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Praise to Wal-Mart and its Olympics Ad: I Am a Factory

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During the ongoing Winter Olympics, global retailer Wal-Mart has been featuring a TV Ad that we positively enjoy every time.  Its an advertisement yes, but more importantly, its is a motivational video for all those associated in any way with manufacturing and supply chain activity. Thus far, this video has attracted over 1.2 million You Tube views.

Supply Chain Matters extends a shout-out to the producers of the below: I Am A Factory video for a magnificent accomplishment.

It is indeed time to get back to what America does best!

Enjoy

 

Wal-Mart Video: I Am a Factory

 


Supply Chain Matters Web Site Changes Underway for 2014

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Since the founding of the Supply Chain Matters blog in 2008, our goal is to produce industry analyst caliber insights and commentary for our readers. Ours was the first bold effort to provide an alternative to the traditional industry analyst model. We favor a far more open model, that being the experienced independent industry analyst and consultant offering seasoned insights related to supply chain management related business processes and information technology without the biases, encumbrances and expense of larger, traditional firms. We are far more accessible for providing follow-up personalized research and consulting services without having to endure layers of organizational inertia and analyst egos to gain such services.

We develop content for the broad supply chain management and B2B community and our efforts are directed at providing knowledge without technology vendor biases or influences. Unlike some sites, when we have an association with a vendor or sponsor, we will openly disclose such an association in our commentaries.

You, our readers, acknowledged our efforts by increasing our site visit numbers every subsequent year, and we are gratified by the positive feedback and blog awards. We again extend our thanks and appreciation.

To fund the efforts and expenses of this site, we continually recruit a limited amount of sponsors whom we believe value the existence of quality thought leadership.  Not being naïve, we know that there needs to be something of additional value for our sponsors. Thus we include personalized services and tailored social media based marketing services for our sponsors.

It is and has always been our policy to not share or sell the identity of our readers and subscribers to any third party.

The competitive landscape continues to change and technology and service providers demand more detailed data related to “influence” of a particular site. We also continue to discover that some readers are free and loose regarding copyrighted content or fail to follow basic norms regarding citation of content.

In the coming months, we will be initiating some changes regarding accessibility to Supply Chain Matters research and insights. The Research Center, located on the top menu bar, is an area where our readers can download comprehensive research reports at no charge. Candidly, this area is somewhat of a kludge behind the scene, making it difficult to populate and continually maintain research documents. This has limited our ability to provide more research focused insights and documents as well as making archived copies of our Quarterly Newsletter more accessible. We are now in the midst of a development project to streamline our Research Center with an easier download experience for our readers and affords us the ability to add or remove downloadable documents in a much easier manner. It will provide us the ability to offer research documents on either the blog or our consulting web domains. These development efforts lay the foundation for our ability to provide unique and cost affordable paid research reports in the future.

Previously, most of our deepest insights related to industry supply chains and enabling technology have been offered in the open blog format.  We will in the coming weeks and months, begin to formulate these types of insights into short research briefs, industry or technology vendor perspectives that will specifically be made available for download.  Supply Chain Matters and the Ferrari Research and Consulting Group will continue to require a minimal amount of registration information to receive downloadable documents, specifically name, title, organization and email address. Such information will help us to better identify our reader audience and we assure our readers that no registration information will be sold.  The added information will help us to better identify our scope of readership audience along with the ability to tailor more industry specific research needs.

Once again, our sincere thanks for your continued readership and we believe you will enjoy a more diversified and enhanced Supply Chain Matters reader experience in the coming weeks and months.

Bob Ferrari, Founder and Executive Editor


Supply Chain Matters Coming Attractions: A Short Interlude and Exciting New Features

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We want to alert our readers that Supply Chain Matters will be publishing on a limited basis for the next two weeks.  It is time for re-charging of intellectual batteries with some rest and relaxation and warmer weather.

We will resume a normal posting schedule the week of January 13, barring any major supply chain developments in the interim.

Readers are welcomed to explore our vast array of previously published content, including our predictions for the upcoming year as well as what actually occurred in 2013.  We also provide the deepest coverage and content associated with industry-specific supply chain and B2B industry challenges and insights.

We have some exciting new areas to unveil later in 2014 including podcasts and complimentary short videos and webcasts to aide in the Supply Chain Matters experience and insights we provide for our readers. We will remain your one-stop site for the most objective and experienced insights on supply chain and B2B business process and information technology topics.

Stay tuned.

Bob Ferrari, Executive Editor


Happy Holidays from Supply Chain Matters

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Happy Holiday Wreath

 

 

 

On behalf of myself and our Supply Chain Matters team, I would like to extend our sincere best wishes for a joyous Holiday Season and happy and rewarding New Year.

As was last year, we share a holiday commentary from U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) that reports on what supply chain resources Santa Claus would need to deliver his holiday presents. We hope you enjoy this classic report of the logistics needs for Santa Claus.

