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The One Year Anniversay of the Costa Concordia Accident- What Have We Learned?

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This week marks the one year anniversary of the tragic grounding of the mega cruise ship Costa Concordia resulting in the loss of 32 lives and the evacuation of 4200 passengers and crew.  At the time of the accident, Supply Chain Matters penned a commentary on the spillover effects of this accident on the broader shipping industry, where big mega-ships are the current operating principle. The world’s largest ocean container vessel, the 16,000 TEU capacity Marco Polo, operated by French line CMA CGM entered into service in mid-December, and we might add, a marvel of technology. Shortly after the Concordia accident, there were estimates that an incredibly challenging salvage operation would take at least a year to complete and cost in excess of $500 million.  There were also implications related to current cruise ship safety, crew training and ship evacuation procedures. A video report from NBC News hosted by Yahoo […]

Consider Attending This Year’s Supply Chain World North America Conference

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Each year, the Supply Chain Council (SCC), the organization that developed and continues to mature the Supply Chain Operations Framework (SCOR) model, sponsors that organization’s annual U.S. focused Supply Chain World North America Conference.  This is the SCC conference where the broader supply chain community and their teams can network and gather current thinking on supply chain direction and required capabilities. This author has attended many previous sessions of this event both as a participant and as a speaker. Last year’s event was enjoyed by most all those attending. The 2013 event is being held from April 8-10, 2013 in St. Louis, with the overall theme: 21st Century Supply Chain- Gateway to the Future.  The conference planning committee purposely chose the St. Louis area because of its proximity to major areas of aerospace, industrial and other manufacturing and supply chain services, as well as its location in the central part […]

Wal-Mart Makes Some Noteworthy Commitments

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In the light of the National Retail Federation’s annual conference being held in New York, Wal-Mart has made some significant and noteworthy announcements.    Bill Simon, the head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. group announced plans to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. sourced products over the next ten years.  According to a Wal-Mart document, this initiative will include increased buying from existing U.S. based suppliers in categories such as sporting goods, apparel, storage products, games and paper products. It further includes the sourcing of new suppliers in textiles, furniture, pet supplies and outdoor categories. Wal-Mart indicates that it will collaborate with U.S. manufacturers on long-term product forecasts as well as making longer-term product commitments. In its announcement, the retailer tried to diffuse building consumer belief that the majority of its retail items are sourced external to the U.S., indicating that according to data from its suppliers, about two-thirds of Wal-Mart U.S. […]