regarding Maersk Line, the current global leader in ocean container shipping, continued strong performance boosted net profit to $2.3 billion in 2014, up from $1.5 billion reported in 2013. Total 2014 revenues were reported as $27.4 billion, compared with $26.1 billion reported in 2013. Operating cash flow was $4.2 billion. During the earnings briefing, AP Moller-Maersk CEO Nils Anderson indicated that Maersk Line’s improved its competitive position during the year and that the startup of the 2M vessel sharing alliance agreement with Mediterranean Shipping Line (MSC) has gone very well. Maersk Line’s profitability increase was attributed primarily to the dramatic […]

Kinaxis- A New Named Sponsor for Supply Chain Matters in 2015


We are pleased to announce to our global based Supply Chain Matters readership audience that Kinaxis has returned to be a Named sponsor of this blog in 2015. Kinaxis was one of the very first sponsors of this blog upon our founding in 2008, and we look forward to a renewed relationship during the coming year.   With origins that date back to 1984, and with its founding in 1995, Kinaxis and its flagship RapidResponse supply chain planning and rapid response technology has been adopted by industry-leading companies across multiple industry verticals, including aerospace & defense, automotive, high tech, industrial, and life sciences. Kinaxis delivers a collection of highly-configurable cloud S&OP and supply chain applications which are at the very heart of supply chain planning and decision making for large manufacturing companies with complex supply chains and volatile business environments. Kinaxis recently completed a successful initial public offering and is […]

ThinFilm Electronics and Diageo- A Noteworthy and Cool Joint Prototyping of Smart Label Technology


Today marks yet another milestone announcement concerning the development and application of next generation smart item-level labeling technology that can be applicable for either supply chain business process or product branding and marketing needs. Thinfilm Electronics ASA and global alcohol beverages producer Diageo jointly announced the intent to unveil a prototype smart label that has the potential to completely change both the role of a bottle along with the consumer experience. Supply Chain Matters readers may recall our previous commentaries related to Thinfilm’s ongoing development efforts in the next generation of smart item-level labeling.  Specifically we call reader attention to our May 2014 commentary that noted demonstration of a printed NFC-enabled smart label that demonstrated a label that combines printed electronics technology with real-time sensing and near-field communications (NFC) technology.  We were informed by Thinfilm that this new joint announcement involves a modified passive-tag application of this technology. This concept of […]

Breaking Tech News- Kinaxis Reports Significant Deal as Part of Fiscal Q4 and Full Year 2014 Results


Supply chain planning and response management technology provider Kinaxis today formally reported fiscal Q4 and full year 2014 financial results.  Beyond the rather positive growth and financial performance results, the most significant news was the landing of a $20 million five-year supply chain planning deal. On the financial side, full fiscal year 2014 revenues were reported as $70.1 million, up 15 percent from the year earlier.  Gross profit was $49.3 million, also up 15 percent and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBITDA) totaled $16.1 million, up 7 percent. Kinaxis reported nearly $57 million in its end of December cash balance, mainly from the proceeds of its recent IPO activity. For its fiscal fourth quarter, Kinaxis reported total revenues of $18.8 million including $13.9 million of subscription revenues. Gross profit was $13.4 million while adjusted EBITDA totaled $3.8 million. However on the Kinaxis earnings briefing call, many equity analysts wanted […]

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