Supply Chain Matters will be publishing live commentaries during the week from the Christmas holiday through New Year’s Day and will then be taking a short hiatus for rest and renewal.

Best Wishes to All.

Bob Ferrari, Executive Editor


A Supply Chain Matters Sampling of the Bizarre

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It’s Friday, and readers have more than likely had a challenging week.   Thus, this is a good time to feature some bizarre and whacky postings for readers to appreciate, so here goes.

A Mega Printing Snafu

A Business Insider via Yahoo Finance posting reports that the U.S. Bureau of Engraving screwed-up in the printing of 30 million brand new hundred-dollar bills. That represents $3 billion in currency that more than likely will have to be re-inspected or scrapped.

The posting points to the occurrence of “mashing’, when too-much ink is applied to paper causing the ink to run. According to this report, the bills were actually shipped out to Federal Reserve banks for distribution with the mashed unacceptable bills intermixed with passable bills.  That motivated the Fed banks to return the entire batch demanding their money back. Talk about customer dissatisfaction.

This new $100 bill was original targeted for introduction in 2011, but encountered an initial printing error causing the bills to be printed with a blank spot.  Later, thieves made off with a large shipment.  The Bureau must now work to correct this latest snafu and meet a deadline of October 8th for general circulation.

So if you think your supply chain team has been working on the product launch from hell, consider the plight of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving.

Hold on to those used U.S. $100 bills.

 

A Drunken Episode Gone Awry

A posting on the China based CRI English.com web site via Cargo Business Newswire reports that a drunken man in the Chinese city of Qingdao awoke to discover he was trapped in an ocean transport container suspended more than 65 feet above the ground. Now get this- the inebriated man had evidently mistaken the container for his apartment as he returned  at 4 a.m. in the morning from his drinking endeavors.

The container itself was scheduled to be shipped to the United States via container ship the following day. Fortunately, when this man awakened, he had his cell phone with him and called his friends, who then contacted the local police. Apparently, other containers were already placed under and on top of the container this man mistook for his apartment. About 40 police officers from the Qingdao Development Zone eventually located the container within the staging yard after repeated calls to the man’s mobile phone to have him bang and make noise in the container. More than 60 dock workers joined the search including the removal and shuffling of containers to allow removal of this man. He was later released by police authorities after being detained. Readers can view actual photos of this episode including the man being taken into custody on the CRI English web site.

 I suppose the moral of this story is to insure you have a photo of your apartment so you won’t confuse it as an ocean cargo container. Or maybe that is that the other way around.

The takeaway for this episode is the following- If you are going to get totally inebriated, do not live or work near an ocean container facility.  Certainly not if your residence entry door resembles a truck trailer lock.

 

Send us more bizarre stories and we will consider running a periodic series.

 


Our Independence Day Wish

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Today is the eve of July 4, a rather significant holiday in the United States. 

July 4th is Independence Day, a celebration of the founding of the country with the signing of the Declaration of IndependenceMany will celebrate with picnics, barbecues and the traditional viewing of fireworks, this author included.

Since this is a blog that has a focus on manufacturing, supply chain and online fulfillment, we provide this commentary in the spirit of the 4th of July holiday.

In its 2013 listing of the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains, Apple was once again cited as the number one supply chain. Our readers are very much aware that the bulk of Apple’s supply chain activities reside across Asia.

Readers may have also taken note of Apple’s new unfolding media ad campaign which features very upscale design and messaging that speaks to the elegance of design and experience factors of the company’s products.  Each ad closes with the new signature: “Designed by Apple in California”. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Apple purchased a complete two-page spread to deliver its new message.  This was quite an expensive statement to say the least.

We extract two specific paragraphs from this ad:

We don’t believe in coincidence.

Or dumb luck

There are a thousand “no’s”

For every “yes”.

We spend a lot of time

On a few great things.

Until every idea we touch

Enhances each life it touches.

 

We’re engineers and artists.

Craftsmen and inventors.

We sign our work.

You may rarely look at it.

But you’ll always feel it.

This is our signature.

And it means everything.

Designed by Apple in California

 

Thus in the spirit of the July 4th Independence Day holiday here in the United States, we offer the following challenge to Apple:

You are indeed engineers and artists, craftsmen and inventors, probably the best of the best.

You are also logisticians, supply chain and online fulfillment leaders.

You spend a lot of time on a few great things, but perhaps too much concentration in a particular geographic region.

You represent the spirit of the United States in entrepreneurship, creativity and savvy including how to park your profits and cash in foreign entities.

You stand for excellence and social responsibility but seem to drag your feet in establishing a manufacturing presence in your home country.

 

Our Independence Day wish is directed at Apple:

Change the signature to the following:

Designed by Apple in California and Built With Pride in the United States and Other Countries

 

Happy 4th of July to all our U.S. readers.

 

Next week, Supply Chain Matters will publish on a limited frequency as we take a few days to enjoy the summer season.


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